Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Partake in some of the best tide pool viewing of Northern California, observe seals, and take in the views from this Moss Beach reserve.
- You can't beat the beach for cool weather, refreshing wind, the ever alluring sand (to most children), and relaxing rhythm of the waves.
- This reserve is exceptionally accessible, with nice wide, smooth trails with reasonable grades. Far safer than a lot of coastal access nearby.
- The reserve is tucked beside a residential area in a small town, so it is far more serene and less busy than other coastal parks in larger towns.
- The tide pools here are quite nice, thanks to a nice outcropping of rock that keeps wave activity controlled. See starfish, gulls, anemones, chiton, red algae, sculpin fish, limpets, mussels, tons of hermit crabs, snails, other crabs, sea lions, seals, and a wide range of seaweed. When we were there last, we heard a little boy shouting that he had found a little eel hiding in one of the tide pools.
- The parking area has a small visitor's center and a bathroom.
- There are some benches along some trails near the preserve.
- The hike passes along some nice bluffs and through a very beautiful bleached canopy of trees.
- Improvements were planned in late 2008 for the Southern beach access (at the turn-around in the described hike), to replace steep and rutted railroad tie steps with concrete and redwood steps; should be very nice!
- When we last visited, there were a lot of seals beached just South of the tide pools.
- No dogs allowed.
- No bikes allowed.
- Stay on the trails to avoid ticks and poison oak!
- There are nice rails along all of the bluffs, but this is still not a place to let small children wander free.
- DO NOT move or remove any wildlife!
- Even when it is warm and sunny in Half Moon Bay, it can be foggy, windy, and cold at Moss Beach. Come prepared.
- Recommended Routes
|Bluff and Grove Loop
||Visitor center, beach