Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pidgeon Point: Beaches & Bluff trail

 Pidgeon Point Lighthouse

 About halfway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay lies a lighthouse on one of the most isolated stretches of coast. The lighthouse and the bluffs around it have been preserved and are currently maintained by the San Mateo Harbor Authority. Parking can be found in abundance in the area along the sides of the road but a good place to start exploring is in the parking lot near the lighthouse itself.

Coastline north of Pidegon Point.

The Pidgeon Point Lighthouse dominates the adjacent area and houses a working hostel in the surrounding buildings. A quick exploration of the complex revealed a furry resident who seems to have taken up a residence in a tool shed on the far end of the hostel buildings near the information center. Well maintained paths and plantings create an inviting environment here on an otherwise battered and hostile stretch of coast.

 Small Rabbit near the Hostel.

Below the lighthouse lie beaches in multiple directions, to the north is an extended stretch of beach which might make for a nice stroll. To the south though lies a more intriguing set of beaches and a more stunning coastline. The beach closest to the lighthouse is accessible by a small trail lined with steps which runs down to the shore. The trails extend further south for a good distance allowing several miles of hiking along the bluffs but for a good taste of the area a quick visit to the first beach is well worth the five minute walk from the parking lot.

Beach just south of the lighthouse.

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