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Glass Beach Treasures

Glass Beach Treasures
Fort Bragg / Noyo Harbor


At first you might think that the sea glass covering this beach has been there practically forever. Not so. For centuries it was a common practice of people who lived in seaside cities to dump their trash into the ocean, and from 1906 through 1967 it was true of people in Fort Bragg as well. In 1967 the practice came to a screeching halt, however, and the coastal dumps in Fort Bragg were cleaned up. Perhaps by way of thanks, the ocean responded by washing up beautiful multicolored pieces of wave-tumbled glass from those very dumps onto its beaches.

The most celebrated of these beaches of polished glass is located in MacKerricher State Park. It is very safe to walk on. All along its shore there are gem-like pieces of wave-tumbled glass in a rainbow of vivid colors glistening in the sun. There is now a stairway down to Glass Beach from the new Noyo Headlands Park.

Glass Beach is a fantastic place to bring the family to wander. There are also plenty of tide pools there to wade through and see crabs, mollusks and aquatic plants. However, please leave the glass where you find it. Much of the sea glass that was originally there is now gone, and at the rate it’s disappearing estimates are that the rest could be gone within 30 years. Plus, it’s a misdemeanor to remove any from state park property.

WHERE: You can find the beach at the end of Elm Street; signs on Main Street point the way to a parking area and paths leading to the beach.

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