2018 Events at Fort Ross State Historic Park

Ongoing Events:
Fort Ross Conservancy 2018/2019 Board Meetings: December 8th, 2018, February 23rd, August 17th, and December 14th, 2019. If you plan on attending please review the board policy for attending the meetings. FRC Members’ Meeting is on April 13th, 2019.
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 Charon Vilnai at charonv@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 – First Saturday of each month at 12 Noon.

Click here to see the listing of past events

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.


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.

AND 2018 Schedule (subject to change)

  • 10 am – Walk to Cove
    Sandy Cove:
    Welcome – FRC Board member Sabrena Rosenberg (Unalaska Unangax^)
    Traditional Blessing – Bob Sam (Sitka Tlingit)
    Annual John Sperry Memorial Skin boat Kayak race in the cove (Southern Winds Dancers)
    Walk to Cemetery for blessing (Bob Sam)
  • 11 am – Lunch opens
    Kashia Tacos and treats for lunch (fort entrance)
    Kashia beadwork for sale
    After lunch in/near the Fort:
    Silent auction opens
  • 1 pm
    Dr. Ryan Jones: Russian and Alaska Natives’ responses to the near extinction of sea otters and the total extinction of the Steller’s sea cow.
    Story sharing (informal and open to all)
    Cedar bark bracelets (fort compound) sponsored by Alliance for Traditional California Arts
    Cedar Bark weaving demonstrations
    Kids crafts
    Marine mammal interpretation (in Magasin)
    Boat building demonstration (Marc Daniels – Make Access Manufactory)
  • 3 pm – In the Fort
    Bob Sam Tlingit Storytelling
    The Southern Winds Dancers (Tlingit Haida Tsimshian)
  • 4 pm – Silent Auction ends
  • 4:20 – Event ends

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Sunday, May 27th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: ;Relief Printing from Nature with Laurel Prieto has been canceled. Thank you for your interest.

Snapshot Cal Coast

Snapshot Cal Coast: June 16, 9 AM – 1 PM

Register Here

Dust off your rubber boots. Dig out your Chacos or Tevas. Grab a tide table and a friend. Get your cameras and smartphones ready!

Join Fort Ross Conservancyas we come together for the statewide movement lead by The California Academy of Sciences to get out to the coast, search for as many creatures as we can find, and share the photos of our discoveries on the website and app, iNaturalist.

We will be meeting at Fort Ross State Historic Park at 9:00 am to witness as much of the – 1.6 tide at 7:46 am as possible. If you are late, join us at Windermere Point.

What to bring – Your smart device or camera, rain boots or other shoes ok with getting wet, warm layers, sun hat, sunscreen, lunch, snacks, water.

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.

The California Academy of Sciences and the Marine Protected Area Collaborative Network, with funding through the Sustaining California’s Ocean program of the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, are coordinating Snapshot Cal Coast 2018. Event brought to you by Fort Ross Conservancy in partnership with California State Parks and The California Academy of Sciences.

Contact Song Hunter for more info at songh@fortross.org.

FR_2015_0307-300x200 Saturday, July 28th: Fort Ross Festival

Get your Eventbrite tickets here.

Looking for the perfect way to celebrate Summer in Sonoma County? Join us on July 28th for Fort Ross Festival! Where else can you witness Kashia Pomo ceremonial dancing, sing along to Americana Swing, learn from Alaska Native craftspeople, and take in traditional Russian performances, all together on the most beautiful stretch of the Sonoma coast? Grab a pint from our Beer Garden and enjoy an amazing day celebrating different cultures. In addition, with fantastic support from California State Parks, we are bringing back the cannon and militia to this year’s celebration!

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.

Kitka_Kedry 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.

  • Apple and pear picking in the historic orchard.
  • Russian group Kedry and their families in traditional costume singing and performing seasonal games.
  • Juicing the apples. Store bought apple juice will be served.
  • Kids games, seasonal food samples.


COMMUNITY POTLUCK: Saturday, December 8th, 12 – 3 pm

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. At 1pm the Fort Ross Choir will be performing Mozart’s Ave Verum, and a collection of French and English traditional carols sung in four part harmony, including the rarely sung French version of The Holly and the Ivy. We will conclude with the classic Dona Nobis Pacem, sung as a round.

Questions? Email Sarjan Holt at sarjanh@fortross.org or call 707/847-3437.


REDWOODS WALK & TALK – December 8th, at 3 PM

Spyra Grove, Fort Ross State Historic Park

(Meet at Fort Ross Visitor Center)

Join us for a thirty minute interpretive redwood stroll in our beautiful Stanley Spyra Memorial Grove. Meet at Fort Ross State Historic Park Visitor Center and carpool to trailhead at Stanley Spyra Memorial Grove, three minutes uphill from Visitor Center.

In celebration of their 100th anniversary, Save the Redwoods League has been offering free passes to all redwood state parks throughout the year, ending with December 8th. You can download your free pass starting at 8am on Saturday November 24th at Free Second Saturdays at Redwood State Parks. Free park entry requires the printed pass.

For more information contact Hank Birnbaum, hankb@fortross.org, or 707/ 847-3437 or 707/847-3440.