Visiting Harmony Headlands State Park
One good thing about this pandemic is that it has gotten me outside. I always considered myself an indoor kid but when the great outdoors became just about the only place I could visit I did just that. I spent much of the past year walking in my neighborhood, checking out nature trails and hiking. Thanks to all that activity I’ve kinda sorta gotten in shape which has led me to unexpected adventures like when I stopped to check out Harmony Headlands State Park and spontaneously took a nearly four mile hike.
After checking out Sensorio in Paso Robles I decided to take the scenic route home and headed towards the coast for a drive down highway 1. Highway 1 is one of the world’s most beautiful routes but it’s hard to take in all the sites when you’re the driver. Since I was traveling solo I had an easy solution – make as many stops as possible. Whether it was a scenic vista, a tiny town or a picturesque park I was ready to check it out. So when I approached Harmony Headlands State Park I pulled into the parking lot without a second thought.
Harmony Headlands State Park is located along a quiet stretch of highway 1 between the towns Cambria and Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County. Encompassing 750 acres of coastal grasslands it has a rich history beginning as a settlement for the Chumash people, later becoming a cattle ranch and finally operating as a dairy farm. When it was threatened with development in 2003 various conservancies stepped in and purchased the land so that it would be preserved and it soon joined the state parks system.
Despite its size very little of the park is accessible to the public. In fact, there is only 1 hiking trail – the 4 mile out and back Headlands Trail.
After I arrived I perused the trail map and decided to travel only a portion of it as I had several stops planned for the day. I figured I would walk a little, check out my surroundings and maybe catch a glimpse of the ocean.
It was the perfect day for hiking as the weather was clear and cool and I found myself thoroughly enjoying my trek. The trail is easy to walk with only slight inclines and I found myself continuing further and further down its path. As I kept walking I decided I would finally stop after I saw a glimpse of the ocean and looked for it around every bend.
By the time I finally saw it I was almost to the end of the trail! At that point I decided to see it through and ended up rewarded with an amazing view.
The California coast is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and the Central Coast is particularly stunning. While taking in the view I couldn’t help but be thankful that I’m lucky enough to experience such natural wonder.
Harmony Headlands may be one of the smaller state parks but it’s a true gem. Offering stunning views of the Central Coast it’s the perfect spot to commune with nature and is a true highlight of the area. I’m so glad I decided to make it one of my stops on my highway 1 trek.