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Pelican Cove Park: Terranea Discovery Trail

Pelican Cove Park (formerly called Pt. Vicente Fishing Access) is a 10.5-acre site whose main attractions are the Terranea Discovery Trail, an interpretive trail along the blufftop, and a small pocket beach and tidepools (not wheelchair accessible) below Vicente Bluffs. Plant life includes dune buckwheat (host plant to the endangered El Segundo blue butterfly), California bush sunflower, lemonadeberry,...
Pelican Cove Park (formerly called Pt. Vicente Fishing Access) is a 10.5-acre site whose main attractions are the Terranea Discovery Trail, an interpretive trail along the blufftop, and a small pocket beach and tidepools (not wheelchair accessible) below Vicente Bluffs. Plant life includes dune buckwheat (host plant to the endangered El Segundo blue butterfly), California bush sunflower, lemonadeberry, and coastal prickly pear. It’s a good place to spot marine life, and during our May visit we saw many California brown pelicans.

Sections of the trail travel through Terranea Resort, previously the site of Marineland of the Pacific Oceanarium. You’ll want to leave time for a leisurely stroll through the nicely landscaped property or to grab a bite at one of several restaurants.

Trail/Pathway Details

Terranea Discovery Trail

Trailhead: From the west parking lot, at the end farthest from the accessible spaces

Length: 1-2 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Gentle

Terrain: Firm

Near the trailhead are some soft spots where the decomposed granite has loosened, but I had no problem negotiating them in a motorized wheelchair.

Description

Although it is called the Terranea Discovery Trail, locals know this as the Blufftop Trail, and as the name implies, you will travel high on the bluffs with unlimited ocean views. At the trailhead a detailed map shows six interpretive stations (all are accessible) along a mile-long stretch. The accessible route follows a circuitous path because of stairs...
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Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Two locations serve the trail: at Terranea Resort on Terranea Way, across from the golf course, and at the west lot off Palos Verdes Drive South (.25 mile from Terranea Resort), which can only be reached when traveling eastbound. Near the accessible parking space at the west lot off Palos Verdes Drive South is a paved route to the restroom; take that rather than the dirt path, which has a step at the restroom. I also used the restroom at Terranea resort, but the property is tricky to navigate.
At trailhead and by two interpretive stations: Lady of the Light and It’s So Diatomaceous

Other Things of Interest

The Wayfarer's Chapel, on Palos Verdes Drive South about 2 miles west of Pelican Cove Park, is an architectural gem designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son, Lloyd Wright. Inspired by the natural cathedrals of California's redwood forests, Wright set the chapel amid redwood trees and gave it a glass ceiling and walls; it is often referred to as the "glass church." Perched on a hill overlooking the ocean, the chapel has been featured in many TV shows and movies. Parking and restrooms are accessible.
Trail from interpretive station 5 to station 4
Trail from interpretive station 5 to station 4 (Peggy Rowan)

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Features icon key

  • hiking
  • picnic
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.palosverdes.com/rpv/recreationparks/
Managing Agency: City of Rancho Palos Verdes
Address: 31300 Palos Verdes Drive South
Nearest City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Phone: (310) 544-5260
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Fees: None
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Metro
Reviewed by Ann Ruth, May 4, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
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