Take in the beauty of the great outdoors at the new and improved Devil’s Slide Trail located between the cities of Pacifica and Montara. About 20 minutes south of San Francisco, this 1.3 mile trail opened this past March with freshly paved walking and biking trails safe for pedestrians and bikers. Visitors to the area can overlook picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean while either riding or walking and without the worry of cars flying by. The Devil’s Slide Trail is a segment of the California Coast Trail that will eventually allow visitors to enjoy 11 miles of the coast from Mori Point to Pillar Point.
Highway 1 was transformed from a highway to a trail because of how impractical and dangerous the road was for drivers. The road was often the site of car accidents, landslides and was sometimes closed. Devil’s Slide was originally named for its narrow and twisting road that tightly hugged the mountainside. The drive was a nightmare for travelers and commuters and was extremely unsafe. It took about one year to complete the 2 million dollar construction which included paving the area and including parking, public restrooms at both ends and three overlooks. The trail includes 12 benches great for enjoying a picnic lunch or for taking in the sights of the marine life below like dolphins and seals. Panels can be found along the way to educate visitors on the history of the area. The panels also include information on the plant and animal life that flourish in the area. The Devil’s Slide Trail is perfect for biking and walking. There are two six foot bike lanes and a 12 foot pedestrian lane with three foot concrete barriers along the side. The trail will also be wheelchair accessible with the exception of one part in the middle where assistance might be needed because of the steep part of the road.
The only downside to the trail is the lack of pedestrian routes to the trailhead since it was made out of Highway 1. A narrow shoulderless stretch of highway gives access to the trail. On weekends, a free shuttle runs once an hour from Pacifica State Beach or the Sam Trans Route 17 bus stops at the trailhead. The parking lot opens at 8:00am and the park closes at different times depending on the season. Dogs are allowed on the trails if they are kept on a leash. It is also not uncommon to see horses on the trails since the trail is also shared with equestrians.
After an exhausting day spent exploring the trail, find the perfect room to unwind at Mill Rose Inn. Mill Rose Inn is a Four Diamond AAA award-winning bed and breakfast in Half Moon Bay. The Inn is the ultimate in pampering as its spacious rooms, elegant décor and lush gardens set the tone for a most relaxing retreat. A gourmet breakfast of fresh juices, French pastries, omelets and homemade breads is served each morning. Even though the B&B is tucked away, it is still within walking distance of many of Half Moon Bay’s galleries and restaurants.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Clanon