Mendocino Woodlands State Park
The Mendocino Woodlands State Park is a group camping facility located in Mendocino County, California, seven miles inland from the town of Mendocino. It was built as a Recreational Demonstration Area by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Mendocino Woodlands consists of approximately 700 acres of land along the Little North Fork of the Big River, and is surrounded to the north, east, and west by the 50,000 acre Jackson Demonstration State Forest. To the south, the park abuts the Big River State Park.
Mendocino Woodlands was one of forty-six campgrounds created by the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Its rustic wood-and-stone buildings, built by the WPA are surrounded by second-growth redwood forest. Mendocino Woodlands was originally planned as a site for youth summer camps in which the participants would be introduced to the wonders of nature. However, Mendocino Woodlands is the only one of the campgrounds that has been continuously used for public camping.
As originally formed, the campsite occupied a property of 5,425 acres. However, when the campsite was conveyed to the California State Park system in 1976, the size of the property was reduced to approximately 700 acres, with the remaining area left in the control of the California Department of Forestry.
In 1986, The California Department of Forestry sold off a portion of the property (640 acres) to the Reverend Charles Kinkaid for an undisclosed amount. Reverend Kinkaid used the parcel of property to build the CDR Ranch which is now the main compound for the Church of Divine HarmonyIn 1997, the Mendocino Woodlands Recreation Demonstration Area was designated as a National Historic Landmark.