One of the best aspects of the California coast is that it generally offers a mild and hospitable climate for outdoor recreation year round. While the coastline further north is often barraged with heavy storms throughout winter, it's not uncommon to find the Northern California coast basking in 65-degree, calm and sunny weather, making it a great destination for winter trail time. Add to that a raw and verdant landscape, where forest- and chaparell-covered mountains descend steeply into a rocky ocean at the edge of the continent, and you'll soon discover (if you haven't already) that this is prime terrain beckoning to be explored.
Fortunately, hundreds of miles of serene coastal trails make this rugged landscape accessible. Whether you're interested in a casual walk along bluffs above crashing surf or a longer excursion into the coastal mountains high above the Pacific, hundreds of miles of serene coastal trails await. Between the Oregon border and Big Sur, outings range from wandering through a fairy-tale land of the giant trees of the Redwood Empire to a multi-day, tide-timed trek along the Lost Coast, to a stroll to a waterfall plunging into the ocean at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Where to start might you ask? We pulled together the list below, oriented north to south, to help you start exploring some of coastal Northern California's finest.