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“Wonderous”

Cowell Ranch State Beach
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Attraction details
Owner description: The kind of place only the locals know about, this scenic state park is just south of Half Moon Bay and features a sandy beach and a seal preserve, plus trails for hiking and horseback riding.
Reviewed 26 August 2012

Oh I just give up.

I came down here to take a healthy hike and generate some good man-sweat and what did I do?

I gawked.

I pondered.

I wondered in awe.

I listened.

I watched.

I took all 2.2 miles in very slowly.

So I could hardly call it hiking.

This time we turned north at the end of the straightaway that leads to the coast and what a wondrous combination greeted us was we meandered along this well-marked trail. On our left was the gorgeous California coast, replete with harbor seals and flying graceful pelican formations. On our right was a stunning field of yellow spring flowers that were being serenaded with song birds. All this under a perfect April sky.

And the wildlife was ahead of us (and over us) and in the fields and in the ocean. We saw: Song Sparrows, White-Crown Sparrows, Black Phobes, Mourning Doves, Red-tail Hawks gliding effortlessly, a Coopers Hawk, Turkey Vultures soaring so close overhead gracefully, a scrambling skink, a singing Wilsons Warbler, a singing California Quail, Western Grebe, a llama, and even a donkey hanging out with the happy California cows!

So if you are the type who likes to simply hunker down and get your walk/hike in, then I guess you can do it on the very well maintained, crushed granite, trail, with it's gentle curves and mild slopes.

But if you want to get lost in a world of nature and the scenery, this is the place.

To savor.

To drink in.

To relax and leave the hustle and stress of daily life aside for just a bit.

4  Thank tantien3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (24)
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17 - 21 of 24 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2012

A small well preserved hamlet and former ranch perserved along with long trails leading to cliff side views. A true small gem of long gone history not to be missed as you travel north on Hwy 1.

Thank dominoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2012

nice walk thru coastal trails and bluffs to the beach.

Thank GaryW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2012

This was a nice private location open to the public. You have to really watch for the sign for the area as it is small and we nearly drove by it but there is a small parking lot that is free. You have a small hike which is pleasant and at the end of it you are welcomed by the ocean with a great view of seals to the left. There are many birds nesting and it is a great place for pictures. A spot you don't want to miss if you are in this area.

Thank CubaqueenOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

This is our favorite beach in Half Moon Bay. It does not have a lot of parking spaces, so it can be a challenge to find parking on weekends especially during the summer. The beach is very clean with beautiful sand. There is a ten-minute walk from the parking lot to the scenic overlook, then you can take a set of stairs to go down to the beach.

There is a Cowell-Purisima Trail that starts at the scenic overlook. You will enjoy some fantastic views along the way.

This beach is normally not very crowded, its limited parking and the 10-minute walk are the two major reasons. We like the way it is though - quiet and pretty. The Cowell-Purisima trail makes this beach even more attractive, because you can either go to the beach or take the costal trail, and you can always do both.

2  Thank y2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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