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Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail is a link in the 1,200-mile Coastal Trail that is planned to run the length of California. This section traverses some 18 miles of coastal beauty (there are some inland portions) from Castroville south to Pacific Grove’s Lovers Point, and a trip along this paved trail is a great way to take...
The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail is a link in the 1,200-mile Coastal Trail that is planned to run the length of California. This section traverses some 18 miles of coastal beauty (there are some inland portions) from Castroville south to Pacific Grove’s Lovers Point, and a trip along this paved trail is a great way to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Monterey Bay. Following a former Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the bay and shoreline. You pass tall sand dunes and white sandy beaches, as well as a small eucalyptus forest, and can easily veer off the trail to visit Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey State Historic Park, and other attractions. Interpretive signs alongside the trail tell of the city’s early history and of the abundant marine life of Monterey Bay. This popular bicycle and pedestrian trail was created piece by piece, in collaboration among several public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and local citizens. A long-range goal is to extend it upcoast to Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz County. 

Trail/Pathway Details

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (Seaside to Lovers Point)

Trailhead: North: Houghton parking lot at the foot of Sand Dunes Drive in Seaside. South: Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. You can also access the trail at numerous other locations along its route.

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

The first several hundred yards of the trail are on a slope greater than 1:12 (standard ramp). Street crossings in Cannery Row have steep curb cuts. Otherwise the trail is level.

Terrain: Hard

Description

For the most accessible, continuous five-mile stretch, start in Seaside and head south past Monterey to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove. While this is the busier, more urban segment, it offers easy access to some of Monterey's most popular attractions and can provide a good workout. Immediately past Lovers Point, the trail continues but becomes too narrow and...
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Accessibility Details

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

Monterey State Historic Park is a collection of historic houses and buildings scattered throughout Old Monterey. Many are inaccessible, but the first floors of the Custom House (the oldest government building in California) and Pacific House museums are accessible and easily reached from the trail at Fisherman's Wharf. Both offer insights into early California. Exhibits recount the history of Monterey as the capital of Spanish and Mexican California.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

At Houghton parking lot at the foot of Sand Dunes Drive, just beyond the hotel entrance in Seaside, and at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. Additional spaces are at Seaside State Beach, throughout Fisherman's Wharf (free with disabled placard in the metered area; you must pay in fee lot), in the lot on Del Monte Boulevard across from the Graduate Naval Academy, and at San Carlos Beach Park and Monterey Bay Park. One space is on Ocean View Boulevard at 9th Street in Pacific Grove. Numerous restrooms with varying degrees of accessibility are along the route, but the most accessible are at San Carlos Beach Park, at the foot of the recreational pier at Fisherman's Wharf, at Dennis the Menace playground at El Estero Park, adjacent to the Maritime Museum, and at the green building in between Monterey City Beach and Fisherman's Wharf. The entrance to the women's restroom at Lovers Point Park has a tight 90-degree turn, but is otherwise accessible, as is the men's.  At San Carlos Beach Park and Fisherman's Shoreline Park
Climbing the trail from Houghton parking lot
Climbing the trail from Houghton parking lot (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

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Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • swimming
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.tamcmonterey.org/
Managing Agency: Transportation Agency for Monterey County
Address: Foot of Sand Dunes Dr. at Canyon Del Rey Blvd., Seaside
Nearest City: Seaside
Phone: (831) 775-0903
Hours: Trail always open. Monterey State Historic Park, Custom House and Pacific House Museums: weekends and holidays, 10 am-4 pm
Fees: Museum
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Monterey-Salinas Transit 
Useful Links: Monterey State Historic Park
Trail rules 
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, August 2, 2010
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
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
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