By Cecilia Moelter

You may wander or watch whales, whitecaps and whimbrels…when you walk alone or with friends along the Bluff Trail today. Tomorrow think about an Autumn 2003 extension from the Surf Motel south to Oceansong Restaurant. The Gualala River will be visible from benches and viewing sites along the way. Stairs and a bridge will take you to a beautiful rock outcropping just above the river, where seals and river otters are visible right here in “downtown.”

Driving through Gualala on Highway One, a tourist might be forgiven for believing that it’s a retail stop. With attractive gift shops, art galleries and restaurants, the question is, “Where’s the sea?” The answer is, “Walk west to the bluff and enjoy the outstanding views of the Gualala River and the Pacific.”

In March, RCLC applied to Mendocino County for a 700 foot continuation of the trail.

Several thousand vacationers and locals use the Bluff Trail annually. Each week a member of Redwood Coast Land Conservancy monitors the trail for upkeep of the landscaping, evaluation of the path condition, removal of debris, and visitor counts. Picnic tables and benches behind the Surf Motel provide views of the beach and offer lunch break opportunities under the cypress trees.

A chance to rest during a stroll will be provided with the installation of a bench with a perfect view, between Seacliff and the bluff on the north end of the trail. Bring a book or lunch and relax from this vantage point. This bench is a memorial gift welcomed by the landowner and RCLC.