Hike Date: August 1, 2010, March 6, 2011
Distance: 7 miles
Trail(s): Purisima Creek Trail, Craig Britton Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail, Harkins Ridge Trail
Where’s it at? Between Woodside, CA and Half Moon Bay, CA
I hadn’t really heard of this park before and anyone I’ve talked to hasn’t either, but I’d have to say it is one of my favorite hikes on the peninsula so far. First of all it’s free, though donations are appreciated in all Open Space Reserves. There is also pretty easy parking the two times I’ve been there. It’s also nice to be able to stop at the Brewery or other great restaurants in Half Moon Bay, or combine with a coastal hike or picnic at the beach.
I’m not a giant fan of fire roads, in general, but the very beginning of this hike is totally beautiful nonetheless. There are several small side trails off the Purisima Creek fire road-ish trail which offer excellent and relaxing views of the gorgeous creek and redwoods. There’s also more banana slugs than you can imagine.
I also love the second leg on the Craig Britton Trail where the trail becomes much more narrow and winds along shaded hillsides with a number of bridges. Very very serene, clean, and scenic.
The third leg is a little bit different where you end up with some wide open trails and again are back on some fire trails. This area is still nice, offering some great views out to the ocean and down through the redwoods you ascended through. I could probably do without the long steep fire road trail that descends…the Harkins Ridge Trail. I think I’ll try the slightly longer North Ridge Trail and Whittemore Gulch Trail back next time I visit, which I hope is soon.
Photos from Purisima Creek(click to enlarge)
Useful Links about Purisima Creek Redwoods
Directions to Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve
View Purisima Creek Redwoods in a larger map
Note: You might want to check weather for Half Moon Bay also and average the two! This hike is generally hot and moist.