Do research before going insider camping along coast
The Sportsmanís Report
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By Bill Hanson  July 19, 2013 12:00 am

Insider camping along the coast requires a bit of research. 

North of Jenner, the first campground is at Stillwater Cove. This is a lovely camp with hot showers, it is perched on a bluff very near the ocean, and it is a quarter mile walk down narrow Highway 1. This is a Sonoma County park, and reservations are wise because it is so small.

Next up, only one mile away, is Ocean Cove Camp at the dogleg turn around an old barn. Come to think of it, I’ve been going past there for more than 30 years and have never seen the barn open. 

Go into the store across the road to get help on camping and day-use. 

The owners have spent many years upgrading the campground. Hot showers and good toilets are available. The camp is on top of the bluff overlooking the ocean and beautiful Ocean Cove. 

They take reservations but it is, for the most part, first come first served. The ocean side of the camp is subject to high winds, and the cliff is steep and treacherous.

Another 10 minutes on Highway 1 is Woodside Camp and Grestle Cove, both state parks and low on amenities. That aside, Woodside is one of my favorite campgrounds. Camping doesn’t get any better. Grestle Cove Camp is perched on the sea side of the highway and also subject to high winds. 

Day use is a short drive to Stump Beach; no camping, but a short walk takes you to one of the most protected and beautiful beaches on the North Coast. 

Driving north again, after Sea Ranch, is the Gualala River Camp on the south side before you cross. It is a county park and reservations are a good idea during the summer. This campground is on the river with wading and swimming for brave hearts.

There are some reports of the wonderful Agaricus Agustus or “The Prince” being found on the drip line of coastal trees. Go to for details. This is one you will never see in the market because we do not share them. It is the most mushroom-like tasting of all the mushrooms, domestic or wild, in my opinion.

Bow season in the A-zone opens next Saturday. If you are an archer your camouflage paint and Guilly-suit are already out of the closet. Rifle hunters are packing up for the regular opener on Aug. 10.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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