Point Arena to Albion
Point Arena Cove* is located 45 miles south of Noyo Harbor off of Highway 1. This is a public facility with free parking and a short walk to the beach. This site provides reasonably good protection for kayak launching over gravel and cobblestones. This area features some particularly interesting rock formations. There is a pier with vehicle access to launch from as well.
Alder Creek Beach is located approximately 38 miles south of Noyo Harbor off of Highway 1. It is part of Manchester Beach State Park. Parking is free. This site requires a fairly long portage through the creek bed and over sand to the beach. Protection is minimal. It can be a challenging surf launch site even when the swells are small. Unless the waves are small, it is best to look elsewhere for a launch site. From this site and south four miles to Point Arena is Manchester Beach. Very heavy surf develops over the shallow, sandy bottom off of Manchester Beach. Landing and launching along Manchester Beach would be especially challenging as the waves break several times beginning far offshore.
Greenwood Beach in Elk is approximately 26 miles south of Noyo Harbor on Highway 1. Parking is free. It is a very long descent to the beach and the trip virtually requires a kayak cart with large wide tires to negotiate the trail. The launch site has fairly good protection but may present a surf launch at times. Lots of interesting rock gardens and sea caves in this area will reward the paddler in advance of the long ascent that is necessary to return a kayak to the parking lot. This area is the home port of Force 10 Ocean Whitewater Tours, (707) 877-3505. The founder, Steve Sinclair, was a pioneer of surf kayaking along the Mendocino coast. Connie and Andy Taylor have continued to operate Force 10 maintaining the high standards that Steve set.
Navarro Beach is located approximately 20 miles south of Noyo Harbor on Highway 1. Parking is free at the beach. This site requires a moderate length carry or drag over sand to launch. It can be a challenging surf launch site even when the swells are small. Unless the waves are small, it is best to look elsewhere for an ocean launch site.
Navarro River* Kayaks and canoes can also be launched into the river to paddle the wide inter tidal estuary. During periods of higher river flows, paddlers may launch at Paul Dimmick or Hendy Woods State Parks for a down-river trip. While this section is not considered white water, downed trees may create significant hazards for boaters. Canoe and Kayak magazine did an article on this section in March 1999.
Albion River* Is located approximately 16 miles south of Noyo Harbor off of Highway 1. The long trestle bridge over the river is a historical classic. Access from Highway 1 is on the north side of the bridge with a quick turnoff to the east side of the highway. There is two private campgrounds that allow parking for a fee. This site provides good protection for launching into the Albion River. It is a short portage from the parking areas. The long estuary has excellent paddling. Trips are often planned so that paddlers can take advantage of tidal current flows. The upstream trip is done with the flooding (incoming) tidal current and the return is made with the ebbing (outgoing) current.
Albion Bay The river empties into a protected bay that offers good protection from most ocean swells. The channel leading into the bay is quite shallow during low tides but seldom presents a problem for paddlers. However paddlers may want to time the tides. The area features rock gardens and sea caves. Jim Heid maintains a weather cam looking out at the ocean near Albion.
*Easy launch site Locations are from south to north
Van Damme to Russian Gulch
Caspar to MacKerricker
Seaside to Pete's Beach
Wages Creek to Bear Harbor
You can look at a map of the coastline from Albion to Westport by clicking the link below.