Friday Lens Affair 191

Wilder Ranch State Park, California, USA

Today I’m featuring a great shot from Wilder Ranch State Park taken by Jessica Covington from Magnets from Everywhere Blog.

Jessica is a mom who loves to travel with her two young children. They recently relocated to California and love exploring everything the state has to offer! Follow her adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

Wilder Ranch State Park is a California State Park on the Pacific Ocean coast north of Santa Cruz, California. The former dairy ranch buildings serve as a museum.

Photo Story: Wilder Ranch State Park

The kids and I set out to explore Wilder Ranch State Park one random weekday in the spring. We hadn’t walked very far before we came to a railroad clearly marked “Do Not Cross.”

I assumed we must have come the wrong way and turned around to follow some fields for a while. I was completely loaded down with both kids, their sand toys, a backpack of snacks and essentials, and our picnic blanket.

By the time we finally found a cut through to the beach I had no problem walking over the tracks that were also marked “Do Not Cross.”

It was all worth it when we caught a glimpse of this gorgeous beach cove. The ice plants made a blooming purple blanket over the cliffs, the sun turned the waves turquoise, a sweet little otter floated by in the waves, and we were the only people enjoying this particular slice of heaven.

After relaxing and playing for a couple hours, we headed back along the cliff path. We were exhausted and it was even more tiring because the cliff was so treacherous that I had to keep a hand on each child at all times.

The path wound around so the distance was much longer than coming out and each time we thought we must be coming to the parking lot, instead we came to another cove.

This one had sea caves, this one had seals, this one had thousands of seagulls, and on and on. Each one had character and undeniable beauty, but none could quite compare to the first we had seen.

When we had first stumbled upon the beach, we happened to be at the one farthest from the parking lot. If we had gone the right way (crossed the railroad tracks when we first came to them) we would have stopped at a closer beach.

It would have been lovely and we would have had a great time and resolved to come back soon, but we would never have made it to this particular beach and we would never have seen that otter.

Wilder Ranch State Park is a California State Park on the Pacific Ocean coast north of Santa Cruz, California.

The park was formerly a dairy ranch, and many of the ranch buildings have been restored for use as a museum.

The long trails and ocean views make the area a favorite of hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers.

Natural Bridges State Marine Reserve is a marine protected area along the coast of Wilder Ranch State Park and part of the adjacent Natural Bridges State Beach.

The long, narrow Reserve area is bounded by the mean high tide line and a distance of 200 feet seaward of mean lower low water.

This protected area helps conserve ocean tidal-zone wildlife and marine ecosystems.

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4 thoughts on “Friday Lens Affair 191

  1. Kelly Holmes

    Great place to casual hike. The coastal hike to Fern Grotto Beach is gentle with spectacular vistas and fascinating wildlife. I didn’t expect the walk out to be so easy! The grotto was beautiful, but a little bit spooky too. I Love, Love, Love this park! It is absolutely gorgeous.

  2. Thanks for including me! I actually made it back to Wilder Ranch this last week when my brother was in town! Such an incredible spot!

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