If you’re staying with us in downtown Half Moon Bay at the Mill Rose Inn the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a unique experience that is a quick 20 minute. On the coast of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, just south of the city, you’ll find this well preserved wetland full of species unique to the area. If you’re looking to explore the one-of-a-kind coast, the Pescadero Marsh should be at the top of your list as it is the only marsh on the coast of the peninsula.
The Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a part of the Pescadero State Beach, and is a 243 acres of tidal estuary, freshwater and brackish water marshes, dense riparian woods, and northern coastal scrub. The water bird populations increase in the winter months as the northern populations migrate south to find water a good nesting grounds. Two hundred species of birds have been recorded in the marsh, including 60 that nest there. The great Blue Heron is among the nesting birds, and is one of the most famous spectacles of this beautiful preserve. The heron’s wingspan reaches 6 feet, making it a graceful giant of the skies.
The Coastal State Parks Association was founded in 1990 and helps to maintain the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve. In 2011 they helped raise funding for a footbridge that extends access to the back of the marsh, adding foot trails to the area. There are hiking trails throughout the marsh with breathtaking views of this complex natural habitat. You can opt to take a quick 1 mile hike or make it a longer 5 mile loop if you’re feeling ambitious. If you’re a serious birder bring your binoculars and you’ll have the chance to do some world class bird watching.
September through October, and again in April are great times to come witness the bird migrations as North America’s water birds come in to roost in this water fowl haven. Come for a walk at dusk to catch the sight of the skies darkened with birds all landing for the evening. The new footbridge will be the perfect place to witness this uncanny feat of nature.
The first and third Sundays of the month you can meet a docent at the park for a 2 hour nature walk through the park where you will be educated on the area’s natural history and diverse species. The Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a favorite field trip for children throughout the Bay Area, and hosts 10,000 kids each year. If you’re traveling with your children this is a great opportunity to get them some fresh air and an educational experience in one great adventure.
The Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is an absolute necessity for any of our nature-loving guests. This is one of the most unique sites in the whole Bay Area, and is right between our cozy spot here at the Mill Rose Inn and the big city up the coast. It is right off Highway 1, making it literally right on the way to the city, and would be a great place to stop for a quick stop on the way home, as well as a great destination in itself.