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Mattole River Ecological Reserve


Located near the headwaters of the Mattole River, this reserve represents approximately 1,400 acres of large stands of old-growth redwood and Douglas fir trees, mixed with black oak, tanoak, and madrone. The forest provides ideal habitat for numerous species of old-growth dependent wildlife, such as the marbled murrelet and spotted owl, as well as goshawks and other birds of prey. Wood ducks and other waterfowl, kingfishers, herons, quail, grouse, pileated woodpeckers, and many other bird species use this forest for nesting. The clear creeks of the area support many aquatic species, including salamanders and frogs. Mammals that are commonly seen here include deer, foxes, raccoons, bears, and porcupines. The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 1993.

For more information, call the Northern Region Redding office at (530) 225-2055, or the reserve at (707) 445-6493.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Hiking Trails

Activities: This area provides spectacular birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Facilities: None

PLEASE NOTE: For information on public use regulations for this area and other Department lands please refer to the link opens in new windowCDFW Public Lands Regulations booklet. Scroll to the Table of Contents. Locate the page number for general regulations for public uses on all Department lands. For additional regulations that apply only to certain properties, check the Table of Contents for sections that refer to additional or property-specific regulations for wildlife areas or ecological reserves. All visitors are responsible for knowing and following the general and property-specific regulations.

Last update : 10/31/2018 9:35:08 AM

Wildlife Branch - Lands Program
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411

Map of Mattole River ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Northern Region (Region 1)

Mendocino County

southwest of Garberville

Access: From Highway 101 in Garberville, take the Redwood Drive exit through Redway to Redway Drive. Redway Drive becomes Briceland Thorn Road; continue on Briceland Thorn Road to the Reserve, 3 miles south of Whitethorn.

CDFW Lands Viewer