Schooner Gulch "Bowling Ball" Beach

Bowling Ball Beach

This area was frequented by Russians and native Alaskan's hunters as early as 1812, and by Mexican land owners in the 1840's.

John Galloway was the first recorded occupant of the area. John was born in Scotland and occupied an area of Schooner Gulch between 1866 and 1868, which was largely used as a milling operation for timber. Logging continued at Schooner Gulch until the late 1800's, through various other milling operations.

Another interesting part of the history of Schooner Gulch is the Galloway School. The school land was donated by John and Margaret Galloway. Galloway School operated for 62 years, from 1874 to 1936 with never more than 40 students. In 1940 the school lot was sold, and land around the lot was farmed by the Nobles family until 1986 at which time the land was sold to the State of California.

Legend has it that Schooner Gulch got its name from a story in which a schooner was sited, one evening, stranded on the beach in the mouth of the gulch, yet in the morning showed no evidence of being there.

Fishing, picnicking, and surfing are popular activities here.

Schooner Gulch Beach is three miles south of Point Arena on California Highway 1, near mile marker 11.3. The small parking area is immediately north of the Schooner Creek Bridge, on the west side of the road.

Two trails lead from the parking lot to the beach. The one nearest the bridge goes to Schooner Gulch Beach, about a two minute walk down a dirt path. The other goes to Bowling Ball Beach.

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Attraction & Activites Details

Attraction Type: 
Beaches, Hikes/walks, Fishing, Whale Watching, Parks, Family Fun

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Contact Us

Contact name: 
Mendocino Area Parks
Phone: 
707.937.5804
E-mail: 
mapa [at] mendoparks [dot] org

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