TrailfinderYour Guide to Bay Area Parks & Trails

Back to Main Map

 

Trailfinder sponsored by

 

Kortum Trail to Goat Rock Road

 

Trail

 

Trailheads

by Transit & Trails

Park

Wildlife Sightings

by iNaturalist

 

Length: 3.11 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Halfday
 
 
Ann Sieck
Created by Ann Sieck

Ann Sieck wants to make sure people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, can find parks and trails they can enjoy.

Park: 38.41304343 -123.06806143 park Sonoma Coast State Park

Good for:
  • Beaches/Shore
  • Birding
  • Disabled Access
  • Dogs
  • Views
  • Wildflowers
Habitat:
  • Chaparral
  • Marine
Attributes:
  • Trail Hiking

Overview

The Sonoma Coast State Beaches north of Bodega Bay are fine places to camp, stroll, investigate tidepools, even surf, though given the treacherous currents, you'd better know what you're doing. Stay clear of the rip-tides by taking a walk on Kortum Trail along the bluff-tops 30 or 40 feet above the water. On this trail, named after a local preservationist, the most serious worry is the possible collapse of the cliff while a visitor peers over the edge. Near the Shell Beach trailhead is just such an overlook, with views of crumbling cliffs draped in bush lupine and ocean swells exploding on craggy rocks.

A trailhead display shows raptors often seen here; we saw an osprey fly inland with a fish gleaming in its talons, and a northern harrier on the hunt. The main trail meanders north over coastal prairie, perennial bunch grasses, and other low-growing plants, wandering back from the cliff's edge and proceeding along narrow boardwalks where springs or spreading streams create marshy conditions. These wet areas, along with the coastal fog, allow abundant wildflowers to last longer here than on nearby higher hills. After about a mile, the trail turns back toward the sea to another nice overlook, before continuing over rougher terrain to Goat Rock Road, which leads down to Blind Beach. More details are at http://donh.best.vwh.net/Outdoors/hike.961215.html

Details: the Shell Beach turnout is clearly marked, about 7 miles north of Bodega Bay. Vault toilets, hikers only, leashed dogs, no fee, no water. The trail is very well graded compacted fine gravel or dirt, nearly level for the first 0.8 mile. There’s a long narrow boardwalk that has no wide places, so two wheelchairs could not pass anywhere on it, and if your chair is large, you wouldn’t be able to turn around either. The trail becomes wheelchair-impassible after about a mile.

This hike originally published in the July 2008 issue of Bay Nature magazine

 

powered by Flickr

Get Involved: Become a trailblazer, Review this Park, Log Wildlife Sightings, and Submit Photos.

Leave a Comment

Name

Email

Website

Comment

 
Coyote Days of Summer Sale: 15% off subscriptions