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Fort Ross State Historic Park

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Ft Ross Russian Orthodox Church.  The chapel is a mecca to visiting Russians.  It was never consecrated and there has never been a permanent priest.

Fort Ross State Historic Park, one of the oldest parks in the California State Park System, was established in 1906. The 3,386 acre park preserves North America’s southern most Russian settlement.

Fort Ross was a thriving Russian-American Company settlement from 1812 to 1841. This commercial company chartered by Russia's tsarist government controlled all Russian exploration, trade and settlement in the North Pacific, and established permanent settlements in Alaska and California. Fort Ross was the southernmost settlement in the Russian colonization of the North American continent, and was established as an agricultural base to supply Alaska. It was the site of California's first windmills and shipbuilding, and Russian scientists were among the first to record California’s cultural and natural history. Fort Ross was a successfully functioning multi-cultural settlement for some thirty years. Settlers included Russians, Native Alaskans and Californians, and Creoles (individuals of mixed Russian and native ancestry.)

Along with the chapel, the structure of most historical interest at Fort Ross is the Rotchev house, an existing building renovated about 1836 for Alexander Rotchev, the last manager of Ross. It is the only surviving structure. Several other buildings have been reconstructed: the first Russian Orthodox chapel south of Alaska, the stockade, and four other buildings called the Kuskov House, The Officials Barracks, and two corner blockhouses.

Park facilities include a visitor center with interpretive exhibits, a museum bookstore, gardens, the Russian Orthodox Cemetery, the Old Russian Orchard, and a research library. North of the fort, the Call Ranch house and buildings represent the American ranch era, which followed the Russian settlement.

Visit Fort Ross State Park at http://rrparks.mcn.org/fortross/

Recreational Opportunities

Camping—Open from April through November, the Reef Campground located two miles South of Ft Ross has 21 primitive campsites in a wind-protected canyon.

Picnicking—Tables are located near the Visitor Center, the Call Ranch House, in the historic compound, and at Sandy Cove beach.

Trails—Pedestrian trails lead to SandyCove Beach from the Reef Campground, the fort stockade and from the Russian Cemetery. A marked trail leads from the orchard to the Stanley Spyra Memorial Grove.

Fishing—Abalone and rockfish abound in the coastal waters in season. All abalone divers must adhere to current legal limits and carry a current Abalone Report Card.

Diving—Certified scuba divers can explore the wreck of the S.S. Pomona, a ship that sank over 100 years ago off Fort Ross Cove.

Seasons Accessible

Please call the park for hours 707 847-3286. Some facilities are closed due to service reductions.

Fees: Day use $8.00, 10-24 person bus $50.00, 25 or more person bus $100.00 Reef Campground $25.00

 ADA Accessibility Notes
Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 847-3286.

The visitor center exhibits are generally accessible and access to the building is usable. First floors of the Kuskov House, the Rotchev House, the barracks and the blockhouses are also usable. Restrooms are generally accessible.

Visit accessibility in State Parks http://access.parks.ca.gov/
 
 Pet Friendly Notes
Dogs are not allowed in the Fort compound or visitor center. Dogs are allowed only in the main parking area and in the campground. They must be on a six-foot leash at all times and remain in
a tent or vehicle at night, service animals excepted.
 

For More Information, Contact:

michael wisehart

mwisehart@parks.ca.gov
25381, steelhead blvd, duncans mill, CA 95430
(707) 865-3140 · fax (707) 865-2046

ROBERT WELLS wrote on July 20, 2014: I am from Stephens City, Virginia and recently visited For Ross State Park. The day I walked into the visitor center was the very day Fort Ross was celebrating their 150 year anniversry and I was the very 1st person to come into the visitor center. I was very suprised and appreciative of all of the attention and gifts. My wife and I along with my brother in-law and sister-in-law had a wonderful tour. We will always remember Fort Ross and the wonderful people we met. Thank You very much

Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of the National Geographic Society.

Longitude: -123.235015900
Latitude: 38.521846900
Elevation: 717 FT (219 M)
Meet the Contributor:
Jennifer Ruffolo
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