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Category Archives: Half Moon Bay Trails

Here Are 5 Amazing Hikes in Half Moon Bay

March 25, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Hikes in Half Moon Bay

The California weather offers year round opportunities for outdoor activities. Enjoy the fresh air and explore the area and what the natural environment has to offer from sandy beaches to redwood forests. If you’re looking for some amazing hikes in Half Moon Bay to embark upon during your stay at Mill Rose Inn, these 5 spectacular trails are at the top of the list!

Purisma Creek Trail

The Purisma Creek Trail in the Redwoods Open Space Preserve overlooks Half Moon Bay from the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ancient redwoods, a flowing creek, and lush greenery, berries, and wildflowers are all views along this trail. The Coast Redwoods are simply spectacular to stand beside, making this one of the most awe-inspiring hikes in Half Moon Bay. These trees are the tallest in the world, growing up to 360 feet (36 stories) and one of the oldest in the world, with the oldest known tree at age 2,200. That goes back quite a few generations!

Mavericks Cliffs Trail

One of the easier hikes in Half Moon Bay is the Mavericks Cliffs Trail, a 2.5-mile walk along the cliffs overlooking the beach. Beautiful ocean views will stand out from your height on the cliffs, while seals and other ocean life may make appearances near the harbor along the rock pier. Mavericks is known for its huge surfing competitions, so you’re bound to see someone catching a wave below on swells that can get up to 80 feet high!

Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail

The Coastside Trail in Half Moon Bay State Park offers incredible ocean views, access to multiple beaches along the route, and wonderful nature viewing opportunities. One of the most popular hikes in Half Moon Bay, this trail runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean along what once was the Ocean Shore Railroad. Red-tailed hawks, red-winged blackbirds, and blue herons frequent the trail for you birdwatchers out there, while equestrian trails and beachfront properties will also catch your eye. The paved trail from the Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center is a great place to start, stretching two miles in total. A branch-off trail will give you access to Venice Beach, while the main trail merges into Mirada Road and leads to the Miramar Beach Restaurant, which is a brilliant spot to watch the sunset while dining with ocean views.

Blufftop Coastal Park

Nestled between Half Moon Bay State Beach and Wavecrest is Blufftop Coastal Park, a coastal prairie with sweeping views. As far as hikes in Half Moon Bay go, this one has trails for a variety of activities from bicycling to horseback riding. Monterey cypresses grow along the creek bed bank, forming a dividing line between Wavecrest and Blufftop, while the inverted flatbed rail car that is Seymour Bridge connects them. Steep descents are slightly challenging but not difficult, and bird watching is prime, from Kingbirds and Loons to Pelicans and Gulls!

Burleigh H. Murray Ranch

The Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is located in a beatufiul, historic barn and farm setting. The surrounding trails are peaceful and calm inside the valley, away from the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Pick blackberries as you hike, and gaze upon magnificent Eucalyptus and alder trees. Rolling hills and grassland lead up to the bubbling creek and a picnic location. The stone work around the barn will bring you back to a rustic era, while the quiet landscape allows you to fully relax.

Relax After Your Hikes in Half Moon Bay

After participating in these hikes in Half Moon Bay, come back to Mill Rose Inn and soak your aching muscles in the garden jacuzzi. Then crawl into your comfortable bed, open the windows, and listen to the sea as you fall asleep. 


Why Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is Definitely Worth a Visit

March 15, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

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Dating back to the mid-1800s, the Burleigh H. Murray Ranch was donated to the state of California in 1979 and is now preserved as a natural environment and piece of history. It serves as a local timepiece of the past, standing almost the same as it did over a century ago. The California Department of Parks and Recreation still owns the land today, and the historic ranch is open to the public for self-guided touring and exploration.


There is a main house, unique dairy barn, and surrounding outbuildings that make up the Burleigh H. Murray Ranch. The dairy barn definitely stands out, designed by pioneer Robert Mills to look like those of the English Lake Country where he was raised. This “bank barn” is unlike any other in the state of California. It has two stories and is built hillside, so that both floors can be open at ground level. Just across the creek is the farmhouse, which was built in the 1920s as the replacement for a Victorian-style house that burned down.

History of Burleigh H. Murray Ranch

Robert Mills was an Englishman who traveled to California during the famed Gold Rush. He acquired land in the foothills of Half Moon Bay, and there constructed a house, dairy barn, and outbuildings against the hillside. Mills and his descendents leased the land to ranchers for over a century until Mills’ grandson and heir Burleigh H. Murray died in 1978. Murray’s father was a successful dairy farmer on the land, raising sheep and cattle and putting the land and structures to proper use. Named in his honor, the Burleigh H. Murray Ranch was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, 100 years after its construction began.

Burleigh-Murray Ranch Trail

An old ranch road winds its way beside Mills Creek for a mile up to a 1930s bungalow as the premier hiking trail. Access is granted from the ranch entrance off Higgins-Purisma Road, where parking is available. The path traverses through groves of old eucalyptus, red alter, and buckeye trees until reaching the prominent barn and wooden water tank. It then continues through a narrow valley between hills, finally fading away into the dense undergrowth. The trail is a favorite spot for not just outdoor exercise and scenic sightseeing but also for birdwatching. Many unique species are attracted to the creekside habitat, and native plants such as red flowering currant, twinberry, salmonberry, and woodland wildflowers can be observed. Be sure to bring your camera and take some beautiful pictures of the rustic farm and any nature you can spot along the trail.

Ranch to Inn

Located just a 15 minute drive away from Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is Mill Rose Inn. Head from the ranch toward the beach and stay at this beautiful seaside bed and breakfast in Half Moon Bay, which offers amenities such as a flower garden Jacuzzi and gourmet breakfast each morning. For more to do in Half Moon Bay and surrounding areas, download Mill Rose Inn’s free vacation guide!

6 of the Best Parks Near San Francisco

January 8, 2016 by Mill Rose Inn

Friends at a park near San FranciscoExplore the beauty of northern California by visiting the fantastic parks near San Francisco. From beaches to woods, you will be thrilled with the picturesque locations surrounding you.

Top 6 Best Parks Near San Francisco

  1. Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park
    In 1938, the state of California purchased this park with the intention to share this historic ranch property in the hidden, pristine valley south of Half Moon Bay. If you’re seeking solitude, a rich assortment of wildlife, and groves of mature eucalyptus, this is one of the state parks near Half Moon Bay you must visit. The property of this park extends from Higgins Purisima Road to Skyline Boulevard. During your visit, feel free to take advantage of  their hiking trail that consists of the old ranch road winding throughout the property alongside Mills Creek.
  2. McNee Ranch State Park
    Also known as Montara State Beach, this is a favorite location for guests who want to explore the beach’s tide pools or go surfing. Montara Mountain, also called McNee Ranch, is part of the park and a northern spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This park tends to hold many events throughout the year such as hiking the surrounding trails. Make sure to visit their website for the monthly planned activities.
  3. Edgewood Park & Natural Preserve
    Famous for their incredible wildflower displays each spring, Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve is located with easy access to Interstate 280 and Edgewood Road. This Park features 467 acres of woodlands and grasslands which provide endless hiking and sightseeing opportunities. Near the entrance of the park you will find three drop-in family picnic areas, an amphitheater, restrooms, and a meadow area.
  4. Muir Woods
    Known as “a tree lover’s monument,” Muir Woods is named after John Muir who coined it’s other name. Open daily throughout the year, John Muir Redwoods near San Francisco is one of the best national parks in California and one of the most beautiful national parks near San Francisco. While walking through the park, take notice to the natural looking caves in some of the redwood trees. These were caused by fires which hollowed out the tree trunks, leaving a cave behind. While some of the burn marks and caves may look new, the last fire in Muir Woods was 160 years ago.
  5. Golden Gate Park
    Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA, is well-known and a desired destination for many of California’s visitors. As the third most visited park in the United States, there is a plethora of things to do here. From their gardens to the carousel and museums to the aquarium, there is plenty to do in this park to fill your day with splendid activities.
  6. Mission Dolores Park
    Also known as Dolores Park, Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco, CA, encompasses nearly 16 acres and is one of the most popular state parks near San Francisco. A visit to this park will bring you lush green lawns with plenty of shade from the nearby palm trees, a playground, sport recreational fields and courts, a dog park, and a clubhouse. Many local events are held here throughout the year so make sure to check their calendar.

Whether you visit a park in Half Moon Bay or San Francisco, you are guaranteed to see some beautiful sights. After an eventful day exploring the surrounding area, come back to the Mill Rose Inn in Half Moon Bay to relax. With fabulous accommodations and a gourmet breakfast in the morning, you’ll be ready to go to explore even more the next day. For more information on things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, make sure to request our free Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide.

Our Guide to Butano State Park Hiking

December 23, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

Butano State Park redwoodsThere is no better way to see the beauty of northern California than through Butano State Park hiking. From the towering redwoods to the park critters, you’re bound to enjoy your time exploring this magnificent state park.

About Butano State Park

In the coastal forested mountains just to the north of Half Moon Bay in the town of Pescadero, you’ll find one of the area’s most charming state parks. This land was preserved in 1957 through the Butano State Park, with the main purpose being to preserve more of the coveted coastal redwoods. Now one of the area’s best places to find a variety of hiking trails, to explore the towering redwoods and find woodpeckers, newts, and the rare Calypso orchids that many come specifically to find. Butano State Park hiking trails offer a variety of short and long loops for you to enjoy.

The change in elevation throughout the park, as well as the erratic coastal climate, means that hikers should be prepared with clothing layers. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, snacks and to adhere to the Butano State Park’s strict no-crumb rules. Before heading out make sure to review the Butano State Park Map and Butano State Park Trail Map to make sure you are choosing the correct trails for your skill level and endurance. Butano State Park backpacking adventures led by a naturalist will be coming to the park in the summer of 2016.

Short Butano State Park Loops

  • Little Butano Creek Trail – This 4.3-mile hike gains 500 feet in elevation beginning at the parking lot near the entrance. Come explore this charming creek trail that will also get you up on one of the park’s ridges overlooking the valley below.
  • Little Butano Creek and Ano Nuevo –  For a great and longer variation of the Little Butano Creek Trail, a slight turn will give you 5.5 miles of hiking and even get you up to 1000 feet for more spectacular views, while you still get to enjoy the quaint lowland setting of the creek.

Long Butano State Park Loops

  • Grand Loop – This is the longest possible hiking route in the whole park, taking you meandering through its midst for 18 miles with a total elevation climb of 3,300 feet. There is no better way to explore the park than to truly devote a day or two to this epic trail where you will not only become deeply acquainted with the flora and fauna of this unique forest, but will also get some of the best panoramas of the valley available, and ends with an exciting creek crossing. There is a hike-in campground where you can stay along the way to break up two days worth of hiking on the Grand Loop.
  • Jackson Flats and Ray Linder Trails – This 14.2-mile loop is a full day hiking with significant climbs in elevation. This route will offer you a chance to see the numerous microclimates found within the park including redwood groves, along the creek, and up and down various mountain ridges. If you’re looking for a wildflower hike in the spring, this is a great option.

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the region south of San Francisco where Half Moon Bay is found. One of the wonderful things about the area is that you can both enjoy the urban life and a redwood forest in one day, without feeling the strain of long travel times. After a day exploring the beauty that surrounds you, head back to Mill Rose Inn to rest. Located just minutes away from Butano State Park, we are in the perfect location for you to visit both Half Moon Bay and the beautiful neighboring state park. When considering taking a trip to the area and looking for more things to do in Half Moon Bay, CA, make sure to download our Half Moon Bay Vacation Guide. We look forward to booking your stay and hearing about your adventures in Butano State Park!


10 of the Best Bay Area Trails for Everyone

December 4, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

One of the Bay Area TrailsEnjoy the beauty of Northern California by heading outside and taking advantage of the many Bay Area trails. From the gorgeous Half Moon Bay to the bustling San Francisco, the Bay Area has a lot of sights for everyone to see.

Your Guide to Bay Area Trails

  1. Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail
    Miles: 3.5
    Surface: Asphalt
  2. Purisima Creek Redwood
    Miles: 24
  3. Montara Mountain
    Miles: 7.5
  4. Berry Creek Falls
    Miles: 12
  5. Crystal Springs Reservoir Trail
    Miles: 13
    Surface: Asphalt, Dirt
  6. Devil’s Slide Trail
    Miles: 1.2
    Surface: Asphalt
  7. Sweeney Ridge Trails
    Miles: 3.9
    Surface: Asphalt, Dirt
  8. San Francisco Bay Trail
    Miles: 33.5
    Surface: Asphalt
  9. Centennial Way Trail
    Miles: 2.85
    Surface: Asphalt
  10. Crocker Park Recreational Trail
    Miles: 2.5
    Surface: Ballast, Crushed Stone
  11. Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach
    Miles: 6.8
    Surface: Asphalt
  12. San Francisco Embarcadero
    Miles: 5.8
    Surface: Asphalt, Concrete
  13. Lands End Trail
    Miles: 2
    Surface: Crushed Stone, Dirt

Whether you’re looking for hiking trails in the Bay Area, Bay Area bike trails, or Bay Area dog trails, this guide has it all. All of the trails are located near one of the most beautiful Bay Area cities, Half Moon Bay. Nestled on the Pacific Coast between forested hills and some of the most magnificent coastlines in the world, you’ll find the charming community of Half Moon Bay, California. The city lies on the coast of San Mateo County, approximately half an hour south of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay boasts a year-round Mediterranean climate with daily temperatures ranging from 60 to 70-degrees. Visitors enjoy panoramic views while hiking, biking, horseback riding, golfing, or kayaking.

For guests who expect extraordinary personal service, warm hospitality and attention to detail, the Mill Rose Inn of Half Moon Bay is a destination not to be missed. This award-winning boutique inn is well-known for its lush garden with year-round color, comfortable rooms and suites, and decadent culinary treats. The inn is an easy five-minute walk to the local beaches, shops, galleries, and restaurants in the vibrant Half Moon Bay. The Mill Rose Inn invites you to relax and be pampered in the comfortable luxury of an English country garden by the sea. The innkeepers and their staff welcome you into a world of tranquility and romance.

When you stay at our romantic, luxury inn, a lavish gourmet breakfast will be delivered to your room, served in the dining room, or offered “al fresco” for you in either of our garden courtyards. You can take a walk in our delightful oasis that features hundreds of perennials, annuals, and more than two hundred rose bushes. A tropical flower-filled gazebo shelters our intimate spa. Prepare for ultimate relaxation and renewal in this setting. Our customized massages will melt away tension and stress. Our certified massage therapists are professionally trained, experienced, and are specialists when it comes to relaxation.

After an eventful day outdoors exploring the beautiful area around us, come back to the inn and relax. For more information about Half Moon Bay, CA, including delicious eateries, great shopping, and amazing accommodations, make sure to download our free Vacation Guide to assist in your planning. We look forward to booking your stay here at the Mill Rose Inn!

4 of the Best Bay Area Hiking Trails

July 1, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

bay area hiking trails

Photo Credit: btwashburn / Flickr

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its scenic splendor, which undoubtedly contributed to its being settled by Spanish explorers in 1776. Europeans then spread throughout the entire area, some chasing land to live off of, and others business opportunities in a new booming American city.

Now one of the most populous region in the entire country, it continues to be recognized for its stunning beauty and preservation of public lands where both locals and visitors can appreciate the natural beauty on one of the many Bay Area hiking trails. Whether you’re on a family vacation and need a trail that is amenable to all ages, or are an avid hiker and want a strenuous way to spend a whole day, you’ll find it among the hills, mountains and bluffs of the Bay Area.

Here Are 4 Great Bay Area Hiking Trails to Check Out While in the Area

  1. Devil’s Slide Trail
    Locate on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Devil’s Slide Trail is a multiuse paved path for hikers and bikers alike in Half Moon Bay. Stretching just 1.3 miles, it is an out and back trail that is a segment of the California Coastal Trail. It is spotted with convenient amenities like bike racks, drinking fountains, and restrooms.
  2. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
    This park in Santa Cruz County is south of Half Moon Bay and is known or an easy 4.7-mile loop through redwoods with about 700 feet in elevation change. It is a mostly shaded trail and takes the average hiker about 2-and-a-half hours to complete.
  3. The Waterfall Loop at Big Basin State Park
    Also in Santa Cruz County is the coveted Big Basin State Park which is home to this epic 11-mile waterfall loop that is known as much for its stunning views and numerous waterfalls, as well as its difficulty. The elevation changes throughout this mountainous hike add up to about 200 feet, and the average hiking time is about 6 hours. Be sure to pack plenty of supplies for this day in the redwoods.
  4. Memorial Park
    Located in San Mateo County alongside the more well known Pescadero Creek Park, Memorial park is home to a beautiful 5-mile loop trail. This well-graded dirt track is a great place for beginners and although it gains about 800 total feet in elevation, there are no steep climbs. The entire loop should take about two-and-a-half hours and is abounding in beautiful views of both the valley and the ocean below as it is perched on the mountains in their midst.

This handful of Bay Area hiking trails barely scratches the surface of all the wooded and coastal areas to be explored in this Northern California haven for natural wonders. Visitors should definitely opt for seeing the gargantuan redwoods while here, as well as taking in the coastal cliffs so emblematic of the romantic setting in the small towns like Half Moon Bay plotted up and down the seaboard. If you are looking for other activities to enjoy while in the area check out this free vacation guide full of ideas.

The Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

May 15, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

berry creek falls loop at big basin redwoods state park

Photo Credit: Hotaik Sung / iStock / Thinkstock

When visiting Half Moon Bay, one of the most glorious ways to spend time is hiking in the hills or along the ocean. If you’re a woodsy person and love nothing more than spending an entire day on the trail exploring a new ecosystem, then the Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the best imaginable way for you to pass your time. Just over an hour from Half Moon Bay, this makes for a wonderful day trip into the Northern California mountains. Be sure to pack all the provisions you’ll need for your day of hiking like sunscreen, layers, plenty of food and water, and whatever other safety gear you feel is a necessary for a day of successful exploration.

About Big Basin

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California’s oldest state park, having been established in 1902. It is the site of the largest continuous string of Ancient Coast Redwoods south of San Francisco, making it quite a unique site for the Half Moon Bay area, and well worth the visit. With mountainous terrain that boasts over 80 miles of trails, and elevations reaching over 2,000 feet — quite high for coastal mountains! Aside from the famously rare Redwoods, you can also count on seeing conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats found along the many streams and rivers in the park.

Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

This trail has a reputation for being among the most epic hikes in the entire Bay Area. Though on the longer side of 10.5 miles with the average walker clocking in around 6 hours, it has the most breathtaking scenery around. Taking hikers up in elevation at least 1,000 feet, you will spend most of your hike along Berry Creek through a stunning old-growth redwood grove. Not only will you enjoy the huge trees, creekside habitats, and climbing through the mountains, but you will be blown away by a series of waterfalls tucked into a narrow and deep gorge cut through the park by Berry Creek.

Other Trails in Big Basin

If you’re heading out to the park with kids, consider the Redwood Trail for an easy half-mile walk through an area that is known as the Mother of the Forest for having some of its tallest trees. The Sequoia Trail is another popular one, taking about 3 hours to hike 4 miles and has many great landmarks along the way like Sempervirens Falls, Founder Monument, and Slippery Rock. There are loads of both out-and-back trails as well as loop trails to choose from when you make the trip out to Big Basin.


The Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a tremendous way to spend your time in these mountains, but should only be approached by serious hikers and prepared outdoorsmen. It will take the better part of a day, and require proper fitness and supplies. While its beauty awaits you, don’t take the challenge lightly.

If you’re considering planning a trip to the area soon, definitely consider downloading our free vacation guide for more ideas on things to see and do in and around Half Moon Bay.

Top 3 Trails for Hiking Near Half Moon Bay

March 5, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

hiking near half moon bay

Photo Credit: Miguel Vieira/Flickr

No matter where you’re hiking near Half Moon Bay you’re sure to be met with beautiful views, refreshing weather, and wonderful Northern California wildlife. Whether it’s the Pacific Ocean, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, one of the small towns below or a grove of giant redwoods, you won’t be disappointed by the many sights that accompany hiking in the area. Though the fog does tend to roll in from sea at certain times of year, the weather is always temperate leaving you with perfect days that are neither too hot nor too cold for steep ascent, or an easy forest meander. When you’re visiting the charming town of Half Moon Bay, CA, and perhaps even staying at the beautiful Mill Rose Inn, you ought to head to the hills or the coast to tackle a nice walk in the wilderness.

Here are three of the best trails for hiking near Half Moon Bay:

  1. Montara Mountain Trail is just north of Half Moon Bay in Pacifica, CA within the San Pedro County Park. This 2.1 mile out-and-back hike has a number of small trails that can easily make it a loop hike if you prefer not to see the same scenery twice. Beginning with a track through the Blue Gum Eucalyptus forest where you can catch a few glimpses of the ocean through the trees, the setting transitions into lush coastal scrub and Manzanita groves, and as you ascend you will begin to see the ridge of Montara Mountain. Gaining 1174 feet in elevation you’ll notice awesome granite rock formations and the rare Montara Manzanita, unique to this mountain.
  2. Located off the famous Skyline Boulevard, you’ll find the accessible Redwood Trail. Built with a grant from the Peninsula Open Space Trust in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, this is an easy flat trail through a redwood grove where you may just catch a glimpse of the ocean. The wheelchair accessible picnic tables make this a great place for a snack before or after tackling the quarter-mile walk through the woods.
  3. The Pedro Point Headlands offer wonderful hiking trails along this bluff in Pacifica. With three short, manageable hikes leading out to the Pedro Summit, this is one of the best oceanside trails for hiking near Half Moon Bay. Explore all five of their easy trails while breathing the salty sea air, and enjoying the coastal scrub and seabirds flying around. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of whales feeding out in the bay.

While visiting the area it’s a great idea to find some hiking near Half Moon Bay, which will give you an exciting half day trip through the beautiful natural landscape. On any of these trails, you’ll get to appreciate what makes Northern California so naturally unique, as well as the dramatic beauty of coastal mountains and bluffs. The Mill Rose Inn is happy to give you other hiking suggestions, as well as send you off properly nourished to tackle the San Mateo County countryside.

Half Moon Bay Hiking Trails You Should Experience

December 15, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay hiking

A Half Moon Bay hiking trail / Photo By H. Grimes via Flickr

Now that the cooler weather is setting in here in beautiful Half Moon Bay and there are fewer days where sitting on the beach is going to be comfortable – though sometimes we get those days mid-winter – there are plenty of great ways to see this gorgeous stretch of Northern California coastline while keep your blood warm. The area has diverse terrain ranging from coast-side cliffs and marshland, to sizable seaside mountains. If you have imagined a particular way to observe the Pacific you can almost certainly find along one of the many Half Moon Bay hiking trails. If you’re staying with us here at the Mill Rose Inn we’ll be sure to send you off well-fed and ready for a great day of exploring.

Wavecrest Open Space is one of the newest additions to Half Moon Bay hiking. It was purchased in 2008 by the Peninsula Open Land Trust and opened for public use with many great trails offering sweeping views of the coast to the west, and the steep ascent of the mountains to the east. Nestled between Route 1 and the seaside, this is an easy-t0-access beauty that you don’t want to miss.

If you’re looking more to get up into the beautiful peninsula hills then check out Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park located between Higgins Purisima road and Skyline Blvd. This unique California State Park offers more than just lush eucalyptus groves and an assorted wildlife, but its also a local historical experience. The hike stretches for a few miles along the old ranch road and takes you winding through the old ranch buildings including the bungalow home and various barns. The short drive up here will also get you some great coastal views.

Pillar Point Bluff is a famous Half Moon Bay hiking trail, and is an quick and easy 1.2 mile round trip walk to the tip of this Pacific ocean point which creates the Half Moon Bay. The brevity of the hike is complimented by the unique rock formations along the beach. This small parking lot is usually full of the surfing crowd’s vehicles as they head out to catch the famous Mavericks wave. At the right time of you day you may catch a surf show of locals hitting the water. This is a unique Half Moon Bay experience, and Pillar Point is the place you are most likely to participate in it.

If you’re looking for a walk that will incorporate the town experience with a beautiful oceanside hike, then you definitely want to head out to the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, stretching for 6 miles right along the water. This can be a leisurely stroll with the family after a meal at the Half Moon Bray Brewing Company, or a few hours hike.

If you’re in town for a weekend getaway or a family vacation of exploring the California coast, you definitely want to hit one of these Half Moon Bay hiking trails. It’s the perfect way to experience our out-of-doors lifestyle here in Half Moon Bay, while taking in the beautiful views.

Find a Perfect Half Moon Bay Bike Trail

November 28, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay Bike Trail

Half Moon Bay Bike Trail / Photo By David Hallock via Flickr

Our scenic little town is full of big adventures. Many visitors at the Mill Rose Inn bring their bikes along, or rent when they get here, in search of that perfect Half Moon Bay bike trail. Fortunately there are trails of differing lengths, difficulties and terrains in and around this gorgeous town. Bicycles are a great way to absorb the beautiful landscape of Half Moon Bay and the surrounding area. At a slower pace you’ll observe different things, while breathing in that fresh, salty air. Biking is a big part of the California culture as well, so if you’re visiting you’ll get a chance to see things from a local’a point-of-view.

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail is perhaps the most well known bike track in the area. It stretches straight along the Pacific coast for 3.5 miles, along what used to be the Ocean Shore Railroad. The rails were eventually replaced by highways, leaving this wonderful space for recreation. This Coastside Trail is a destination trail, attracting day-trippers and cycle enthusiasts to take in the sweeping coastal views. This will be a flat, paved ride and could easily be walked or jogged as well. You’ll pass many great places to stop along the way, and it would be a great activity for the whole family.

If you’re into more intense cycling experiences, then the Coastside trail would be a great warmup before you head out to Route 92 to get up on the famed Skyline Blvd. This ride is definitely for avid cyclists as it will be one strenuous climb, followed by a plummeting descent after another. You will however be on some of the highest peaks on the peninsula overlooking both the Valley, the Bay, and the Pacific. Running right along the Crystal Springs Reservoir this ride is as beautiful as it is challenging. Whether you’re in the mood for a shorter 10-20 mile ride or a beastly 30-plus, you’ll be able to make a nice loop up in those hills.

Another challenging ride outside of town would be the Sweeny Ridge Trails. You may opt to drive up into this area in Pacifica, just 10 minutes north of Half Moon Bay. In the heart of the San Pedro Valley Park, this lush landscape will give you an equally challenging ride with a climb of 500 feet in just 2 miles to the peak. When atop the ridge you’ll see the San Andreas Reservoir, San Francisco and the beautiful East Bay Hills.  Most of the trail is paved but there are dirt portions, and the trip can be extended depending on what length of ride you’re up for.

The right Half Moon Bay bike trail isn’t hard to come by. Whether you’re more of a road cyclists, a mountain biker, or just a leisurely peddler, you will find a ride that works for you. You won’t be disappointed by the exercise or the views of our beautiful coastal town. Remember though, that this area of the California coast is known for its fog and wind, but we’ll be waiting for you at the Mill Rose Inn with warm towels and the garden jacuzzi.