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New visitor center at Fort Ross.

New visitor center at Fort Ross

As part of the ongoing restoration of Fort Ross, a lofty new visitor center gives an overview of this state historic park, a 2-hour drive north of San Francisco on the Sonoma coast. The 4,000-square-foot redwood building contains exhibits, an information desk, gift shop, and slide-viewing room. Currently, a 12-minute slide program covers the state park system; a new show on the fort will start in April.

In the exhibit hall, artifacts and colorful wall displays illustrate the three eras of habitation here. For thousand of years, this coastal bluff was home for Kashia Pomo Indians. Then Russian fur hunters, accompanied by Alaskan Aleut and Kodiak islanders, arrived in 1812, built a fort, and stayed for 30 years. Later, loggers and ranchers used the site.

For another perspective, take the 2/3-mile loop walk between the center and the fort. The paved path brings you through a grove of Monterey cypress and along the bluff to the compound, which is a reconstruction of the original Russian fort.

Visitor center and fort hours are 10 to 4:30 daily. Admission is $2.

Photo: Gabled entrance leads Fort Ross visitors to new interpretive center
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1986
Words:199
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