"All good things are wild and free." --Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve: where the seals come to do some people watching

So your child wants to see animals up close and personal? There's not much better than being on a beautiful seashore half an hour south of San Francisco with incredible tide pools at your feet, and a herd of harbor seals writhing with pleasure on the sand a hundred yards away.

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach has been a designated plant and animal haven since the late Sixties, and subsequently over two dozen marine species have been discovered here. In terms of discovery, I couldn't believe I'd never been here. What a cool place! I love seals, tide pools, the ocean, and all of that also being close to home. 
The tide pools are chock full of seaweed, anemones, sea stars, crabs, sponges, and fish. A friend of mine actually found an octopus once, she told me. A huge group of seals were farting and grunting on the beach, cool as could be, and so exciting---you just have to stay 100 yards from them (park rule), though lots of them were swimming alongside the shore, quite close with their doggy heads peering out of the water, checking out all the humans.
To get a walk in, cruise along the bluffs on a mile's worth of trails, or ride a bicycle several miles down the California Coastal Trail, all the way to El Granada if you like, where there are plenty of sweet restaurants (Ketch Joanne is my favorite) and picnic places.

Before visiting Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, make sure to check a tide schedule to arrive during the lowest tide:www.Saltwatertides.com.
Keep in mind the park opens at 8 am. Dogs are only allowed on certain trails, and not around the tide pools or the marine animals.
200 Nevada Avenue Moss Beach, CA 94038 San Mateo County
(650) 728-3584 Park HQ (650) 363-4021 Group Tours

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