There are two kayak launch sites for Elkhorn Slough: Kirby Park and Moss Landing Harbor District Launch Site (just north of Moss Landing). You can rent kayaks at the latter site. Be sure to check tide and weather conditions before launching. The following outfitters offer regular guided kayak tours of the slough, as well as rentals:
Kayak Connection (831) 724-5692
Monterey Bay Kayaks (800) 649-5357
Outback Adventures (408) 551-0588
Those looking for a less strenuous way to see the slough can check out the boat tours that leave from the Moss Landing main harbor:
Elkhorn Slough Safari (831) 633-5555
Whisper Charters Electric Boat (831) 372-7616
You can visit the slough by land as well as water, via a five-mile network of trails at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. The visitor center has hands-on exhibits and a bookstore, as well as staff naturalists. Docent-led tours depart the visitor center each weekend day at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., rain or shine. There is also an early morning bird walk on the first Saturday of every month at 8:30 a.m. The Reserve is open Wednesday-Sunday, and there is a $2.50 entrance fee for adults.
The Elkhorn Slough Foundation is a membership-supported land trust devoted to protecting, restoring, and educating the public about the slough and its watershed. The Foundation currently owns or manages more than 2,500 acres of land, and works with other landowners in the watershed to improve the health of the ecosystem. Members enjoy discounts at the bookstore and visitor center, special events and field trips, and a subscription to Tidal Exchange. For more information, visit www.elkhornslough.org, or call (831) 728-5939. To volunteer for habitat restoration or species monitoring projects, call Jackie Kourassis at (831) 728-2822.
To learn more about the slough’s resident shark species, visit the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.
Friends of the Sea Otter have information on sea otters on their website.
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The 23,000 acres around Crystal Springs are prime hiking territory in an urban region desperate for more places to get outdoors. They're also home to numerous endangered species, and critical to San Francisco's drinking water supply.
Recreation | Stewardship | Urban Nature