2018 Events at Fort Ross State Historic Park

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 2018 Board Meetings: February 17th, April 21st, June 16th, August 18th, October 20th and December 8th. 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.
Upcoming Marine Mammal Monitoring Events:
Harbor Seal Surveys
Assist us with our citizen scientist effort monitoring the harbor seals that haul out along our coast. After meeting at the FRSHP Visitor Center, our surveys begin roadside at Highway One Mile Marker 33.52, just north of the park entrance. These almost two mile low-tide shoreline surveys end at Fort Ross Cove and take about two hours’ time.
Steller Sea Lion Surveys: Contact Hank Birnbaum at hankb@fortross.org for survey dates.
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.
Windmill Turning – Fort Ross Windmill is undergoing repairs due to storm damage. Windmill turning will resume on its regular schedule after the repairs are completed.
Click here to see the listing of past events

Upcoming Events:

Free Second Saturdays at Redwood State Parks

Please make sure to print your parking pass in advance and display it on your dashboard as you enter the park. You can get your pass at “Save the Redwoods” webpage.

Fort Ross & Redwoods Interpretive Talk Second Saturday of the month
Meet at 12 noon at Rotchev House, Fort Compound
Join this regularly scheduled free half-hour interpretive talk about multicultural Fort Ross, with this presentation highlighting the Rotchev House (the oldest wooden building along this coast), early 19th century redwood harvesting, construction and export of prefab wooden structures, and more.

Redwoods Walk & Talk Second Saturday of the month
Meet at 2 pm at Fort Ross Visitor Center
Join us for a short half-hour interpretive redwood stroll in our Stanley Spyra Memorial Grove. Meet at FRSHP Visitor Center and drive or carpool to trailhead at Stanley Spyra Grove.


Saturday, May 19th: Alaska Native Day

Fifth Annual Alaska Native Day to celebrate the Alaska Native history at Fort Ross/Metini and to build community among the Alaska Native people. Kayak race, crafts, dance performance, story telling, and games. Come learn about the Alaska Native community at Fort Ross.



Sunday, May 27th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Relief Printing from Nature with Laurel Prieto

Class Fee – $40/Person (includes $8/person gate fee)

Join us for a day of linoleum cut printmaking! We will take a walk outside to find inspiration from the beautiful surroundings at the Fort Ross State Historic Park, observing and sketching the unique flora and fauna. Then we will transfer these images to our printing matrix, carve, and print! Everyone will go home with a set of their own original relief prints, or exchange with others for a mixed set. The workshop will be hands-on and messy, so bring an apron, as well as drawing tools and a sketchbook. All other materials will be provided as part of the class fee, but if you would like to bring some additional paper to print on, feel free! Papers that are thin, smooth, and strong (not easily tearable) will work best. Looking forward to a fun, art-filled day!

Bring a lunch, we will provide light refreshments.


Snapshot Cal CoastSnapshot Cal Coast: June 13-20

Snapshot Cal Coast is a California statewide effort to document our coastal biodiversity and hold a series of BioBlitzes up and down the California Coast, focusing on intertidal zones in marine protected areas (MPAs). We will be working together with the MPA Collaborative Network and other partners to create a “snapshot” in time of where species are located along our coast.

Stay tuned for details.







Saturday, July 28th: Fort Ross Festival

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 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, horse and buggy rides, Russian bell ringing, music & dance from numerous cultures, an international food bazaar — and of course, the Fort Ross Beer Garden! Get your Eventbrite tickets here.

Su Nu Nu ShinalSaturday, August 4th: Metini Day

SuNuNu Shinal Pomo Dance Group is hosting the third annual Metini Day at Fort Ross. This event is open to all, so come on out and help celebrate this special place. Details to follow.




Saturday, October 13th: Harvest Festival

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 music and 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.



Saturday, December 8th: Community Potluck

Fort Ross Auditorium

We invite our friends, members, and local community to join us on December 8th at 12pm for our annual holiday party. FRC will bring a few hearty main dishes to share. Please bring a side, salad, or dessert for the table. We can enjoy the afternoon together and ready ourselves for the new year.
Questions? Call Sarjan at 707/847-3437.

Past Events of 2018:

Surf-to-Redwoods- First Day Hike

Monday, January 1, 2018
10:30 am – 2:00 pm
Fort Ross State Historic Park

Start off the New Year with an embrace of the elements, good exercise and the diverse beauty of our Sonoma coast!  This approximately four-mile**, three+ hour moderate loop hike will take us first to our ocean bluff to experience the morning high King Tide and pinnipeds on the rocky islets nearby.  Then we’ll cross Highway One (at mile marker 34) then gradually ascend into the towering redwood and fir forest mostly along an old logging road, visiting en route both the Call Family and Stanley Spyra Memorial redwood groves.  Enjoying our bag lunch picnic along the way, we’ll cross the San Andreas Fault line plus have the option of visiting our historic Fort Ross orchard nearby before we descend paved Fort Ross Road back to the FRSHP Visitor Center, our starting point.  

Meet at 10:30am at FRSHP Visitor Center.  Bring water, bag lunch, binoculars, cameras, layered clothing, hiking boots (be prepared for some possible moisture) and optional hiking sticks. Not recommended for kids under eight and sorry, no dogs permitted. Fort Ross Conservancy hike co-leaders Tom Wright and Hank Birnbaum plus also Terriann Tomlin, Call Family descendant.  Optional 3:00pm after-hike interpretive Fort Ross history talk in the Fort Compound.  California State Park parking fees apply.  For more information please call 707-847-3437 or email hankb@fortross.org.  (Rain cancellation: please email hankb@fortross.org or call (707)847-3437 between 9-9:30 am Monday)

*Note: For those seeking ONLY a shorter -and easier- ocean bluff OR -more demanding- redwood forest hike, please arrive at 10am and we can assist with carpool and parking instructions.


Saturday, January 20th: Kolyadki

Winter Village Celebration with Kedry families. Villagers start Winter Celebration with “visitations” to different buildings inside the fort singing “Carole” songs. Some of the songs are very old and some are funny; most of them have words of gratitude and blessings. The “hosts” give the visitors treats. Traditionally it ends with the feast and then more community singing and dancing if weather permits. This is a free event but state parks day use fees apply.




Saturday, March 24th, Noon -3:30 PM

Join our Kedry volunteers for the festive “Verbnoye Voskresenie” (Pussy Willow, not Palm Sunday), a family friendly holiday featuring traditional Russian/Slavic ritual and song and fuzzy catkins, welcoming Spring! Symbolic willow walk around the village and lyrical singing while doing crafts.