Half Moon Bay is known for its stunning beaches, rugged coastline, and beautiful natural scenery, making it a popular destination for nature walks. If you want something a little more challenging, please visit our Half Moon Bay Hiking Page.
There are several nature walks in Half Moon Bay that offer visitors the chance to explore the area’s natural beauty. Some of the most popular nature walks in Half Moon Bay include:
Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park
It is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty and rich history. The trail is multiuse: bikers, hikers and equestrians are all welcome. More information can be found at https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/burleigh-h-murray-ranch-state-park/
Half Moon Bay State Beach, 95 Kelly Ave., Half Moon Bay, CA (650) 726-8819
The Coastal Trail is a popular hiking trail that runs along the coastline and offers stunning views of the ocean. The trail is relatively easy and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The trail is approximately 6 miles long and can be accessed from several points along Highway 1.
For more information, https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/things-to-do/coastside-trail
The Cowell-Purisima Trail is a 3.6-mile trail that winds through open fields and along the bluffs above the ocean. The trail offers stunning views of the ocean and is a great place to spot whales and other marine life during migration season. For more information, https://www.smcgov.org/parks/cowell-purisima-trail
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
This reserve offers a short hike along the coast and tide pools that are home to a variety of marine life. For more information, https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/fitzgerald-marine-reserve/
McNee Ranch/ Montara State Beach
The park is located on the west face of Montara Mountain, north of Half Moon Bay and south of Pacifica. It offers options for any level of walk or hike that you would like. From a gentle nature walk to the rigorous 1800 feet ascent to the top of the mountain where you can see panoramic views from the coast to the east bay mountain tops.
Directions: Hwy 1, 9 miles north of Hwy 92
Telephone: (650) 726-8819
Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve
Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a popular spot for bird watchers and other naturalists. The Reserve is a refuge for blue heron, kites, deer, raccoons, foxes and skunks.
As one of the most important remaining wetlands on the California Coast, each year thousands of birds rest and feed at the preserve — providing a wonderful opportunity to watch almost 200 species of birds.
The best bird watching times are late fall and early spring.
If you are interested, the Sequoia Audubon Society offers walking tours. You can contact them at http://www.sequoia-audubon.org/.
Hwy 1, 16 miles south of Half Moon Bay
Phone: (650) 726-8819
Pillar Point Marsh
(Fitzgerald Marine Reserve) (650) 728-3584
This unique marsh may be small, but it is an important habitat for local and migrating birds. Bird watchers at Pillar Point Marsh have sighted nearly 20% of all North American bird species. The other amazing fact about this marsh is it is fed by both fresh and salt water. More >>
Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
Address: Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Phone: (650) 691-1200
This 4,711-acre preserve offers over 24 miles of hiking trails through towering redwoods, babbling creeks, and lush ferns. The North Ridge Trail offers stunning views of Half Moon Bay and the Pacific Ocean. There are several trails (walking and hiking) within the preserve, ranging from easy to difficult.
The most difficult aspect of the Preserve is finding parking. The official parking lot is very small, and the availble parking outside of the park are few. Our advice is to arrive early and/or during the week.
For more information, https://explorer1.com/halfmoonbay/purisima-creek-redwoods-preserve/
These are just a few of the many nature walks Half Moon Bay has to offer. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the natural beauty of Half Moon Bay is a must-do activity. If you would like a more challenging experience, please visit our Half Moon Bay hiking page that features some of the area’s top hikes.