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) 225-2300, 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

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

no drones icon
You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

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