Events at Fort Ross State Historic Park

Highlights of 2016 Events

California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact (707) 847-3437. We also have one beach wheelchair available to use on the premises.

Ongoing Events:
Fort Ross Conservancy 2016 Board Meetings: February 13th (at Salt Point Visitor Center), April 9th (also Annual Members' Meeting), June 11th, August 13th, October 8th and December 10th (followed by community potluck and holiday party at 12:30). Most board meetings take place at Fort Ross State Historic Park but we occasionally meet in Petaluma. If you plan on attending please review the board policy for attending the meetings and contact us ahead of time to verify the location of the meeting.
Pinniped Surveys -  
Future Saturday low-tide Harbor Seal surveys dates/times:  
June 11, 25 and July 7, 23.  
Meet at the Visitor Center

Call House tours -
Volunteers maintain the historic garden and give guided house museum tours on the first weekend of each month from 1 to 4pm. Many of the furnishings belonged to the Call family.
Click here to see the listing of past events

Event Highlights

2016 Events

BioBlitzJune 9th: 9 am - BioBlitz - The public bioblitz of the Fort Ross tidepools

In support of the Snapshot Cal Coast initiative, join us for for a grassroots, smartphone-powered bioblitz to catalogue every living species we can identify from the sandy beach to the rocky tidepools!

A bioblitz is an intensive one-day study of biodiversity in a specific location. We’ll look for starfish, crabs, octopus, sea slugs, shorebirds, fish, barnacles, anything!People of all ages and skill levels are welcome! You bring your curiosity, a smart phone with the iNaturalist app downloaded (or digital camera), and tons of enthusiasm. We’ll rally some experts and folks who know the area. Together we’ll make some science!

The fun happens during the low tide on Thursday, June 9. We'll explore the tidepools and document everything we can find for a few hours, then we'll all come back together to upload our observations, see what everyone else found, and get help with IDs. If you'd like to participate or want more information, please contact Marine Ecology Program Manager Sondra Hunter at

Please have the app downloaded BEFORE you come.  Thanks!!

Kashia DayJune 11: 11am - 4:30pm Kashia Day at Metini

      • Cultural Demonstrations
      • Su Nu Nu Shinal Dances
      • Arts & Crafts
      • Food for sale - Indian tacos, hot dogs and more

For questions about booth space please Email Billyrene Pinola at or call (707)326-0595. You can also call Erin at Kashia Tribal Office: (707)591-0580. For general questions about the event please Email California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact (707)847-3437.

Kashia Day
June 11: 8am: Mt. St. Helena Pilgrimage
Hosted by Fort Ross State Historic Park and Holy Assumption Monastery

      Please join Fort Ross State Historic Park and the Holy Assumption Monastery from Calistoga for the Mt. St. Helena Pilgrimage. Mt. St. Helena has one of the largest view-sheds in North America with a peak height of 4,343 and no mountains to block the view. On a clear day you can see Mt. Shasta, Mt. Diablo, and the Sierras. The hike is a bit tough with a 10 mile round trip but well worth the effort.

Our start time will be 8:00 AM at the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park trail head. Please bring your own lunch, sunscreen, plenty of water, sun hat and wear your good walking shoes. Sorry, dogs are not allowed on the trails. Contact Robin Joy Wellman at or 707-847-4777 or Sister Marie at or call 707-942-6244. On the day of the hike if you need directions or other assistance contact Robin at 707-322-3508 (cell). Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is the place where the famous author of Treasure Island and Kidnapped spent his honeymoon in 1880. Although nothing remains of Stevenson’s cabin, the site is identified on the trail to the summit. Mt. Saint Helena, the most prominent landform visible from the Santa Rosa plain, Sonoma Valley, and Napa Valley.

SeaweedJune 25th: Sonoma Coast Seaweed Workshop & Foray

8:00 am Field work
11:00 am Illustrated Presentation at Fort Ross Visitor Center auditorium

Join us for the third annual Seaweed Workshop at Fort Ross and support the Marine Ecology Program! We live in abundance, including a rich variety of seaweeds! Seaweeds can be used as food, medicine and fertilizer. Nori, wakame, bladderwrack and kombu are just a few of the local seaweeds that we'll learn about. Go out in the morning with expert guidance, we'll go on a foray and practice our identification skills and more. Later in the afternoon, the informative illustrated presentation includes how to identify, sustainably harvest and use our coastal "sea vegetables" and will also discuss pollutants, the health of our coastlines, harvest cycles and the health benefits of seaweed.

Heidi Herrmann is a farmer and owner of Strong Arm Farm in Healdsburg. She teaches Sustainable Agriculture at Santa Rosa Junior College and vends at the Sebastopol and Healdsburg farmer's markets. Heidi is an avid seaweed harvester and the only legal commercial seaweed harvester in Sonoma County. Special event fees apply; $40 full day including lecture and field work, or $20 lecture only (plus California State Parks $8 per car entrance fee).

All profits go to our new Marine Ecology Educational Fund. Buy your tickets today and help us keep this wonderful Marine Ecology Program alive for future youth! 

For more info, contact Special Events & Marine Ecology Program Manager Sondra Hunter at or 707.847.3437. Tickets can be purchased at: Eventbrite.

FireweedJune 26th: Park Champions at Salt Point

Help with trail maintenance, clearing back overgrown vegetation. Kids 12 and older welcome with a legal guardian. Free camping in a group setting for registered volunteers Sat 6/25 & Sun 6/26. The work day is 9:00am to 2:00pm, lunch is included.Sign up at
Please email Sarah King at for more information.

The Fort Ross Conservancy is very generously offering past Park Champion volunteers who have volunteered two or more times at Salt Point or Fort Ross, a 10% discount on Fort Ross Conservancy’s Seaweed Workshop on Saturday, June 25th.

KedryJuly 30th, 10am-6:30pm: Fort Ross Festival

Buy your tickets now!

California State Parks and Fort Ross Conservancy are pleased to welcome you to Fort Ross Festival, where we celebrate the wonderful diverse international flavors and cultures of Fort Ross. This year's event, sponsored by Renova Fort Ross Foundation, will highlight the Kashia, Russian, Alaska Native, and California ranch era peoples who have called Fort Ross home over the centuries. We'll offer costumed historical vignettes, hands-on crafts, militia cannon firings, horse and buggy rides, music & dance from numerous cultures, an international food bazaar -- and of course, the Fort Ross Beer Garden!


CraftsCraftspeople with hands-on crafts

Settlement Ross was one of the first industrial centers of California, and many skilled craftspeople were hard at work here, building California’s first ships, windmill, clay bricks, barrels, and much more. Today you can watch a blacksmith, tinsmith, weaver, spinner, felt maker, laundress, soap maker, carpenter, broom maker and many others busily preparing their wares, perhaps to trade with the Spanish, Mexicans or Bostonians. Several of the crafts allow you to join the fun–learn to make your own rope, mini-basket, or candle.


KitkaRussian House Kedry generously brings Fort Ross to life during the festival and each season with interactive celebrations including traditional Russian folk songs, dances, rituals, games, crafts and baking.

East Bay women’s vocal arts ensemble Kitka is inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe. Their exquisite harmonies resonate as if energized by the universe itself. A Kitka trio will perform at this year's festival.



Slavyanka Chorus brings their rich program of Russian sacred and folk music to Fort Ross –ancient church music from Russia’s past sung in the Chapel…and wild Cossack songs in the yard! Don’t miss this wonderful choral group, a long standing tradition of Fort Ross Festival.




Beer GardenBeer Garden

From 11:30pm - 5:30pm, join us in the historic Call Picnic area for our second annual Beer Garden made possible by generous donations from local breweries Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, Anchor Brewing of San Francisco.  In honor of the Fort Ross historic orchard, Tilted Shed Ciderworks of Sebastopol has donated cider from their small batch, dry-farmed, organic, Sonoma County made, heritage apples. Enjoy your beer and BBQ while listening to live music. Our sponsors:

Anchor BrewwingTilted ShedLagunitasSierra Nevada




Nimble & Finn'sInternational Food Bazaar

Also in the Call Picnic area, enjoy our International Food Bazaar. Choose from a wonderful variety of local vendors, including traditional Russian Borscht, Pelmeny (meat dumplings), Bliny (pancakes) with stuffings, Vinegret (beet root salad) from the brand new Russian House #1 in Jenner, to slow smoked BBQ with fresh coleslaw from BBQ Smokehouse Bistro & Catering, both Californian & European style crepes filled with sweet or savory options from Ultra Crepes, for a taste of India with Curry Sensations, try their Punjabi Style Burritos, Chicken or Butternut Squash Curry Rice plates, or Fried Fish Pakora. For vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options try one of the many choices from Turkish/Mediterranean, Vegeteranean. For a refreshing and healthful treat, have a serving of Juice Runners Red, Gold & Green veggie/fruit juice mixes, or warm up with an organic hot espresso from Julianne’s Espresso Connection. If you have a sweet tooth, choose one of the many absolutely incredible flavors of homemade, award-winning, small batch ice cream from Nimble & Finn's.


"Greens for the Blue" Salad Booth

Support the Fort Ross Youth Marine Ecology Program. Profits Go to our Marine Ecology Scholarship Fund
Fort Ross Conservancy has launched a Marine Ecology Program (MEP). Our program offers a wonderful opportunity for youth to learn about California Marine Ecology as they hike the coastline of Fort Ross State Historic Park, interact with and observe marine species, and experience camping on the beautiful Sonoma Coast, all while immersed in marine biology and citizen science. Help us bring under-served kids to our program by purchasing a fresh and delicious organic salad at our first-ever MEP Salad Booth. One hundred percent of the profits go to our new Marine Ecology Scholarship Fund. FRC's Marine Ecology Program is underwritten in part by the California Coastal Commission.

Call HouseRanch era Call House Museum Walkthrough

George W. Call built this residence in 1878 as a headquarters for the ranch and shipping operations, and a home for their family, which eventually included nine children. The house museum, first open to visitors in May, 2003, is an excellent example of the Early California Ranch period. Volunteers maintain the historic garden and give guided tours on the first weekend of each month from 1 to 4 PM. Many of the furnishings belonged to the Call family. During Fort Ross Festival the Call House Museum will be open for limited viewing only.

Su Nu Nu ShinalSu Nu Nu Shinal

The Kashia were the first people known to have lived in the area that is now Fort Ross, and they continue to live on these lands today. Su Nu Nu Shinal, which means Huckleberry Heights, are Kashia Pomo and Coast Miwok Indians from California who have been performing traditional dance for over 40 years. They will dance in their traditional dance circle on the ocean terrace outside the fort compound.



California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact 707/847-3437.  Please leave your dogs at home. Thank you!

Fort Ross-Seaview Harvest Festival
October 15th - 10am-5pm

Harvest is the time to enjoy autumn's fresh air with friends and family, acknowledging all that the seasons provide us. Harvest Festival starts out with a morning of gentle apple picking in the historic orchard, where we'll harvest fruit while enjoying the Eastern European harmonies of Kitka Women's Ensemble and Russian House Kedry. The celebration then moves to the historic Fort Ross compound where we'll enjoy the old-world charm of the 19th century Russian settlement. Harvest Festival runs from 10am to 5pm.

Harvest Activities

In addition to the spectacular Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Tasting the day offers a wide variety of activities suitable for all ages:

  • Song, dance, and gentle apple harvesting in the historic orchard
  • Horse and buggy ride
  • Interpretive talks by dedicated experts on the historic orchard, replica windmill, and the Alaskan marine history at Ross
  • Working demonstration of replica Russian-style windmill
  • Demonstration boat build of a traditional nigilax, an open kayak used by the Alaska Natives at Fort Ross
  • International Food Bazaar and live music
  • Local samples of heirloom apples, apple cider, apple baked goods, Sonoma cheese, and more
  • Su Nu Nu Shinal Kashia Pomo dances
  • Lovely Eastern European harmonies of Kitka Women's Ensemble
  • Russian House Kedry demonstrating old world Russian cooking, song, and dance
  • Alaska Native demonstrate their crafts
  • Historic Russian crafts, communal dances.


Photos from Harvest Festival 2013.

Grand Wine Tasting (12pm-4pm):

LogoPresenting a remarkable selection of wines grown in the FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW VITICULTURAL AREA that consists of the steep ridge top vineyards that overlook the Pacific Ocean and produce wines of structure, balance and finesse. The Grand Tasting features local grape growers and winemakers, and a chance to meet and greet the people behind the wines. Includes cheese sampling with Omar Mueller of Freestone Artisan Cheese and Sonoma County cheesemakers.



Wineries poured for our 2015 Wine Festival:

Flowers Vineyard and Winery – Michelle Forry

Fort Ross Vineyard – Linda and Lester Schwartz

Kutch Wines – Jamie Kutch

Martinelli Winery – Mary Rodgers

Precious Mountain Vineyard / Williams Selyem Winery

Raen Winery

Tin Barn Vineyards

Wayfarer – Cleo Pahlmeyer and Todd Kohn

Wild Hog Vineyard – Daniel and Marion Schoenfeld

Special Event Fees Apply

If you'd like to volunteer at the festival, email us at - four hours of volunteering gets you free admission to Harvest Festival.
California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact (707) 847-3437. We have one beach wheelchair available first come, first served.

Questions? Email Fort Ross Conservancy at, call us at 707/847-3437. To see photos of past events or learn more, please see

Partners Logo

Past Events of 2016

January 1st, 2016, 10:30am: First Day Hike
Salt Point State Park
Grace Rock Trail

Let's usher in the new year while enjoying our wonderful Salt Point hiking trails. Meet Team FRC at 10:30 on January 1 at the Fisk Mill Cove parking lot (north end, near Sentinel Rock; portapotty available) for this moderate 3-mile hike. We'll hike the oceanside Grace Rock Trail, exploring the less visited northern reaches of Salt Point State Park. The hike will take approximately 3 hours.

FRC Board

Hike highlights include unique, other-worldly rock formations, wide open ocean vistas, seabirds and possible marine mammals, and good company! Children 10 and older welcome; sorry no pets allowed. Things to bring: Water, bag lunch, binoculars, cameras, hat, sunscreen, layered clothing, hiking sticks and hiking boots (be prepared for some possible moisture). Updates/weather cancellation information: (707) 847-3437; Hank Birnbaum, Fort Ross Conservancy, or email with questions --

January 1st, 2016: First Day Hike with California State Parks

The 'First Day Hike' is a nationwide park movement getting us outside starting the New Year on the right foot. Please join us for our 'First Day Hike' at Fort Ross State Historic Park. We will be walking over to oldest known European cemetery north of San Francisco along a beautiful fern covered creek-side trail above Fort Ross Cove. Leading the walk will be Dr. Sandra Hollimon and former Ranger Dan Murley. Sandy worked as an archaeologist on the cemetery project over 25 years ago and Dan was the Ranger at Fort Ross during this same time along with many other archaeological projects that took place. Dan is an expert on natural and cultural history and will offer many discussions along the way. Robin Joy Wellman, who works at Fort Ross for the last 26 years, will join the party and add a few stories. After the presentation at the cemetery we will walk back toward the beach to enjoy your packed lunch and conversation. We will then proceed along the bluff trail where more natural and cultural history will be shared. Meet in front of the fort compound at 10:00 AM for the opening blessing to the New Year by Kashaya Elder Lorin Smith. We will proceed from there. Bring lunch, water, sunscreen, umbrella, dress in layers, rain boots or good sturdy hiking shoes. We will walk in light rain - heavy rain cancels. Hike is easy to moderate. All ages welcome. No dogs please. Cancellation Information and to contact the hike lead please email or call Robin Joy Wellman or call 707-847-4777 for latest updates.

January 15th, 5pm - 11pm: Russian California: Then and Now
Russian Center, 2450 Sutter Street San Francisco 94115

Russian Center of San Francisco, in partnership with Fort Ross Conservancy and the Museum of Russian Culture, presents Russian California: Then and Now. This informal community event will bring friends together for an evening of presentations on Russian California, followed by a potluck and entertainment. This is a chance to see people you may have missed over New Year's, Rozdestvo, and Old New Year.

Presentations run from 5pm to 8pm, followed by potluck. Thanks go to the Russian Center for donating the venue.
If possible please RSVP to

Feb 20th, 12:00pm: Fort Ross Winter Celebration

Warm your hearts and hands during these wintery months at the Fort Ross Winter Celebration. The old style Russian brick oven will be used baking Russian delicacies, the Old Russian Samovar will be warming our hands with a cup of tea, and the Russian Kedry House will share lyrical songs. We will also have rope making, and basket weaving for $1 per craft. At 1:00 PM a presentation about thewinter celebrations of Russia will be shared along with some winter songs.

Gate fees apply: $8 per car/ $7 per vehicle with seniors. Dogs are only allowed in the upper parking lot and paved walkways.

March 26th
Park Champions

Help prepare Salt Point Woodside campground for opening by clearing leaf & tree debris from sites & road, checking/repairing tables, storage lockers and fire rings. Kids 12 and older are welcome with a legal guardian. Free group-setting camping on 3/25 & 3/26. Tent camping only. The work day is 10:00am to 3:00pm, lunch is included.

Kitka & Kedry singing at the orchardApril 9th, 1:30pm: Music & Marine Ecology

Join us in supporting Fort Ross Conservancy’s Marine Ecology Program with an afternoon of wine, hors d’oeuvres and music brought to you by the women of Kitka and Kedry!

Kitka is an American women's vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe. Dedicated to developing new audiences for music rooted in Balkan, Slavic, and Caucasian women's vocal traditions, Kitka also strives to expand the boundaries of folk song as a living and evolving expressive art form. Russian House Kedry generously brings Fort Ross to life during our festivals each season with interactive celebrations including traditional Russian folk songs, dances, rituals, games, crafts and baking. Download our flyer here.

Eventbrite ticket of $30 includes park entrance fees, coffee and tea service and a wonderful selection of locally made hors d’oeuvres. Wine and champagne will be available for an additional donation to the Marine Ecology Program. Tickets also available the day of event at the Visitor Center.

Fort Ross Conservancy’s Marine Ecology Program (MEP) offers a wonderful opportunity for youth to learn about local marine ecology as they hike the coastline of Fort Ross State Historic Park, interact with and observe marine species, and enjoy optional camping on the beautiful Sonoma Coast. Middle and high school students spend one or two days immersed in the day-to-day tasks of a marine biologist. They will learn the proper way to conduct themselves around wildlife, be introduced to the intricacies of data protocols and collection, and observe the abundant marine life. By experiencing first hand what it means to be a citizen scientist, we hope to encourage a deeper appreciation of marine science and nature -- and we hope these students will continue to focus on marine stewardship and the environmental sciences. FRC provides this program to students on a sliding scale to ensure access to all communities.

Buy your tickets today and help us keep this wonderful Marine Ecology Program alive for future youth!  For more info, contact Special Events & Marine Ecology Program Manager Sondra Hunter at or 707.847.3437

 Also in the historic fort compound

12pm - 4pm: Russian House Kedry Spring Celebration - Russian folk traditions, Pysanky egg painting, and crafts for kids. Please call
(707) 847-4777 for more information.

Fish PrintApril 10th, 11am:Direct Fish Printing (Gyotaku) Workshop

Join Fort Ross Conservancy and instructor Christopher Dewees to learn the Japanese art form of Direct Fish Printing or Gyotaku, first practiced in the mid-1800s in Japan to celebrate the fish caught for a samurai lord’s feast. In the past fifty years, artists in Japan and elsewhere have refined these techniques into a sophisticated art form. The method involves brushing or rolling water-soluble inks directly onto a clean and dry fish or other object. Paper or fabric is then laid over the top of the fish and the ink is transferred.  The instructor will supply basic materials including inks, brushes, papers, fish and small octopus. Participants are encouraged to bring any special paper, a tee shirt or other fabric to print on.  Each attendee will receive a complimentary copy of Christopher Dewees’s fish printing book with instructions. Special event fees apply: $60 full day including lunch, or $50 without lunch (if purchased online, California State Parks $8 per car entrance fee is waived). Tickets can be purchased at: Eventbrite. For more info, please contact Special Events Manager Sondra Hunter at or 707.847.3437

WildflowersMay 14th at Salt Point State Park Visitor Center 11:00am - Join State Park Intrpreter Mary Pat Jacobs for a Wildflower Walk. Meet 11:00am at the Gerstle Cove Visitor Center for a 2-hour hike. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes.
~Migrating Whales
~Harbor Seals
~Fascinating Geology

VioletMay 21st, 10am - 4pm: Alaska Native Day

Please join us as the Alaska Natives celebrate our history together at Fort Ross.  In the 1821 Russian American Company census taken at Fort Ross, there were 156 Alaska Natives living on the bluff overlooking the ocean. Join us in acknowledging their contributions and sacrifices at Fort Ross / Metini.  Marc Daniels of Make Access Iqyax will continue his skin boat build, and Alaskans from California to Alaska will share stories and history. Click here to download our poster.

Sngagim AxasniikanginThis year's Alaska Native Day will feature Sngagim Axasniikangin, an Unangan dance troupe that dances shares, and honors their Ancestors from the Aleutian regions. Sngagim Axasniikangin was taught by the Axtam Dance troupe and they continue to honor their knowledge and generosity by wearing regalia and sharing the story of the Unangan pre-contact.

Alaska Native Day Schedule

Fort Ross State Historic Park Visitor Center $5 per adult, kids under 12 free

10am Welcome, Donation of 3-hole Qayaq by Mitchell Poling
10:15am Presentation by Mitchell Poling: The Story of Chenega (30 mins)
10:45 Remembrance of John Sperry
Walk to Sandy Cove

Sandy Cove (down by the water)

11:15 Remembrance of John Sperry - Marc Daniels paddles out wreath in John Sperry's memory
11:25 Qayaq Race / Demonstration, throwing board demonstration

In and Around the Fort Compound

11:30 Lunch for sale, Dream Catcher Catering (Ocean Terrace)
Craft tables (Ocean Terrace): Headdress/bentwood hat coloring, Kenai calendar, Afognak rock petroglyphs, Face painting/tattoos, Beaded bracelets
Umiak build with Marc Daniels of Make Access Iqyax Apprenticeships (Ocean Terrace)
Marine Mammals & World Trade (in Fort Compound's Magazin)
“What Fort Ross Means To Me” video project (Fort Compound)  

12:30pm - Story time (inside Fort Compound)
1:30pm - Tour / Presentation: The Diverse Neighborhoods of Fort Ross (meet at Fort Compound tables)
3pm - Sngagim Axasniikangin dance performance (Fort Compound)
4:30pm - Fort Compound closes

Alaska Native Day Sponsors

This event is generously sponsored by the following:

Kayak MagKayak sponsorPNACOunalashkaAlet FoundationNVAAPIA

FireweedMay 22nd: Park Champions at Salt Point

Join us to take out an invasive, non-native plant and enjoy the coastal beauty of the Salt Point. We will be pulling invasive Fireweed from the grasslands surrounding the Salt Point Trail. 

Sign up at

Please email Sarah King at for more information.

John Sperry Bench DedicationMay 22nd, 11am - 1:30pm: John Sperry Dedication

Please join us on the bluffs overlooking Sandy Cove for the dedication of a park bench for our dear friend and mentor John Sperry.

A windmill presentation in his honor follows at 1pm.

Questions? Please Email Susan Rudy at

Fort Ross Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) and California State Park cooperating association, connects people to the history and beauty of Fort Ross and Salt Point State Parks. 

© Fort Ross Conservancy, 19005 Coast Highway One, Jenner, CA 95450, 707-847-3437