“This nearly flat amble along a lagoon is a bird watcher's paradise.”
— Megan W
Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers
Dogs: No Dogs
First half is flat and wide with a packed surface, second half is a bit sandier.
Start out through open scrub on firm level ground (initially even suitable for wheelchairs). Only the northern lobe of the lagoon is visible from here. The lagoons are separated from the ocean by a strip of sand that is breached only during big winter storms. When this happens, salty seawater enters the lagoons to mix with the freshwater, making the lagoons brackish.
Stop off at the benches for calm contemplation or for birdwatching. Take the spur trail just before the bridge that crosses over the junction between the two lagoon lobes. The spur heads up to a wildflower covered bluff with good views over the lagoon and out to sea. Retrace your steps to the bridge and continue westward on the sandy path out to the windier Great Beach.
Poison hemlock has been spotted beside this trail so don't wander! Also, don't tread on the fragile dune plants that help prevent erosion. As always on Pt. Reyes, be prepared for windy cold weather, but the lagoon area feels more sheltered than most places on the west side. Note: bikes are allowed on the first mile of this trail to the bridge, but not beyond.
Flora & Fauna
Harbor seals and sea lions on Great Beach. Grebes, coots, terns, quail, blackbirds and other coastal birds. Bird migration peaks in fall and wildflowers (poppies, lupine, thistle, fiddlenecks, iris, wild radish) are best here in spring.