Overview : The Indian Nature Trail is a short, half-mile self-guided educational excursion displaying some of the local vegetation that was... more »
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The Indian Nature Trail is a short, half-mile self-guided educational excursion displaying some of the local vegetation that was... more » critical to the Pomo Indians’ lifestyle. It is a great way to learn about the local plant-life.
The trail also has one of the nicest inland vistas in the park, overlooking the valley and park entrance area.
The trail head is just inside the park near the ranger's entrance booth. Parking is available there as well. It's a pleasant morning walk and a great way to stretch the legs if just passing through.
The trail is not suitable for mountain bikes or horses. Dogs are not allowed on most state park trails. less «
Poison oak is found throughout the park. Stay on trails and in designated areas.
The entrance to the park is 3.5 miles... more » northeast of Kelseyville on Soda Bay Road, Clear Lake
Latitude/Longitude: 39.0094 / -122.8106
Weather: The region can get quite hot in the summer, with temperatures often reaching over 100 degrees. Wear layers and bring sun screen, a hat, and plenty of water.
The park has four developed campgrounds with a total of 147 sites, plus two hike/bike sites. Year-round camping is available for individuals, families, and groups of up to 50 people. Accessible campsites and restrooms with showers are available.
Campers and RV's up to 35 feet can be accommodated. An RV sanitation station is located near the boat launch area but no campsites have RV hookups.
Cabins—for information on lakeside cabin rentals, call the park at (707) 279-4293.
Available for campers and day-use. The picnic area at the Swim Beach has ADA designed tables under shade structures. An accessible restroom and outdoor rinsing shower is available. More ADA accessible picnic sites are located at the Boat Launch area, and the day-use picnic area.
Groups of up to 200 persons can reserve a large picnic facility by contacting the park at (707) 279-4293.
The Kelsey Creek Trail is a .7 mile long ADA accessible trail located in the vicinity of the Kelsey Creek Campground and parallels Kelsey Slough. It offers a number of fishing spots. The trail can be accessed from the group picnic area, Kelsey Creek Campground and the park swimming area. ADA accessible restrooms are provided at the group picnic area, Kelsey Creek Campground and park swimming area.
The Dorn Nature Trail is a .75 mile trail through the oak woodland hills overlooking Clear Lake. The trail originates near site #116 of the Upper Bayview Campground. This trail provides 3 overlooks with views of the surrounding countryside and lake.
Boat Launch Area: Accessible auto and van parking spaces are available. Exhibit panels and restroom are also accessible.
Visitor Center: ADA accessibility for most exhibits and the audiovisual room. A generally accessible restroom is located on an accessible path from the parking area.
Boat Launch—A boat launch and marina are located on the west bank of Cole Creek. The launch ramp is paved, lighted and open year round. Boat mooring slips are available close by. Paved parking, a shower, and electrical pedestals for boat battery recharge.
The bass fishing is so good that the professional bass fishing organizations, such as U.S. Bass, Cal Bass, Western Bass, have designated Clear Lake as the number one bass lake in the nation. There are also catfish, blackfish, Sacramento perch, hitch, crappie and bluegill.
Wi-Fi Service is available within about 150 to 200 feet of the Visitor Center located in the park. less «
Start at the trail head on the main road. It's just inside the park's entrance booth. Use the parking area located here orwalk in from your camp site.
Grab a copy of the Discovery Guide at the trail headwhich describes the POI's to be visited on this short walk.
The initial portion of this quick walk is uphill.
Stems: The Pomo wove the stems for basketry.
Juices: were used as a black dye in basketry, tattooing, and on other items.
Medicinal: the oils were used to cure ringworm and warts.
Constant handling of poison oak by the Indians allowed them to become largely immune to the irritants. When they did get the poison... More oak rash, treatment was with a paste made of wormwood.
Poison oak appears in a number of forms-as a bush, a low ground carpet, and as vines which can grow to great heights up trees.
Leaves can range in length from <1" to 2" or so and always appear in groups of 3, joined at a central point on the stem.
The leaves tend to be lobed and range in color from a soft, pale green to deep green. The leaves turn red in the fall and drop in the winter.
Remember the adage: Leaflets 3, Let it Be! Berries White, Poisonous Sight!
The Pomo gathered a wide variety of grass seeds that included beard grass, bromes, wild oats, and fescues.
Grains for flour and as flavorings.
Preparation began with parching over live coals in baskets to dry the seed, followed by grinding.
The word Pinole translates to meal made of grass.
This plant was commonly used to provide material for the colored patterns in basketry. The stems were colored to a dark red by exposing them to smoke or blackened by soaking in water with oak ash or bark.
The remains of a village sweathouse lie near this position. Similar in construction to a dance house, they differed by not having a smoke hole or center support hole. The basic construction was that of a pit, sometimes with vertical walls, topped by a conical roof.
They were primarily used by the men who sat on the floor around a fire in the pit,... More talking and smoking. After working up a good sweat, they would scrape the sweat with a bone scraper and then bathe in the nearby creek. Cole Creek across the road was used in this case.
The Pomo women used stone pestles to crush seed and nuts they had gathered in this mortar. A "hopper" basket with a hole in the bottom was placed over this indentation to keep the flour from scattering. Pestles were generally cylindrical stones with rounded ends.
The soils in this area are blackened and darkened with shell fragments and... More obsidian flakes indicating that this was a village site.
Elderberries were eaten fresh and could also be dyed for winter use. They could also be made into a drink.
Branches of the elderberry were made into flutes and other musical instruments for dance and ceremonies.
The "clapper" was a percussion instrument made by partially splitting and then drying a 2' long... More elderberry stick.
The Valley Oak. According to Pomo legend, the acorn was plentiful because in ancient times, during the days of the "Bird People", the blue jay lived on acorns. As he knew where the oaks would grow he planted an acorn at each spot.
Acorns were an important part of the food supply and diet.-so much that individual oaks... More frequently belonged to particular families.
The wood was highly useful as well and incorporated into handles, paddles, stirring spoons, and other useful and durable items.
8-Blue Oak (Quercus douglasil)
A typical Pomo family would dry and store 400-500 pounds of acorns to feed themselves during the year.
After removing the shell, the kernels were either baked underground or ground for flour and stored. The resulting flour could be incorporated into a number of dishes that included soups, mushes, and breads.
Basket Brush or Red-Fruited Sumac
The leaves closely resemble poison oak but the berries are red, not white.
The berries were dried and powdered to make a drink and were an excellent source of vitamin C.
Virgin's Bower, also known as Clematis.
This summer growing plant is a high climbing vine that features large clusters of white spidery flowers. The stems and leaves have a peppery taste that were chewed to treat colds and sore throats.
These pines are found throughout the coastal ranges and in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Pine nuts: The cones were heated to release the pine nuts which added the well known flavor to meals.
Pitch: The pitch was used to protect burns and sores and was highly useful as an adhesive.
Roots: The roots were another material... More suitable for basketry and other woven items.
The Buckeye's fruit is poisonous but can be eaten when properly prepared.
During years when acorns were scarce, the buckeye fruit was ground to flour and rinsed in water for several days to leach out the bitter toxins. The prepared flour was then baked in a pit lined with hot rocks.
Found primarily on rocky, dry chaparral-dominated slopes. The orange flowered plant blooms from late spring and into the summer.
The flowers, leaves, and stems were boiled and then strained and were useful as an eye wash.
This point has both POI 17-Toyon/California Holly
Toyon fruit were periodically eaten raw but more often cooked by boiling or parching.
Additional common plants to the region are adjacent. They are small foothill pines and manzanita.
The view overlooks "Big Valley", likely to be old lake bottom. The highly... More fertile soil has provided very productive orchards and vineyards for generations.
For the Pomo, the valley provided an abundance of plants and animals which made for an ideal living environment.
This plant has a bulbous root that when pounded provides a soapy juice. The Pomo also threw the pounded bulbs into the water. The juices tended to stupefy the fish, making them easier to catch.
The fibers covering the bulbs could also be tied into bundles for handy scrub brushes and even hair brushes.
The... More juice of the bulb could also be used as an adhesive.
Return to the intersection and take the uphill trail northerly.
This is a small- to medium-sized fern that prefers dry banks and rocky areas. The leaf undersides are covered with whitish or yellowish spores.
The leaves were useful in basketry.
A berry producing manzanita. The berries can be dried and ground to a fine meal suitable for breads and biscuits. They were also used in ciders.
A favorite food for bears.
Volcanic glass. A prized material for stone tools requiring a sharp edge such as arrow heads, knives, scrapers, and other critical items.
A local major source was a quarry near Sulfer Bank in this region.
High quality obsidians were a valued trade item. The highest quality could be traded hundreds of miles from its source.
Trail Junction. Take the trail heading to the bottom of the hill.
End of the trail.
Please return the Indian Nature Trail Guides for reuse.