Edging a spectacular stretch of California coastling that ranges
from rocky cove to sandy, dune-backed beach, the Georgia-Pacific Haul
Road ranks among the state’s most scenic coastal drives. Little
known, it was formerly the private byway of redwood logging trucks to
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Severe storms the last two winters changed all that. With a
1/2-mile section of road demolished by waves, these trucks have had to
use State Highway 1. Now closed to all motor vehicles, the paved, 6
1/2-mile route through MacKerricher State Park (with picnic areas and
143-unit campground) has become a favorite destination for hikers,
joggers, and especially cyclists.
Though sand has drifted across the road in spots and you have to
push bicycles through soft dunes around the washout, the scenery is
worth extra effort. Access points are through a yellow gate about 100
yards past the bridge over Pudding Creek, north of Fort Bragg, and at
the park campground. The road ends at another gate on the north end at
the highway –an area that’s unsafe for biking.
Right now you can bike the road any time; clear days between winter
storms can be brisk but glorious. Plans exist, however, to rebuild the
stretch next spring for use again as a private haul road on weekdays.
Public access would still be allowed on weekends, but motor vehicles
would also be permitted. For an update next spring or park information,
call (707) 937-5804.
Photo: Beach-hugging road leads bikers along 6 1/2 miles of
coastline; fat tires on all-terrain bikes help in sand drifts near