Pescadero State Beach, San Mateo County, Pescadero California
Bring a pair of binoculars to Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, the largest marsh between Monterey Bay and San Francisco. Pescadero Creek and Butano Creek pool resources to form a lagoon and estuary that is a haven for birds, and a heaven for bird-watchers.
Peer through willows, tules and cattails, and you might spot diving ducks, great egrets, or yellow-throated warblers. More than 180 species of birds have been sighted in the preserve.
Best bird-watching is in late fall and early spring. To protect the birds during breeding season, the northernmost preserve trail is closed. You may take one of the walks described below, or simply wander the perimeter of the marsh to one of the wooden observation decks, and begin your bird-watching.
Directions to trailhead: Pescadero State Beach and Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve are located off Highway 1, some 15 miles south of Half Moon Bay. The state beach has three parking areas. The largest area is at the south end of the beach, where Pescadero Road junctions Highway 1.The beach has a mile-long shoreline with sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots and picnic facilities.
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