Shoreline Trail is a 4.6 mile out and back trail located near Paso Robles, CA and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
Shoreline trail has morphed into the 5K trail at Lake Nacimiento, according to the Park Ranger I spoke to today. The trail follows the ridge line and threads through the campgrounds. Since I did it on a weekday, I had the trail to myself, but come the weekend it could be crowded.
Downside-there is a fee to enter the recreation area.
I work relatively close to Shoreline Trail and I thought I would go for a hike on it today. The position on the map that you will see on Iphone Apps, or online is wrong. You actually have to drive into Lake Nacimiento Resort. At the gate, you will be charged $15 bucks for a day pass that is good until 9PM. As you drive up the road, you will see an A-Frame type lodge that is the office for the resort, park near the building and to your immediately left (if facing the lodge) you will see a hill with a do not enter sign. This is the way to the trail according to the lady at the front gate.
Once the concrete ends, look to your right, this is the best view of the lake you will get while on this hike. It is very scenic, and very beautiful. As you walk down the dirt road, you will notice it is very large, and wide, there is no trailhead marker. There is merely the road coming to an end and a small trail leading up past a tree. I think that is where the trail officially begins.
As you follow the trail, you will be dumped out onto a road, the trails are defined pretty well up until this point. If you stay off the road, and veer to the right you will see the trail again. Once you follow this trail it will split into three different trails. This is the only problem I had with the trail. I chose left, and it led me on quite an adventure. I think you are supposed to go straight and literally follow the trail along the shore but hindsight is 20-20. I was dumped out on the main road again, and followed a deer trail back into the woodline. I had my Iphone track my map but I am unsure why it didn't post. I eventually came back to the main trail again, and followed it up hoping it would go around the shore some more but to no avail, it dumped me on the main road again with a similar looking marker that the trail had ended.
I chose to walk along the shore at this point in the hike and make my way back the hard way because I do not like to go the same way twice, if you are tired, you can follow that main road back basically to the start point. If you are full of energy you can follow a path along the shore one went left (which is where I wanted to keep going but was worried I would run out of time) and one goes right and immediately drops you onto the shore. You will do a little bit of climbing in order to get off the shore, watch the draws as you are on your initial hike out, you will see one that drops you literally into the lake, that is the one I hiked back up to get to the trail.
My only complaint about this trail is there are so many that veer off the main trail and the main trail isn't marked at all but all paths that veer look exactly like the main trail. I may have taken a completely wrong trail, but I would recommend it to anyone wanting a peaceful hike. I was the only one out there, I saw a lot of wildlife (hawks, deer, squirrels, various birds) Overall it was a good time, just wish it was a bit further. I did find some really nice (isolated) places near the shore if I ever went back with friends or family. Overall a good time. The trail is covered in beautiful oaks to look at but there are some open spots along the trail. I'd recommend bringing sunscreen, and a hat.