“An easy, multi-use trail overlooking pristine beaches from atop coastal bluffs.
— Miguel Vieira
Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
From the northern trailhead, the Cowell-Purisima Trail heads straight west toward the ocean. There is a farm on the south side of the trail and a golf course on the north side. Beyond the golf course is the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. After a half mile, the trail reaches the coastal bluffs. One side trail heads to an overlook and another - a staircase - leads down to Cowell Ranch Beach
. It's the only accessible beach on the Cowell-Purisima Trail.
The trail then turns south along the bluffs. The path is generally level and follows the contours of the coastline, only descending and ascending steeply to cross Purisima Creek near the middle of the trail.
At the southern end of the trail, there is a short spur trail to an overlook of Seal Rock, where you can usually see harbor seals.
Flora & Fauna
Look for harbor seals and cormorants on the rocks below. You can sometimes see whales in the distance.