The 5.5-mile trek to Berry Creek Falls in Big Basin Redwoods State Park
is a hiker’s favorite, we concur. But adding a bike ride to the adventure puts a nice spin on it. This easy ride on mostly wide terrain begins at the Skyline to the Sea trailhead at Waddell Beach, on Highway 1. From there, it’s 4 miles of redwood-shaded fire road and a few bridges over the calm waters of Waddell Creek. You’ll also be riding through a Monterey Pine forest—one of only four naturally growing forests in the world (look for their extra-long needles and pinecones that grow right on the branch). Park and lock your bike at the rack marking the trail’s final mile, and hike the rest of the way to Berry Creek Falls—a 70-foot stunner that flows year-round.
BONUS: Continue the hike another mile up from Berry Creek Falls and you’ll get to Silver Falls, a quiet place to stop and savor the solitude.
Drive about 30 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Hwy. 1, going past Año Nuevo State Reserve. Park at the Big Basin Redwoods/Waddell Creek parking lot. The dirt fire road starts on the eastern side of Hwy. 1. Bike the trail (a.k.a., Skyline to Sea Trail) for 5.5 miles. Park and lock your bike and hike .6-mile back to Berry Creek Falls. No dogs.