Just off Highway One in Half Moon Bay, four small beaches stretching south from Montara Mountain form the gentle two-mile curve of fine, white sand that is Half Moon Bay State Beach. To the east the Santa Cruz Mountains frame a dramatic backdrop to this captivating north central coast region known to local residents as the “Coastside.” To the west the enduring Pacific rolls vigorously across the broad, flat beach. The breakwaters of Pillar Point to the north have a buffering effect on the surf, and the waters at this end of Half Moon Bay State Beach form a calm surf. This picturesque setting is ideal for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. A campground provides accommodations for those who wish to visit longer. The Coastside weather pattern is typical of the north central coast, with cool morning fog and highs in the mid-60s during the summer. Spring and fall bring clear, crisp days, while wind and rain – broken by an occasional bright, sunny day - rule the winter months. Dressing in layers is recommended. Beach fires are not allowed, and dogs are prohibited on the beaches at all times. Dogs are permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail, provided they are controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.

9 hours ago

Trail is easy! Beautiful views of the ocean!

on Cowell-Purisima Trail

road biking
14 days ago

Awesome! Nice view!

28 days ago

Beautiful views of the coastline!

1 month ago

Beautiful views of the cliffs

Beautiful view

Note that the southern portion of this country road trail is only open on the weekends and Federal holidays. We started at the southern entrance of the trail by "Bob's" farm stand. As you proceed north toward Cowell Beach (one the best looking beaches in Northern California), you find yourself on a high bluff. To the left (west) you hear the waves breaking on the rocks below. You only have a peek-a-boo view of the ocean and steep cliffs due to the brush and weeds. Be extremely careful if you try to obtain better views of the Pacific as it is long way down if you should slip. To the right (east) of the country road trail is the agricultural side that is bordered by a wire fence. You have peaceful views of beef cattle, rusty vintage farm equipment, pumpkin patches, and the costal crops of Brussels sprouts, and artichokes. You will also walk past large hedges of poison oak. Overhead look for brown pelicans as they seem to fly at eye level due to the updrafts of the cliffs. This mostly level trail of slightly more than six miles round trip provides an adequate work out. You walk on three newly built bridges over steep gullies. The day of our hike (Sunday, October 8, 2017) the trail was lightly traveled, but there were many large events occurring in the Bay Area that weekend. Because you are walking on a high bluff by the ocean be aware that there is a constant breeze here even when the "coast is clear". Excellent signage on the trail concerning Native Americans, farming, wildlife, and history are to be found. At the end of the trail you are rewarded with spectacular views of Cowell Beach. For those with energy one can climb down a wooden staircase to this wide open wonderful beach. The San Mateo coast is breathtaking in its beauty. Maybe we should keep it a secret?

Trail was closed today. The only sign posted was at the north parking lot along the trail to the bluff overlook. The sign said due to funding that the trail will not be consistently open. Wish that was on the website as well. the North parking lot was open and you can hike out to the bluff then down to the ocean and beach. The north gate for the trail was locked. The parking lot for the south gate was locked.

The hike out to the bluff and down to the ocean and beach was beautiful. Not many people present but definitely a well used trail. Would do that hike again.

Beautiful, relaxing, easy walking

No dogs and the trail is closed.

If you are looking for an easy trail, with ocean views & light traffic, this is a good option. Did it with a 4-months pregnant friend and she was fine. The only downside is a lack of available parking at the North end of the trail. We had to park on the street 1/2 mile up on Miramontes Point Rd and walk back down to the parking lot/trail head on the shoulder of a busy road. Though when we left, I also saw that people parked just outside the lot on the shoulder of Hwy 1.

Awesome sunsets

8 months ago

Nice paved trail and flat, just watch out for Trail president on traffic patrol. lol.

Easy and pleasant and much of it is along the ocean. You can detour to one of the beaches, although half moon bay state beach is quite crowded.

10 months ago

Nice easy walk on paved trail. Takes a bit to get to the ocean, but it is a beautiful site.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Great trail, beautiful views, wonderful beach at the turnaround.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I loved this paved path along the ocean. Restrooms were available along the way. Today was a cold, bright sunny day, perfect visibility for ocean viewing. It would be fun on a bike as well. A great trail, however flat, to get outside for some fresh air, exercise and views.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Good trail for family with kids. Flat path with ocean view but isn't spectacular.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nice little trail that was built about 5-6 years ago when I lived very close to the northern end of the trail. I don't remember if dogs are allowed or not even though I did ti with mine regularly. I lived on the other side of the golf course and walked through from the house and into private land that hooked up to the trail. There is another path thats hooks up on the north end as well. Incredible views of the ocean and stairs down to the beach on the north. The beach is decent for perch, stripers in season and smelt, all of which I did there at times.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Beautiful day walking with Lucy.

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