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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.

Plan These Half Moon Bay Tours

April 23, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Half Moon Bay ToursAt the Mill Rose Inn, we know that we’re lucky to live in such a beautiful place.  Half Moon Bay is alive with adventure and activity all year long, and summer is a great time for you to plan a visit.   If you’re curious about the area and all it has to offer, you might want to plan on taking one of these Half Moon Bay tours during your stay.


Coastal Elegance Tours

Coastal Elegance Tours offers eco cycling tours or intertidal nature hikes guided by local experts.  These Half Moon Bay tours practice Eco Tourism, which has the goal of “practicing good stewardship of our environment while leaving no footprint behind.”  But don’t be put off by the cycling or hiking if you’re worried about keeping up.  Tours are designed to move at the guests’ pace so they get the utmost enjoyment out of their day.  These Half Moon Bay tours are a great way to see the beauty of the Pacific coast from a new perspective.  Hikes and rides can take as long as a full day to complete, so you can be sure you’ll get to see a lot!


Half Moon Bay Adventures

Satisfy your inner adventurer with Half Moon Bay Adventures.  These Half Moon Bay tours show visitors the rugged beauty of the area.  Scenic horseback riding tours with an experience guides will take you along the coast or through the backcountry.  If getting out on the water is more your style, choose a kayak or stand up paddle board trip.  These Half Moon Bay tours take place in the safe waters of Pillar Point Harbor.  Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to get a “top down” view of the sea life in the harbor.  Other Half Moon Bay tours offered by Half Moon Bay Adventures include redwood forest hikes, downhill mountain biking  and even surf lessons from a local pro.


Pillar Point Harbor Tour

Get out on the water with Half Moon Bay Kayak Co. for a tour of Pillar Point Harbor. This guided Half Moon Bay tour takes guests through the calm waters of Pillar Point Harbor.  Guides will point out sites of interest as well as marine life such as the harbor seals and sea birds. And get local insider information on history and local landmarks such as Mavericks. This is a great Half Moon Bay tour for those who want to get out on the water while they take in the amazing natural beauty of the area.  And the guides are sure to have some entertaining and interesting tales to tell.



Half Moon Bay Coastside Tours

For a customized tour for you or your group, try Half Moon Bay Coastside Tours.  They work with guests to create the perfect Half Moon Bay tour experience depending on individual interests, budgets and how long they’ll be in the area.  Whether you want to cycle, see all the beaches, hike, kayak, or just experience some of the areas best dining, Coastside Tours can help you out with their knowledge of “hidden gems and local hotspots.”


When planning which of these Half Moon Bay tours to experience, don’t forget to book your stay at the Mill Rose Inn.  Our elegant guest rooms and suites are the ideal place to relax and recount your Half Moon Bay adventures.  Each is sumptuously appointed with luxurious furnishings  and amenities that will make your time with us an optimal time to renew your spirit.  Your stay always includes a full gourmet breakfast each morning, so you’ll be able to take on the day’s schedule.  We look forward to seeing you soon!



Photo courtesy Geoff Livingston.

About Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

April 17, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Purisima Creek RedwoodsThe natural beauty of Half Moon Bay, California is truly something special.  From pristine beaches to stately forests and colorful wildflowers, the area offers a variety of landscapes for visitors to enjoy.  The Mill Rose Inn is surrounded by beautiful flora year round, but be sure to venture out and see the redwoods, one of nature’s greatest achievements.  If you want to experience one of California’s true wonders, a visit to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is a must.


The Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is located on the western edge of Kings Mountain in Woodside and gets its name from Purisima Creek, which flows through the area along with several tributaries.  The preserve is part of a series of 26 Open Space Preserves in California, which together total almost 62,000 acres of land. Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve has great views overlooking Half Moon Bay.  The coastal redwoods are the most notable residents of the forest, but other hardwood trees such as tanoak, Dougas firs and madrones.  The 3,360 acre preserve has over 21 miles of trails in the preserve for hiking, biking and horseback riding.


There are several possible hikes to take through the Purisima Creek Redwoods. The Redwood Trail is an all-access  path measuring a .3 miles one way.  The Redwood Trail is well shaded, making it a great place for a hike on warmer days. The Craig Britton Trail winds through the redwoods and joins with the Harkins Ridge Trail, which is a steep drop back to the trail head, making a 7 mile loop.  The Bald Knob Trail is an extremely quiet and  hike of 3.6 miles that takes hikers through the woods and offers views of the ocean.  The North Ridge Trail is another 3.6 mile hike that will take you to a meadow with fabulous views of the redwoods as well as the Pacific Ocean.  In Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, it is easy to find the hike perfect for your needs.



If hiking isn’t your style, Purisima Creed Redwoods Open Space Preserve is also an ideal place for cyclists and equestrians to ride the trails.  Whittemore Gulch Trail is a singletrack cycling trail with rides of up to 10 miles.  Riders love the descent of 1000 feet as well as its tight turns, and of course the views of the redwoods.  Guided bike rides like the Banana Slug Redwood Ride take you through the forest to scenic viewing points.  For a calendar of activities in all the Open Space Preserves including the Purisima Creek Redwoods, click here.


When planning your visit to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, don’t forget to book your stay at Mill Rose Inn.  Our elegant guest rooms and suites offer travelers classic European elegance with the modern conveniences they expect in their home away from home. And don’t forget each stay includes a full champagne breakfast each morning, so you’ll be ready to take on whatever the day has in store, whether it be a visit to the Purisima Creek Redwoods or one of Half Moon Bays many other attractions.  We look forward to having you with us soon.


Photo courtesy Paul Hamilton.