Martin’s Beach is a scenic little cove, on the coast, a few miles south of Half Moon Bay. For years I have been hearing about the legal challenges to reopen beach access at Martin’s Beach, which was closed when Vinod Khosla, a wealthy Silicon Valley individual, bought the whole place and closed public access. The battle was between private property rights versus historical access and coastal access laws.
I’d been past the closed gate a few times, and knew that people had recently parked on Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and walked down, without any problems. There was a break in our lengthy, wet winter, and I was itching for a bicycle ride. Over the hill I went. Up Kings Mountain Road from Woodside, where it intersects Skyline Blvd.
It becomes the even more peaceful “Tunitas Creek Road” on the coastal side of Skyline Blvd.
Just after the road flattens out, about 2 miles from the coast, is the fabulous Bike Hut! Water, coffee, tea, snacks, porta-potty, and a place to rest and maybe chat with other cyclists. The nicely restored building was a small garage or barn, with a hanging / sliding door, now painted in stripes! (My previous write-up here: https://alpharoaming.com/2014/05/05/bike-hut/ )
Turn right when you get to the coast, and be sure you check your map. The street sign was missing. Below, the gate was open, and the “Right to Pass” sign at the top was new, and less threatening. There is an old sign below that new one…
It’s about 1/4 mile down the street, from the gate to the beach. Just below the public parking lot, which may try to collect $10 from you, the scenery gets beautiful!
Below is the view from the northern end of the cove, looking south. There’s about 30 modest homes and cabins of assorted “casual” architecture. I saw nobody there, and very few vehicles, on a cool weekday morning. Mostly vacation or weekend homes, I guess.
A nice sign, between the Bike Hut and the coastal highway. You’ll notice it heading back, but not headed westbound.
I was quite chilly on my final descent back into Woodside. As I stopped to warm myself a bit, I notice this photogenic dirt island, on Kings Mountain Road, highlighting how steep these roads can be!
That’s it! Go visit sometime. You can leave your car on Highway 1 and walk down, or drive down to the parking lot and see if there’s room and someone collecting money. I imagine it may be quite popular in the summer!
Wikipedia “Martin’s Beach dispute”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinod_Khosla#Martins_Beach_dispute
Yelp, with more pictures: https://www.yelp.com/biz/martins-beach-half-moon-bay
Surfrider Foundation, with a bunch of historical legal news links at bottom: https://www.surfrider.org/priority-campaigns/open-martins-beach
October 1, 2018: Supreme Court refuses to hear his appeal. CASE CLOSED! https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Supreme-Court-refuses-to-take-up-Martins-Beach-13271592.php