Fort Ross–Russian Cemetery Fort Ross Cove–Southern Bluffs Professional Review and Guide
"At the main entrance to Fort Ross State Historical Park sits an assembly of buildings that are representative of an early 1800s Russian settlement and the ranching era that followed. Between 1812 and 1841, Russian trappers made this coastal point into a base for their fur trading operations, hunting the sea otters that inhabited the coast. The land was also cultivated for agriculture, supplying wheat and other crops to Alaska. Fort Ross is a reconstruction of the stockade that once stood atop the cliffs in 1812. Only one of the original settlement buildings remain, but many of the buildings and structures that were once here have been reconstructed, including hand-hewn log barracks, blockhouses, and a Russian Orthodox chapel. A Russian Orthodox Cemetery sits atop a grassy knoll above the cove and across the creekfed gulch from the fortress. The cemetery has traditional crosses marking the burial sites. Fort Ross Cove is a protected beach below the fort. The cove was the site of the first shipyard in California. The grassy southern bluffs rise nearly 200 feet and lead to Reef Campground, with 20 primitive campsites. A visitor center and interpretive panels describe the land’s natural history and its past inhabitants. This hike begins at the visitor center and explores the historic fort, the isolated cove, and the cemetery. The trail then crosses the undulating coastal terrace, passing gullies and transient streams to the campground."