Big Sur, Henry Cowell are a must

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers a variety of picturesque

This is your guide to exploring Monterey Bay thanks to the expertise of our outdoors columnist Ron Erskine. To view more hiking guides, just go back to Where To Hike. Each guide is based on location.

Big Sur: Very long walk up the Big Sur River

Big Basin State Park: Moderate forested trail to falls

Big Basin State Park – waterfall loop: Long loop, lovely waterfalls, tough climb near the end

Cowell-Purisima Trail: Coastal clifftop walk south of Half Moon Bay

Elkhorn Slough: Major estuary with diverse bird life

Forest of Nisene Marks: Long forested hike, few views

Fort Ord Dunes State Park: Miles of secluded beach near Monterey

Garland Park: No secret, but lots of variety in Carmel Valley

Garrapata State Park: STEEP climb, ocean views near Big Sur

Jacks Peak County Park: Pines make it special

Henry Cowell State Park: Accessible attractions for a family day outdoors

Mill Creek Preserve: Forested traverse to ocean overlook

Palo Corona Regional Park: Short walk/climb to views of Carmel Bay

Point Lobos State Preserve: Busy but beautiful group of short walks

Toro County Park: 6-mile walk in Monterey County

Wilder Ranch State Park: Level walking along ocean cliffs

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