The 430-acre Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, commonly known as East-West Ranch, stretches for nearly a mile above the ocean. Several single-track trails meander through it and two are wheelchair-accessible. Once heavily forested, the land was cleared for cattle grazing about a hundred years ago, and now only 70 acres of rare Monterey pines survive on a ridgeline. The land was sold to developers in the 1980s, but local residents fought to preserve it, and in 2000, with the help of the Coastal Conservancy and others, it was purchased and turned over to the City of Cambria for habitat protection and recreational use. Santa Rosa Creek runs through the preserve, providing habitat for endangered and threatened species that include the tidewater goby, steelhead trout, and red-legged frog.
The Bluff Trail, as its name suggests, travels high above the ocean along the bluff’s edge, and the Marine Terrace Trail, a well-maintained emergency access road with few inclines, runs parallel to it farther inland. The two can be combined to create a loop hike; I recommend starting at the north entrance to the Marine Terrace Trail to avoid a few steep inclines. In summer, wildflowers stand out in sharp contrast to the dry golden grasslands that separate the two trails. Look for pelicans, cormorants, and red-tail and Cooper’s hawks.
Leave the Marine Terrace Trail at Marlboro Lane and travel in the street through a quiet residential neighborhood. Turn right onto Wedgewood Street and travel down a very steep section, then turn right on Windsor Boulevard South. The Bluff Trail entrance is a few hundred feet farther, at the foot of the boulevard. This trail is composed intermittently of boardwalk and hard-packed material, with smooth transitions between the different surfaces. A wood platform near the entrance offers views south toward the Marine Terrace district of Cambria. Benches with artistic flair are scattered throughout. The trail frequently dips and rises, almost as if you're riding the ocean waves, which you can see and hear crashing below. A small section of boardwalk at the trail’s end is steep and has a severe cross-slope.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
The preserve splits Windsor Boulevard into two discontinuous segments. The parking area at the foot of northern Windsor Boulevard is easier to find and has an adjoining access aisle. The parking area at the end of Windsor Boulevard South has an unofficial accessible space.
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.