Overview: A flat hike along the coastal bluffs of POST’s Wavecrest preserve.
Distance: 1.5 Mile
Elevation change: flat
Hiking time: 2 hour
Season: All year
Getting there: Wavecrest is located off Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay. From Highway 92 west go south on Highway 1 and drive about 1.5 miles and turn right on Wavecrest Road. You’ll see Cameron’s Pub and the double decker bus on the corner of Wavecrest Rd and Highway 1. (If you see Redondo Beach Road you’ve gone too far south on Highway 1.) Drive to the end of Wavecrest Road and park near the baseball fields.
Parking lot address: Click here for directions
I have to admit, I’m a terrible birder. It just isn’t something that I’ve been able to commit enough time too. It’s not because I’m not interested, just untrained I guess.
That’s starting to change.
I’ve been studying using POST’s Natural Guide to Bay Area Birds and taking trips to our open spaces to hone my skills. Slowly, very slowly, I’m becoming the birder I want to be.
Of all the POST-protected open spaces I’ve visited, Wavecrest is by far my favorite place to exercise my new birding skills. Situated on the coastal bluffs just a few miles south of Half Moon Bay, this preserve has a varied habitat ideal for a wide range of bird species.
After a short walk from the parking lot, you’ll find yourself on a mile stretch of trail paralleling the coast. This is the appropriately named “Bird Trail”.
From this trail you will have sweeping views of the Pacific and can watch brown pelicans dive-bombing for their next meal, double-crested cormorants roosting in nearby trees and sanderlings flocking at the ocean’s edge.
Then, you can look to the land for a similar cornucopia of bird species. Raptors are particularly prevalent here. In fact, Wavecrest is the single most important winter nesting site in San Mateo County for a wide range of raptors. Keep a keen eye for northern harriers, red-tails, red-shouldered hawks, sharp-shinned hawks and even American kestrels.
After my birding exercises I’m always deeply inspired, happy and voraciously hungry. When you’re back to the car, I recommend heading into downtown Half Moon Bay for a warm bite to eat at the San Benito Deli. They have some of the best baked bread on the coast and an amazing garden out back. It’s worth the stop.
In January 2008, POST entered into a three-year option to purchase and protect 206-acre Wavecrest, an extraordinary natural, recreational and scenic resource for Half Moon Bay and the entire coastside.
October 19, 2021
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 80,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more