The South Access of the Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail runs from Poplar Beach to the Ritz Carlton at Miramontes Point. This multi-use pathway offers beautiful ocean scenery as it passes by some area beaches and wanders through the grasslands, wetlands, and trees in the Wavecrest Open Space. The preserve is a nesting site for a number of birds of prey. You can hike this route any time, but your chances for a clear day are probably best in the late fall.
To tackle this 2.5-mile trail, start at the parking lot at the end of Poplar Beach Road. Pick up the trailhead directly west of the lot and head south. You'll start on a paved pathway along the bluffs, where you'll see puptacular panoramic views of the coastline and blue waters beyond. As you continue into the open space preserve, you'll switch to a dirt lane that heads through a grove of trees before returning to the coastline. Most of the trek travels on the edges of the cliffs -- take care as you walk. The final part of the road goes through Ritz Carlton property and ends at the parking lot on Miramontes Point Road.
This is a dog-friendly trail, but you'll need to control your fur-baby with a leash. You won't find fresh water sources along the way, so bring refreshments with you. Carry bags to collect Fido's droppings. There are porta-potties at the Poplar Beach parking lot for your convenience.
The south portion of the Coastside Trail offers sweeping ocean scenery as you hike a gentle incline. Most of the trip is open and provides unobstructed views of the coast and beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the salty breezes as you walk along the pathway with your four-footed friend. This section of the coast is frequently foggy and has cooler temperatures than the Bay Area, so be prepared when you visit here.