Take a Hike: Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail

The Cowell Whale Gate

The California Coastal Trail will one day span the entire length of the state. Until then, we have beautiful slivers like the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail four miles south of Main Street Half Moon Bay. Not to be confused with the 9 miles of trails within the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve between the end of Purisima Creek Road and Skyline Boulevard at Kings Mountain, the Coastal Trail is a level 3.6 mile jaunt featuring spectacular ocean views, Cowell Ranch Beach access, harbor seals, pelicans, hawks and wildflower and artichoke fields. And all the bracingly fresh Pacific air you can handle. 

San Mateo County Parks has recently entered into an agreement with the California Coastal Conservancy and the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) to take over management of the trail and keep open this special place open 7 days a week from 8-5pm. For visiting information, the SM County Park webpage.

Stairs descending to Cowell Ranch Beach from trail
View from trail bridge opening to beach
View inland of mustard fields adjacent to trail
View to Seal Beach from trail
Sandstone cliffs to the north. Ritz Carlton HMB in distance.
The trail cuts through two working farms.