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Fort Ross State Historic Park, Jenner

#1 of 9 in Historic Sites in Sonoma County
State Park Historic Site
Fort Ross State Historic Park is a historical state park in Sonoma County, California, including the former Russian fur trading outpost of Fort Ross plus the adjacent coastline and native coast redwood forests extending inland. Fort Ross, active from 1812 to 1842, was the southernmost settlement in the Russian colonization of the Americas. The 3393acre park was established in 1909.Fort RossFort Ross was founded by the Russian-American Company in 1812. Most of the Fort's buildings are reproductions. The one original structure remaining from the Russian settlement, the commander's house, is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. The California Department of Parks and Recreation as well as many volunteers put extensive efforts into restoration and reconstruction work in the Fort.NameThe name Ross is a poetic name for 'Russian.' It was selected from lots placed at the base of an image of Christ bestowed on the settlement when it was dedicated on September 11, 1812. The Spanish sometimes called it Presidio Ruso or Presidio de Bodega.
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  • This historic Fort has been restored and is a fascinating place to visit. Great place for photos. The only drawback, is that it is a hard place to get to along a winding coastal highway.  more »
  • We were almost the only people there midweek. Watch the video before touring. It is well worth the stop if you are passing by and worth a special trip if you're really a history buff.  more »
  • I am proud to be a native Californian. And I am also ashamed that I did not know about the history here at Fort Ross. It is an actual fort that has many original elements. They also have a program the...  more »
  • A neat historic location to visit. Friendly docents and really neat artifacts from the time period of the Fort. A place you can stroll through and take your time viewing the park. You are able to walk around in the buildings and view what it was like to live there. They have actual rooms set up to really put you back in time.
  • June 2017 -- The day was cool and wet due to a Pacific storm coming in, but the people at the park were warm and sunny. The fort is part of Americana and Russian History and to most it would be a surprise to learn that Russians settled here many decades ago. The walk from the Museum and Gift shop is on paved paths, but once inside the fort you will be on dirt or grass {mud or wet grass if raining}. The buildings have been stocked with furnishings that resemble the originals and there are many places for taking photos. The corner towers have second levels that can be explored by those that are adventurous. Gift shop has limited food and drink available. If looking for the old Windmill, it is at the far end of the parking lot.
  • Not sure if I would make this place an end destination but if you are driving by be sure to stop. Plan on spending a bit over an hour if you see the fort and walk through the entrance museum. Very nice newer looking movie room that shows a film explaining what the fort was about. Small stops like this is what I love about California state parks.
  • Great place to visit. Historic Russian fort. Wonderfull beach.
  • The story told here is very unique and when I was a kiddie we were not taught but a tiny bit of the Russian history in North America. The grounds are very easy to walk and learn what was going on here about 200 years ago. One thing to note is that the road down to the cove was a little rough and so only attempt that hike if you have proper shoes, I saw a group in flip-flops and they were not happy. If you have plug in electric car, there are 2 charging stations that are "free" with your admission.