Fields, beaches, and lots of fun are what you'll get when you and your pup explore the Hearn Gulch Trail. This coastal path isn't your typical hike and is a nice retreat from the normal forested mountain hikes in the state. The trail itself is easy to find and stays pretty well-marked the entire time, with a consistent 2-feet wide girth along the way, and terrain made from sandy, compacted dirt, and grass.
The drive to get to the trail is just as scenic as the trail, offering high-up views of the crashing water along the shore. Park at the Hearn Gulch Coastal Access area where there is a gravel parking lot. There are no amenities at the parking area, so be sure to bring all the needed amenities for you and Fido, such as water and clean-up bags. The access area takes up a total of 7 acres, including open fields, cliffsides, and a dog-friendly beach.
Hearn Gulch is a rocky cove along the shore, featuring a beach along the apex of the cove. The trail begins at the access point and follows along a forking path. The left fork takes you and Fido to an open field along Hearn Gulch, near the cliff's edge, where you can look over at the crashing waves or spot whales in the distance. The right fork takes you north to Hearn Gulch itself, where you and your pup will descend a short but steep set of stairs to reach the beach that's part of Hearn's Gulch. Other than exploring the beach and field, you and Fido can come across vibrant spring wildflowers, smaller caves along the beach area, and the occasional siting of wildlife like deer, foxes, groundhogs, and squirrels.
After the beach, you and Fido will be done with the trail and can head back to your car. If you want to keep the fun going, the trail connects to the larger California Coastal Trail, which offers multiple other trails that span over the state's coast up to 1200 miles. That's for another day though, because even though the trail is short, you and Fido will be spent after all the exploring and playing you'll be able to do at this sun-clad trail.