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Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

Ranch House
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Welcome

Location: The park is located on the southeast corner of Clear Lake, the largest natural lake completely within the borders of California. Between Lower Lake and Clear Lake on Highway 53, north of Calistoga in the wine country.

GPS: 38.9233, -122.6127

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park contains oak woodlands, grass-covered hills, and tule marsh. One of the largest groups of people in prehistoric California, the Southeastern Pomo, knew this land as home. Today, descendants of those people still live nearby.

Anderson Marsh's archaeological sites hold clues to the lives of the Pomo. Some sites are over 10,000 years old, making them among the oldest in California. The park protects several habitats including freshwater marsh, oak woodland, grasslands, and riparian woodland.

If you like to hike, you can take advantage of miles of trails. Trailside signs offer insight into understanding the native plants and animals of the park. The park is also popular for bird watching, hiking and picnicking. Explore the past at the historic Anderson Ranch, with its nineteenth century structures.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

History
The Southeastern Pomo Native Americans, one of the largest groups of indigenous peoples of the Americas in pre-Columbian California, lived in the area of present day Anderson Marsh State Historic Park, and their descendants continue to do so nearby. Anderson Marsh's archaeological sites provide artifacts of the Pomo people. Some sites are among the oldest found in California, dated at over 10,000 years old.

John Grigsby homesteaded in 1854 with his family, and built a small house. Scotsman John Still Anderson, with his wife and six children, bought the property from Grigsby in 1884, built what is now known as the Ranch House, and ran a dairy and raised beef cattle. Their descendants lived in the Ranch House until the 1960s.

The State Historic Park was named after John Still Anderson in 1982 after the State of California acquired the Anderson Marsh.

Visitor attractions

Activities

  • Bird watching

  • Wetland and upland ecosystems species

  • Exhibits/Programs

    • Ranch House: Shown by guided tour; example of early California life.

    • South Barn Interpretive Room: Group presentations.

  • Festivals

    • Bluegrass Festival, Second week-end in September.

  • Trails

    • The park has miles of hiking trails:

    • Trails that lead along the wetland areas of the park include: the Cache Creek Trail and Marsh Trail.

    • Trails that lead along higher-drier park areas include: the Ridge Trail (in oak woodlands) and Anderson Flats Trail (in grasslands).

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