Choose your distance and difficulty at Tomales Bay.
While summer fog swirls around the rugged headlands of Point Reyes National Seashore, nearby Tomales Bay is sometimes sunnier and warmer, protected by the peninsula's ridge. New trails and old favorites offer a range of hiking and picnicking options near this bay, about an hour's drive north of San Francisco. On the western side of the bay Here, you'll find longer trails and more park facilities but less isolation than along the eastern shore. At protected Heart's Desire Beach, you can spread out a picnic or take a 1/2-mile self-guided nature trail to learn how native Miwoks used plants and dug for oysters around this bay. To walk a 3.6-mile loop, go southeast from Heart's Desire to Pebble Beach, then take the Johnstone Trail uphill and return (downhill) on the Jepson Trail. On the way, you'll pass tree-sheltered picnic tables and an old grove of stately Bishop pines. You'll also be rewarded with fine views of mile-wide, 13-mile-long Tomales Bay, a drowned rift valley formed by the San Andreas Fault. From State 1 at Point Reyes Station (so named because it was a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad in the late 1800s), go northwest on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, then take Pierce Point Road to Tomales Bay State Park (fee $3) and Heart's Desire. Some stops on the bay's east side Drive northwest from Point Reyes Station on State 1; in about 1 1/2 miles, you reach the parking lot for a new Tomales Bay access point (see page 7 of the March 1990 Sunset). Walk west about a mile to the bay's edge and picnicking spots (no tables or facilities) with a good view of Tomales Bay Ecological Reserve in the marshlands below (no access). Bring binoculars to spot great blue herons and snowy egrets fishing the shallows. Continue north another 3 miles on State I to trailhead parking for Millerton Point. Art easy 1/2-mile walk takes you through a eucalyptus grove to picnic tables or the shore of a small peninsula and protected Alan Sieroty Beach. You might spot a pair of osprey, which nest here from March through November.
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|Title Annotation:||Tomales Bay State Park, California|
|Date:||Jun 1, 1990|
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