Half Moon Bay
Coastside Trail

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Half Moon Bay, Poplar Beach and Coastside Trail

Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail & Bluff Top Trail

Half Moon Bay State Beach

95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA  (650) 726-8819

The Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail stretches from Half Moon Bay State Park to Miramar/Surfer's Beach -- totaling nearly 3 miles.  With its well paved path, the bluff top trail is a great multiuse course for walkers, joggers, strollers and bike riders that offers sweeping ocean and beach views. 

All along the trail is easy beach access for sunbathing, kite flying, and picnicking. Francis and Dune beaches have flush toilets, Venice and Roosevelt have vault type.

A horse trail parallels the Coastside Trail from Roosevelt Beach to Francis Beach and connects with the Bluff Top Trail that parallels Poplar Beach. The State Parks restrict horses to the designated horse trail. They are not permitted on state beaches.  Horses are allowed on the Poplar Beach.

Bird Watching at Poplar BeachThe Half Moon Bay Bluff Top Trail runs between Poplar Beach and Francis State Beach -- totaling about .75 mile.

The green space along the trail is ideal for bird watching.  Large hawks often sit on the split rail fence and park benches -- sometimes allowing visitors to come within 6 feet of them.

The parking lot at Poplar Beach has portable toilets. 

Coastside and Bluff Top Trail Mileage

According to my GPS, I have measured the following approximate distances on the two trails:

1) Bluff Top Trail — from Poplar Beach's Bluff Top trailhead to Francis State Beach's Coastside  trailhead is .75 mile

2) Coastside Trail — from the Francis State Beach's Coastside  trailhead to the Venice State Beach Ranger Station is 1.04 miles

3)  CoastsideTrail — from the Venice State Beach Ranger Station to the Dune/Roosevelt State Beach Ranger Station is .65 mile (Note: from the ranger station to the north end of the Roosevelt parking lot is another .3 of a mile.)

4) Coastside Trail — from the Dune & Roosevelt State Beach Ranger Station to Miramar Beach is 1.00 mile

5) Coastside Trail — from Miramar Beach to Surfer's Beach (just south of the harbor) is .5 mile

6) Coastside Trail — from Surfer's Beach to north of Half Moon Bay harbor is TBD

Please note that these are approximate distances and may not be completely accurate.


Featured Half Moon Bay Hotels
Featured Half Moon Bay Hotels

Half Moon Bay State Park provides plenty of day use parking, RV and tent campgrounds and restrooms. 

Weather / Temperature:

The major weather pattern for Half Moon Bay is fog in the summer, crisp, clear days in the fall and spring, and wet, windy winters. Temperatures are moderate with the summer highs in the mid 60's and winter lows in the mid 40's.

Summer fog is most common in the mornings and evenings.

Even on sunny spring or summer days, the Coastside Trail and Half Moon Bay Beaches can be very windy, so dress appropriately.  


The beach is located a half-mile west of Highway 1 on Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. You can access the Coastside Trail from several State Beaches including: Half Moon State Beach, Francis Beach, Venice Beach, Dunes Beach and Roosevelt BeachPoplar Beach is a City operated beach.

Trailhead details:

The City of Half Moon Bay now charges a parking fee at Poplar Beach.  A $10 day use fee is required at the State owned and operated beaches.

Parking in a paved lot. No maps or drinking water. There are portable toilets and four designated handicapped parking spots (restrooms and drinking water can be found near the campground at the state beach). A paved path is well suited to wheelchairs and strollers.


Half Moon Bay State Beach is open daily.  Bluff Top Coastal Park parking lot hours: Winter - 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Summer - 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (daylight time). Trails and beach at Bluff Top Coastal Park are open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. Half Moon State Beach has paved multi-use paths, dirt multi-use trails, and hiking-only paths.

No horses are permitted on the beach at Half Moon State Beach. Please, NO beach fires are allowed. Dogs are prohibited on the beaches at all times.  Dogs are permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail, provided they are controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times. Where Can I Take My Dog.pdf


Wi-Fi Service -- Half Moon Bay State Beach now offers AT&T Wi-Fi Service. This service enables park visitors with wireless enabled laptop computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs) to access the Internet. Park visitors will be able to gain Wi-Fi access when they use a wireless device within about 150 to 200 feet of the Visitor Center in the park.

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