Half Moon Bay State Beach - Camp, Hike, Horseback, and Swim near Half Moon Bay, California
95 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA,Half Moon Bay,California
37.4669737, -122.4469765
1.0 miles W of Half Moon Bay, California
Address: 95 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
GPS: 37°28'1.1"N 122°26'49.1"W
Maps | Directions
State: California
Trail Length: 4.70 miles

Restrooms Picnic Tables Pet Friendly State Park

Camp, Hike, Horseback, and Swim

Half Moon Bay State Park's Coastside Trail runs parallel to the Pacific Coast along what used to be the Ocean Shore Railroad. The railroad itself was in operation for just 14 years before it was driven out of business in the early 1920s by the automobile. However, the railroad had a tremendous effect on the Northern California coastline. It opened the area to agriculture, created new communities along the shoreline and made the coastal beaches prime tourist destinations. The Coastside Trail is truly a destination trail. It offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, access to several beaches and excellent nature viewing. Bird watching is quite good and a popular activity here. Red-tailed hawks, blue herons and red-winged blackbirds are spotted frequently, and large hawks can often be seen perched on benches and the trail's split-rail fence. Half Moon Bay State Beach is also home of the world-famous Mavericks, a surfing spot near Pillar Point that's visible from the trail. In winter, surfers can ride waves up to 80 feet high here.Courtesy of traillink.com

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Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Half Moon Bay, California

  1. Head west on Kelly St toward Main St (1.0 mi)
  2. Turn left at 2nd Ave (400 ft)
or

You can park at the Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center for a fee and pick up the trail here. Heading north you follow the paved trail for about 2 miles in total. On your left is the coastline and on your right, the equestrian trail. Beyond this trail are views of gorgeous beachfront properties. A mile into your walk, you reach another parking lot with access to Venice Beach. The rail-trail continues for about another mile then merges into Mirada Road. If you continue walking on Mirada Road for a few minutes, you will end up at the Miramar Beach Restaurant, a bar and restaurant that overlooks the ocean. This is a great place to watch the sunset; the Miramar even posts a daily sunset schedule on its website. Heading south from the visitor center, the Pacific Ocean is on your right and the equestrian trail on your left. Beyond this horse trail are open, green fields. The trail hugs the bluff's edge here. As you head south, you see a landscape of wind-sculpted trees. It is typically windy along the bluff, so be sure to bring a jacket for this leg of the trail. The rail-trail officially ends about 1 mile in, and the surface changes to dirt. However, you can continue walking south along the cliff's edge on the path. This path, which the Coastside Trail is also a part of, is a segment of the much longer California Coastal Trail. Parking and Trail Access To reach the Half Moon Bay State Beach visitor center, take State Route 1 and turn on Kelly Avenue toward the coast. The visitor center is at the end of Kelly Avenue. Park in the visitor center parking lot. There is no parking at the endpoints. Additional parking is available at Venice Beach, at the end of Venice Boulevard off SR 1, and Dunes Beach, at the end of Young Avenue off SR 1.Courtesy of traillink.com

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Guest Review/Comments

/5

camilledupar

9/6/17 2:51 pm 8/29/17
When I went, it was unfortunately cloudy and cool, a fairly common occurrence in Northern California. Weather aside, it was a nice experience; the beach was close to the parking lot, and there were several other people playing in the water. We didn't stay long, because we arrived late in the afternoon. Even though it wasn't the right day to fully enjoy the beach experience, I'd love to return another day (perhaps when it is warmer) and experience it again.
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Half Moon Bay State Beach signboard, CA, USA courtesy of Sanjay Acharya Half Moon Bay State Beach signboard, CA, USA courtesy of Sanjay Acharya↗
Picnic tables at park near Half Moon Bay, California courtesy of Tomwsulcer Picnic tables at park near Half Moon Bay, California courtesy of Tomwsulcer↗ Half Moon Bay state beach by MrPaul7907 Half Moon Bay  State Beach by flippedpixels
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