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The Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve is located on the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking Half Moon Bay. The preserve was established with a gift of $2 million from the Save-the-Redwoods League.
The centerpiece of this 4,412-acre preserve is Purisima Creek Canyon, with its towering redwoods, rushing creek, and understory of ferns, berries, and wildflowers. Coastal scrub and hardwood forests of tanoak, madrone, and Douglas fir border the cool moist canyon. Magnificent views of the coast and Half Moon Bay are visible from the northern part of the preserve.
Twenty-one miles of developed trails and historical logging roads provide opportunities for easy walks or long, strenuous hikes or rides. Remember to carry water on your hike, since the trails out of the canyon climb up to 1,600 feet and can be quite strenuous! The specially surfaced Redwood Trail, which is suitable for visitors of all physical abilities, winds through tall redwoods just off Skyline Boulevard. Visitors will find wheelchair-accessible picnic tables and a restroom along this flat easy route. The Redwood Trail was built through a grant from Peninsula Open Space Trust.
HOW TO GET THERE
The preserve's main entrance and the North Ridge Trail trailhead are located on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35), 4.5 miles south of Highway 92.
Parking is available for 30 cars.
The Preserve's western access point is accessible from Purisima Creek Road. From the Highway 92 and Highway 1 intersection in Half Moon Bay, travel on Highway 1 south approximately 4.3 miles. Turn left on Verde Road. After turning on to Verde Road and traveling 1/4-mile, continue straight to remain on what becomes Purisima Creek Road. (Verde Road splits off to the right.) Travel approximately 3.7 miles on Purisima Creek Road to reach the Preserve. Parking is available for approximately 5 cars.
Explorer Hike: Be Cool, Get Cool
Redwoods: Root to Canopy
The Whittemore Gulch Trail is OPEN to bicyclists and equestrians.
IMPORTANT: Please be aware that seasonal trail closures may change from day to day without notice, based on changing weather conditions. Also note that during winter storm season high waters can make creek crossings hazardous, so plan your outing accordingly.
Last updated on: 6/1/2013