Fort Ross State Historic Park 19005 Hwy. 1, 12 mi. N of town, (707) 847-3286. Daily 10-4:30. $8/vehicle, $7/seniors.
|path approaching Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California|
Built by Russian and Alaskan fur trappers and hunters in 1812 as a trading outpost, this authentically restored historic fort compound consists of two corner blockhouses equipped with cannons—one with views of both the ocean and the cemetery, a small Russian Orthodox chapel (the first south of Alaska), an officer’s house, and a barracks. An architecturally striking Visitors Center and picnic tables are also available. Outside the gates, a picturesque bluff at the edge of the ocean ends with a path leading down to the beach.
Held annually on the last Saturday in July, Living History Day allows visitors to step back in time to the 1800s. Costumed staff and volunteers perform musket drills and fire cannons, craftspeople demonstrate their skills, and a blacksmith pounds at his forge. In fall a Harvest Festival features fruit picking and sometimes cider making, and a Russian Winter Festival is sometimes held (the dates/names of these two annual festivals change regularly).
2020 pandemic update: During this period when we are emerging from shutdown, we need to carefully consider activities to feed our spirit. Always visit a destination's website to check current pandemic regulations and schedules.
|chapel at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California|
|chapel and out building at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California|
|exterior of Rotchev House at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California|
|tools inside Rotchev House at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California|
|ocean view from back gates at Fort Ross State Historic Park in Jenner, California|
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images ©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers