…explore Mendocino Coast
Stanford Inn’s Catch A Canoe and Bicycles Too, have rented and sold wind-powered, people-powered and solar-powered transportation options since 1972. At their store and docks on Big River, you can find a trail guide, bicycle, kayak, canoe or outrigger. They’ll give you expert help for exploring Big River, Mendocino coast, inland trails and wildlife. Service for repairs, and docks for launching your personal or rented gear are offered.
The most popular rental boats are redwood, outrigger kayaks. Outriggers can’t be tipped. They’re great for any level of paddler, but ideal for novices. Sizes for solo paddlers or groups of eight can be rented. Some can even take along Fido.
Each is handcrafted from reclaimed redwood. Bob Cummings, from Potter Valley, scours the area salvaging redwood barns, water towers and other structures destined for the scrap pile. He crafts each vessel by hand. Catch A Canoe acquires two of Bob’s works of art each year. In addition, Bob maintains his creations, giving them an annual rehab and insuring their long life and safe operation.
The shop stocks some of the most complete hiking and biking trail maps available. Area hiking and biking trails have been walked and mapped using GPS tracking. The resulting route is laid over aerial imagery. These incredible maps are up-dated frequently, and are available laminated for long term trail use.
In addition to equipment rentals and sales, Catch A Canoe host guided tours. Their Solar Eco Tour investigates Big River in a 33-foot redwood outrigger. The high-tech craft has sails, a solar powered engine or can be people paddled.
The Sunset ‘til Dusk Bioluminescence Tour explores Big River after dark in search of phosphorescent algae. This tour is sold out for 2017, but will be available in 2018.
Stanford Inn’s Catch A Canoe and Bicycles Too is owned by one of the area’s greenest accommodations, Mendocino’s, Stanford Inn by the Sea. Their restaurant, Raven’s, is an award-winning eatery, serving plant-based, ethical and sustainable meals. An enormous organic kitchen garden influences the menu daily and provides fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs year-round. When visiting Catch A Canoe, be sure to take a quick stroll through the kitchen garden, all are welcome. If you’re lucky, the gardeners may be around for a chat. The garden entrance is just up the hill from the shop.
Catch A Canoe is managed by Rick Hemmings. He’s been at the helm since 1972. Rick and his team can be found at 1 South Big River Road, Mendocino. Take Comptche Ukiah Road then north on South Big River Road. They are open 9-5 daily, excepting Thanksgiving and Christmas. For tour or equipment reservations call 707-937-0273. A first-rate FAQ about paddling and peddling is available at http://catchacanoe.com.
–Mary Charlebois, MaryGo
Published by Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Packet August 1, 2017