Situated on the eastern edge of Point Reyes Peninsula, 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the blue waters and sheltered coves of Tomales Bay State Park are a popular destination for a day of picnicking, hiking or water-oriented activities. The beaches and east-facing slopes of this 2,000-acre park are especially attractive because they are protected from the prevailing winds by the high backbone of the Point Reyes Peninsula. The day-use park features four gently sloping, surf-free beaches, protected from winds by Inverness Ridge, the backbone of the Point Reyes Peninsula. The park has hiking trails and is a popular place for picnicking, swimming, clamming and boating. Dogs are not permitted on the beaches or trails. The park includes forests, beaches, field, hills, meadows and marshes - each with its own plant life, including varieties of trees, shrubs and wildflowers. The weather varies greatly. Be prepared for cool, damp and windy weather. Dressing in layers is recommended. The park is open from 8am to Sunset.
This was a fun and pretty little trail. We did this mistakenly as a warm up for the Tomales Point Trail which is located farther NW from here. Lots of Holsteins grazing on lush green grass with big boulders nestled among them. Go all the way to the Bay and it gets real marshy, especially in winter time. Part of the path at the Bay was underwater and real sloshy. The hills are quite enchanting though, and I can't wait to see what it looks like with the wildflowers in spring!
Fun Fact: The trail is right on the San Andreas Fault. The fault is the reason why the Tomales Bay exists and is the shape that it is. Over thousands of years a part of the fault filled with sea water creating the Tomales Bay in Northern California.
We hiked the Shell Beach trail. The hike was very easy and short only a little over a mile out and back. The San Andreas fault line runs through Tomales Bay. The view from Shell Beach is very panoramic. We went at low tide when the rocks on the beach were covered with mussels. It's a nice short hike and the beach is a good spot for a picnic or fishing ;)