Narrated by Russ Christoff
Just three miles north of Fort Bragg, a Scottish heritage event waited.
MacKerricher State Park is being readied for the day to celebrate the park’s Scottish ancestors.
Event Coordinator, Mary Ellen, explained why her group decided to hold Scottish Heritage Day at MacKerricher.
EVENT COORDINATOR MARY ELLEN: I am a volunteer here in this park, MacKerricher State Park in Fort Bragg, and we wanted to get the public that live here and from out of the area, to know what we are about.
And it came from Duncan and Jesse MacKerricher, two Scots who came from Canada, and came and settled this area, which was part of their farm.
There is a very large population of Scottish people that live here and they would have back in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, been gathering as a clan.
They would be bringing maybe their basket weaving or spinning, or whatever they were doing, and sit and just, in a group or in a clan, have a good time.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: After spending the morning at Heritage Day, I went to the beach area to talk to a ranger, Chuck.
I asked him about the size of MacKerricher State Park.
RANGER CHUCK: It has approximately over 21,000 acres of land, and that includes dune areas, the coastal areas and off shore park properties.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: How many campsites at MacKerricher, and are there any on the beach? A lot of people want to know that.
RANGER CHUCK: This park doesn’t have any beach sites, well actually we have 140 sites, plus 10 walk in sites, but they are located slightly in shore.
Most of them are in wooded areas, an easy walk to the beach, within five minutes you can on the beach and wandering around.
If you like to hike, we’ve got lots of area here. We got about eight-tenths of a mile of boardwalk going out to the Laguna Point area.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: And it’s all wheelchair accessible, right?
RANGER CHUCK: Yes it is as a matter of fact. And we’ve got the seal watching area and you can look at a rookery of Harbor Seals or the Grey Whales going by during the season.
And, the boardwalk goes around the lake part way, and the total length of that trail is about six-tenths of a mile.
RUSS CHRISTOFF: And I understand that there are fish in there, right?
RANGER CHUCK: Most certainly! If you like to fish, there’s trout, bass and pan fish.
Fish and Game plants that little lake and it’s real popular with locals and folks visiting the area.
All state parks are gems that represent the best in the cultural and natural resources of California. And, I believe parks are intended to be able to pass those gems on to future generations.
Here at MacKerricher, we are real lucky in the fact that this is a diverse park with lots of resources.
And within this park unit, we able to interpret to the visiting public, educate the local school groups and such that visit here, and to give the experience to as many people as we can.
We hope that through that message, people will understand the importance of what parks are. They are a refuge. It’s an area to go to relax, to listen to the wind or a seal bark, or to hear nothing at all.