Mill Bend Preserve

Mill Bend Preserve is the gateway to the Gualala River Watershed and the front porch of our community.

Native forests and plant habitats are recovering from 100 years of industrial-level timber harvest disturbance. Gualala River estuary and wetland habitats are critical to endangered Coho salmon and Steelhead trout. View the Mill Bend Preserve Conservation Plan to learn about restoration plans for this special place near the mouth of the Gualala River.

Conservation Plan

The Mill Bend Preserve Conservation Plan describes specific measures to restore habitat health, support native species, and adapt to climate change.

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The native Kashia Pomo (also referred to as Kashaya) have a long presence in this region going back centuries or longer. The area also has a historic logging past dating back to the 1800s.

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Know Before You Go

Picnic tables are provided. Doggie bag dispenser, benches, bathrooms and garbage cans are not provided at this time, though proposed improvements include restrooms, a durable access road and parking. Please pack all trash and animal waste out to help us keep it clean.

How to Get There

Parking for Mill Bend Preserve is available at 46902 Old Stage Rd, Gualala, CA 95445. The preserve may also be accessed from the CalTrans pull-out northeast of the Gualala River bridge.

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Preserved For All

In 2021, the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy was able to purchase 113 acres near the mouth of the Gualala river thanks to generous support of donors, community members, and partnering organizations.

This estuarine area is home to sensitive habitats and endangered species including coho salmon and steelhead. In addition to providing critical habitat for these fish, the Gualala River estuary is home to Gualala roach and other fish species, as well as red-legged frogs, harbor seals, river otters, osprey and bald eagles. In addition to these valuable ecosystem values, the property provides free public access to scenic views, paddling watercraft, and hiking trails.

Property Map

To get to Mill Bend…

“I have been a supporter of this project from the start and have been glad to advocate on behalf of Redwood Coast Land Conservancy so they can obtain vital funding. Restoring and preserving these lands will not only bring much-needed recreational value to the area, but it will have long-lasting benefits for our invaluable coastal wetlands and uplands habitat.”
–Jared Huffman, U.S. Congressman, CA. Second District

Photo credits: Mill Bend – Gail Jackson; Mill Bend Map – Prunuske Chatham, Inc.;  History – RCLC Archives; Rail-to-Trail – RCLC Archives; Estuary – Bill Oxford
Gallery photo credits: Queridao Galdo, Gail Jackson,  David Bradbrook, Andy Kiehl, Craig Tooley, Ronald Bolander