There are five highway-side parking areas in Año Nuevo State Park north of the main entrance and Marine Education Center. Each of these offers beach access, and all of them except Gazos Creek have trails that lead to the spectacular Atkinson Bluff Trail that winds for 3 miles from Franklin Point in the north to the border of the restricted area of Año Nuevo Coast Natural Preserve to the south. Easy loops are possible from any of the trailheads, though most will require walking along Highway 1 to complete the loop.
An easy 1-mile loop that doesn’t require leaving the bluffs starts at the parking area just north of the Whitehouse Creek bridge. From here the south trail leads to Whitehouse Creek Beach and the intersection with the Atkinson Bluff Trail, which can be followed in either direction. Going north, the trail skirts the edge of the cliffs and offers magnificent views up and down the coast. Taking the first junction to the right leads back to the starting point, but continuing straight to add some out-and-back distance is a great option for a longer hike.