Mellow in the Marsh

Hike Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve on the San Mateo Coast

Hike Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve

Beach, birds, ice plant popping purple flowers: That’s a hiking slam dunk! Hike about 2 miles at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve using their fully reopened and well-signed Sequoia Audubon Trail. Great blue herons, red-tailed hawks, great egrets, even turtles use the habitats here, which include a tidal estuary, woodlands, and water marshes.

Gallery image 1 of 2
Gallery image 2 of 2

This 2-mile hike combines the preserve’s tranquil trail system and its sister beach along Highway 1. Starting from the parking area at Pescadero State Beach, follow the route that briefly parallels Highway 1 before a short stairway to Pescadero State Beach winds you underneath the bridge to a lagoon at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Over 200 bird species have appeared over the years, including cormorants and great blue herons, currently abundant in the area. The trail crosses a few bridges and gradually ascends to a bench overlooking the preserve. Return the way you came, but detour onto North Pond Trail for another nice vista on the other side of the steel bridge.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

BONUS: No-cost guided marsh walking tours happen every first Sunday of the month at 10 a.m. and the third Sunday at 1 p.m. (weather permitting).

undefined

EAT & DRINK:East of the marsh lies little Pescadero, a coastal farming community that’s emerged as artisan while maintaining its down-to-earth roots. Stage Road is lined with artisan craft shops from pottery and jewelry to beautiful woodworks, and throwback stores with checkered button-ups so old they’ve come back in style! And of course, don’t skip a chance to eat the signature artichoke soup and drink the tasty cocktails at Duarte’s Tavern.

Duartes Tavern in Pescadero

It’s most famously known for the pies (the boysenberry fresh baked is a Weekend Sherpa favorite), but there’s plenty of other delicious food cooking. Grab a seat at the bar or take a table and order the Burnin’ Up margarita. Just to get you started….

Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is on Hwy. 1, 15 miles south of Hwy. 92. The Sequoia Audubon Trail is accessed from the central Pescadero State Beach parking lot. Follow signs to the pedestrian walkway over the Hwy. 1 bridge and take the stairs to the beach. Walk under the bridge from the beach and find the trail sign. No dogs.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Hidden Stairways of SF: Urban Hike

    This guided hike sold out fast, but new dates have been added! Get outdoors and explore the hidden stairways and gardens of San Francisco anew. Small group and socially distanced.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Lookout for This View!

    Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Ah, Good Point

    Ready for a rewarding view? Head to to one of the Peninsula’s favorite promontories: Mori Point. Climb your way up the Bootlegger’s Steps to the Mori Point headland for awesome vantages of the San Mateo Coast.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent lakeside..

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Shealor Stunner

    Robust mountains, striking slabs of granite, and deep green pine reflections make Shealor Lake near Kirkwood resort a jewel of the El Dorado National Forest. Reach this alpine oasis on a 1.3-mile hike.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Simply Amazing Road Trip

    Don’t overthink it, just go! Southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin is a hidden gem just north of the California border. This adventurous region makes savoring summer and fall easy with abundant outdoor recreation.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    High Five!

    Hit the High Sierra for a day hike or get a permit to spend the night at one of the Cottonwood Lakes, five sublime oases set in the John Muir Wilderness.

    View