About Cowell-Purisima Trail in Half Moon Bay, California
The Cowell-Purisima Trail is a 3.6 mile long public hiking and cycling trail along the high bluffs south of Half Moon Bay. It’s part of the cross-state hiking and biking route known as the California Coastal Trail. The land is protected through a land swap with the land owners (Cowell Ranch and Purisima Farms) and the state.
This wide safe gravel trail has several bridges and only one section that isn’t wheelchair accessible. The views are exceptional of the beaches and bluffs but also of the farms and inland hills. Seal Rock is below the southern overlook and Eel Rock is visible below the trail as you head north.
Unfortunately there are no safe access routes to the beaches below the trail due to the steepness of the bluffs and even if they were they’re closed to humans to preserve harbor seal habitat (beaches are known as Seal Beach).
If you reach the north end of the trail, there is a stairwell down to Cowell Ranch Beach which is open to the public. You can park and begin your hike on the Cowell-Purisima Trail from there as well.
Note that dogs and horses are not allowed on this trail.
- Cabrillo Highway
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
- Park Name
- California Coastal Trail
- Other Names
- Seal Beach
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed on the trail
- No fee for parking
- Hiking, Mountain Biking, Birdwatching, Wildlife Watching
- Trails, Accessible Features, Restrooms
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