Dear Parents, AKA. Officers – First – thank you for assisting your group with this adventure. This experience is one you and your child will remember for a lifetime. This information is to assist you to ready yourself and your group for the overnight experience to Colony Ross. The more prepared you are, and the more prepared the students are, the better the experience for all. Please read carefully.

Please remember that you are coming to a state park. Do NOT remove any objects that are lying on the ground: rocks, shells, glass, bones etc. If you find anything that appears to be historically or environmentally important please leave it where it is found and advise Park Interpretive Specialist of the item’s location. All features of the park are protected. Remember: Take only pictures and leave only footprints. 

WALKING IN FROM THE FORT ROSS REEF CAMPGROUND

 The walk from the Reef Campground to the fort is a wonderful experience. It is a short walk (only about a mile, 15-30 minutes), safe away from the edge of the cliffs, beautiful and a great way to begin the students’ historical experience.  It is a wonderful visual experience to see the fort looming ever larger on the coastline as you get closer and closer. 

When everybody has arrived, all cars will drive to the fort to quickly unload the gear, leaving behind the teacher, children and enough adults to make the walk safely. 

TO MAKE THE HIKE:    

Walk downhill through the campground until you get to the parking area/turn-around at the bottom of the road. Look up the hill to the North for the trail to Fort Ross. The trail is marked. Follow the trail to the Sandy Cove; descend to the sand, cross the creek, and up to the fort. Don’t rush on the hike. Encourage them to ask questions. Look at the local flora and fauna on the marine terrace and out to the sea for ships or whales. Taking your time to enjoy and learn gives the drivers more time to unload. If the cars are still unloading in front of the fort, then slow your walk or spend some time at the cove. 

TO DRIVE AND DROP OFF GEAR: 

Drive from the campground a few miles north to the fort entrance. Go past the entrance kiosk (get a parking pass from the kiosk or the Interpretive Specialist at the fort) and drive to the dirt road at the end of the parking lot. Follow this road to the fort itself. The speed limit on this road is 10 mph. Please drive slowly. 

UNLOADING GEAR: 

It works best to take personal gear out of the cars and put it just inside the fort wall or if the ground is very damp to pile it up on the benches or the picnic tables inside the fort. If it is raining, all the personal gear will go in a storage room located in the Rotchev House for the day. Do not put gear into the buildings in which the children will be sleeping. Personal gear will be moved into sleeping quarters after the fort is closed to the public at 4:30. Food and kitchen gear can be carried to the kitchen area by the fire pits in front of the Officials’ Quarters. The Interpretive Specialist should be there to help direct traffic. You will need to unload very quickly.