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Glass Beach: How Nature Deals With Trash

Snuggled along the coast of northern California is a little gem called Glass Beach. If you’ve ever needed proof of the adaptability of nature, this is the place to visit. You’ll find sea glass as far as the eye can see, and you’d never guess that nature created it all from a bunch of garbage. Glass Beach, how nature deals with trash, is beautiful!

History of Glass Beach

For about 20 years in the mid-1900s in Fort Bragg, California, the Union Lumber Company dumped their trash in what is now known as Glass Beach. The quantity of trash that they produced was so large, they had to set fires to the huge piles in order to keep them manageable. In 1967, the California State Water Resources Board, alongside city leaders, put an end to their excessive dumping and attempted a massive clean up of the filthy beach and coastline. This was a huge undertaking since this area was used to dump glass, metals, appliances, and even cars! Most of the metal was removed and sold for scrap, but the glass was left behind for Mother Nature to deal with. And what she did with it was amazing! Years of wave action turned old, broken glass into beautifully smoothed-out pieces of artwork that look like they should be hanging from a necklace, not laying on a beach. Just know that everything at this beach is protected, including the glass. So you can look and take pictures, but it’s actually illegal to remove any of it.

International Sea Glass Museum

After you’ve spent some time at the beach, hit the International Sea Glass Museum. Here you can see a huge collection of over 3,000 pieces of sea glass, learn about the history of the area, how the sea glass came to be, and more! They even have a jewelry shop where you can purchase some beautiful souvenirs!

Campsites Near Glass Beach

Fort Bragg, California, has a lot of campgrounds to choose from! We found the highest-rated ones and have done a little research for you! Here’s what we’ve come up with!

Cleone Campground

Head about six minutes north from Glass Beach and you’ll find Cleone Campground. This campground features large sites with pull-thru access, making them easy to maneuver in and out of. All RV sites offer water and 30-amp electrical hookups. Around the campground you can expect to find modern restrooms with showers, laundry facilities, a camp store, and a fish cleaning station! There are beautiful walking and hiking trails close by, and the campground offers free Wi-Fi for when you need to reconnect!

Sportsmans RV Park

About nine minutes south of Glass Beach is the beautiful Sportsmans RV Park. All the spaces here are full hookups with both 30 and 50-amp service! Around the grounds you’ll find modern restrooms with flush toilets and showers, free Wi-Fi, and access to the water!

Pomo RV Park & Campground

Just 10 minutes south of Glass Beach is Pomo RV Park & Campground. Sites range from basic tent sites to larger RV sites with full hookups and cable. Around the park you’ll find modern restrooms with flush toilets and showers, laundry facilities, a dump station, fish cleaning station, horseshoe pits, and a playing field!

Jug Handle Creek Farm & Nature Center

A stay at Jug Handle Creek Farm & Nature Center may just be your favorite part of your vacation! Only 11 minutes south of Glass Beach, this campground is small, offering only spots for RVs that are under 20 feet, but the rest of this nonprofit nature education center has so much to offer! The nature center teaches visitors about the Ecology Staircase Trail, tide pool life, ecosystems, and more, and they have four different gardens where you can check out beautiful plants, flowers, and herbs! For a truly unique camping experience, stay a night or two at this awesome outdoor education center.

Have you ever visited Glass Beach? If so, tell us about your experiences or share pics of beach glass with us on Facebook or Instagram!


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