Purisima Creek, Craig Britton, and Harkins Ridge Loop

I was really excited to hit up Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve again. The last time I hit it from off of 35 and did the Bald Knob Trail. I fell in love with the park then. This time I decided to hit the park up from the west side and swing at the entrane from Half Moon Bay. Another easy trailhead to find, and it was super busy so parking was off the side of the road. Lots of bikes.

The first trail is really nice, it is the Purisima Creek Trail and it is a great mile warm up. This would be a perfect social trail, where you can walk side by side and just meander around the redwoods. You walk along the creek a lot of the time and it is really nice to hear rushing water. Reminded me of Missouri.

The trail starts to get a bit more technical when you hit the steep uphill to the Craig Britton Trail. It is so pretty though that it is worth the effort. Still nice and shady and pleasant. Unfortunately, it starts to open up and you have to hike in some sun to get the views. 

It started to get way too warm and I was cranky and going uphill. Then I was passed by a very pregnant runner who told me to enjoy myself and I thought about it. First of all, if this pregnant lady is RUNNING this damn trail, I should not be grumpy about the fact that I’m just walking, and I have the ability to walk. So I picked up the pace and hoped for shade. I got some views instead.

The views were nice, but I wasn’t pleased with this part of the trail. At least until I got the the Harkins Ridge Loop. Then the uphill battle was a treat. I hated this part of the loop. HATED. I should have meandered by where the Bald Knob Trail hit the Purisima Creek Trail but I wanted to do the loop. So the loop I did. And it sucked. Why you ask? Because it was all rolling hills. You were either going up or down. Over and over again, steeping slowly down. The ground was tractored and it made bad ruts and honestly, I jogged the last 1.5 to 2 miles. You read that correctly, after hiking 5 or so miles, I ran. It was easier to jog down the hills than to trust my footing in the sand. So I jogged down and it propelled me a bit up the next side, then I jogged down again. I didn’t have a lot of energy to give but it didn’t take much with the downwards momentum.  And most of it was open and unshaded. So I wanted it over quickly. I won’t do this side of the park again, but I will come back to put together different loops or out and backs.

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About The Author


I'm Shannon and I love to bake, hike, play video games and have fun. I currently live in the Bay Area with my husband and cat.

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