Manchester State Park


What? :

A large state park with 5-mile-long ocean coast, dunes, and few creeks.

Not a lot of things to see here, you can enjoy walking on the secluded beach, exploring the creeks and enjoy your time away of the crowd.



Where? :

The park campground is located on a side road heading west of highway 1, less than one mile north of the small-town Manchester.

The beach access parking lot is located at the end of the road.

Google Map Link


When? :

You can visit here year-round, do expect evening fog during the summer months.

The campground is close during the winter months.


Due note 1: There is a large KOA site just before the park campground.


Due note 2: I saw that there is good fishing opportunities in the park’s two streams, Brush Creek, and Alder Creek.


Due note 3: The park is fully open and exposed to the wind, do expect strong winds year-round and warm clothing is recommended.



My thoughts:

This is not on my highly recommended parks list.

There is not a lot of things to see or do here except exploring the large sandy ocean beach and walking in the large flat sand-dunes are cover with native dune grassland.



The visit:


This was not on my plan, but I had time to spend in the morning before the opening of Point Arena Lighthouse Museum (open at 10am) so I decided to visit this nearby park.


I parked my car at the end of the road near the beach.

First, I walk on the sand dune edge above the beach until I manage to find a way to go down to the beach itself, then I walk north along the shoreline.

Large sand beach with a lot of driftwood.

When walking on the beach near the water be carful from sneaky wave that can catch you by surprise.


When I had enough, I climb to the dunes level and walk back to the parking lot.

There aren’t any official trails, but you can find trails that crosses in between the dune vegetation.


I was back at the parking lot and still had more time, so I walk south ¾ of a mile to Brush Creek.

On my way there I saw 2 local fishermen’s coming back after morning fishing, probably looking for steelhead or salmon fishing.


After easy 15-minute walk, I arrived at Brush Creek.

It was January and the creek was flowing, paving it way in the send barricade all the way to the ocean.

This block my way south, I can cross it near the beach, but I did not want to get wet.

It was already 10am, I went back to my car and drove to Point Arena Lighthouse.



Western Snowy Plovers:

There are only an estimated 2,100 adult breeding Western Snowy Plovers in the world it is listed as a "species of special concern" by the State of California. The San Luis Obispo Coast District of California State Parks has been carrying out monitoring, public education, and enforcement of regulations for several years to promote recovery of the plover population.

Manchester State Park, ocean front send dunes is one of the state parks protecting this bird habitat.





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