Ridgewood Ranch is best known as home to America’s racehorse icon, Seabiscuit. Ridgewood Ranch is important for a number of reasons, both cultural and environmental. As home to America’s Depression-era icon, Seabiscuit, it holds national significance.


As a continuing working ranch, it holds value in a state and country whose farmlands are dwindling at an alarming rate. The Ranch’s importance as open space will continue to increase as surrounding land is subdivided and developed.

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Land Conservation 
The Mendocino Land Trust (www.mendocinolandtrust.org) purchased a 1,689-acre conservation easement from the Golden Rule Church Association on the historic Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, California on June 14, 2007. The conservation easement permanently conserves conifer forest, oak woodland and rangeland on Ridgewood Ranch along with 4.75 miles of fish-bearing streams, seven miles of tributary creeks, a “wet meadow” and a vernal pool. Funded by a grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the $2 million purchase price for the Oak Woodlands conservation easement was substantially less than market value and represented a significant bargain sale from the landowner.


Ancient Redwoods
A small spectacular stand of old growth redwoods and mature second growth redwood forest are now permanently protected on the historic Ridgewood Ranch, near Willits, through collaboration with the landowner and the local Mendocino Land Trust.

Save the Redwoods League partnership protects ancient Redwoods 33 Acres at Ridgewood Ranch. Together with the Mendocino Land Trust, the League has protected some of the few remaining ancient redwoods in Mendocino County. www.savetheredwoods.org

Ridgewood Ranch Wedding Venues - Ridgewood Ranch Grove, looking up through Redwoods, like a Cathedral IMG_5046
acres of oak woodlands

33 acres of old growth and second growth redwood, 1,689 acres of oak woodlands containing eight different oak species are in a permanent conservation easement.
Vernal pools (seasonal wetland ponds) of the rarest type found in California; unique and rare plant species

Historic buildings on the Ranch

Seabiscuit’s stud barn was beautifully restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. Seven buildings from the Howard and Seabiscuit era are included in historic walking tours. More than twenty buildings, including the Howard craftsman-style home, are eligible for historic status. Most are in an urgent state of rehabilitation.

Miles of Riparian Protected Area

Over 5 miles of Forsythe and Walker Creeks,16 miles of tributaries, and 570 acres of associated riparian areas. Extensive wildlife habitat for steelhead, golden eagle, great blue heron, bear, mountain lion, fox, deer, yellow-legged frogs, and numerous other species.




Seabiscuit’s Stud Barn listed in National Register of Historic Places – January 22, 2014. The stud barn is eligible under National Register Criterion A at the local level of significance in the area Entertaimnent/Recreation for its association with the champion racehorse Seabiscuit and his owner, Charles S. Howard. The period of significance begins when construction was completed in 1940 to the date of Seabiscuit’s death at age 14 in 1947. The property is owned by a religious organization but meets the requirements of Criteria Consideration A because the property is significant for its association with events that occurred prior to the property’ s acquisition by a religious organization. Seabiscuit’s Stud Barn is eligible under Criterion A in the area of Entertainment/Recreation as the retirement home of Seabiscuit, a racehorse of international reputation, and a site where racing fans came to visit the horse in his retirement years. While the races that won Seabiscuit his reputation had already occurred, the Stud Barn became a tourist attraction that drew thousands to this remote ranch in Mendocino County, thus gaining significance in its own right as a roadside attraction associated with one of the best-lmown horses in American horse racing history. The stud barn was also a component of a working horse ranch. Source: https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/13001108.htm



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