Greenwood State Beach is located in the tiny town of Elk where Greenwood Creek flows into the ocean. Greenwood was the name of Elk back in the logging times of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Back then the town had a large wharf known as the Greenwood Pier that was used for shipping goods and taking people south to San Francisco.
A parking lot for the beach access is on Highway 1 across from the Elk Store. The visitor center and town museum is located 100 yards north. A well-graded trail leads from the parking area down to the driftwood-laden beach where Greenwood Creek pools at the base of Bonee Gulch. This is a picturesque spot to say the least. Gunderson Rock is a rock island that stands tall just offshore from the beach. When conditions are calm, Greenwood Cove is a sea kayaking destination that is known for the sea stacks and rock arches with names such as Wharf Rock and Casket Rock. It’s possible to kayak south to the next sandy cove at Elk Creek Beach which is otherwise inaccessible to the public.
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