Two Walks at Gualala Point

Meanwhile back on Hwy 1 heading to Gualala.

After lunch and lounging at Stillwater Cove, we continued north – stopped at Salt Point to check the plumbing (bathroom at coast parking lot still closed.) Access at Fisk Mill is sadly closed. (As of summer of 2014 Fisk Mill is open again!)

Gualala River

We sped on (except for one lane road construction on the fragile Hwy 1) past Sea Ranch to Gualala Pt Regional Park. This is the northernmost park in Sonoma County and one of our favorites. We stopped at an overlook to the river for a contemplative half hour (you know, nap) and then proceeded to the Visitor Center and trails.

Gualala Pt Regional Park meadow

One of the reasons we like this park is the access to miles of flat trails. Other reasons include a big beach, subtly colored meadows, tree coverage, healthy coffeeberry plants, birds and peace. The distant location means sharing with fewer people. As flat-walkers we can’t find our quiet nature up a mountain, but we can find it in more remote parks.

Gualala Pt Regional Park to Sea Ranch

From the Visitor Center, we stayed on the paved path and circled back on the dirt and grass trail of about a mile. We passed on a  longer coastal walk by Sea Ranch and then drove  into downtown Gualala. We make a trip here a couple of times a year and this time we were going to spend the night.

Gualala view back to Point Park

We stopped at the Surf Market first, a fun place to shop. Later, the man at the motel would describe it as “Trader Joe’s on steroids.” Our room at the Surf Motel had a view across Gualala River to the Pacific Ocean. Besides the view, the motel is pet-friendly. This was Cole’s first motel visit. He enjoyed the trail behind the motel (thank you Coastal Conservancy).

Cole on Bluff Trail in Gualala

After a good night’s sleep, we had a tremendous breakfast on the porch of the motel lobby. We then decided on another walk at Gualala Pt, but with a trek to the beach.

Gualala Pr Regional Park Beach

From the Visitor Center we kept straight on the grass path down to the beach. A short climb over the dunes led to the wide beach. The morning had been so peaceful, but by the time, we got to the beach, the wind roared. We tried being brave but the walk involved lots of hunkering down by one of the elaborate driftwood structures people build.

Beach Treasures

We left the beach and made a loop of some of the more wind-protected trails.

Gualala Pt Regional Park trail

Next, we decided to browse some of the shops back in town. Placewares is one of our favorites, both art gallery and eclectic gift shop.

Somehow, we were hungry again. I checked if Trinks (favorite café) would let us have a dog on the patio. They would! So we had another marvelous lunch, before heading home.

Our visit two years ago.

Words by Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

Random information: Cleanest bathrooms ever. Lovely campground along Gualala River under the redwoods. Trail Map.

We’ll be back. These chairs await.

Gualala at Sunset

Published by Lynn Millar

Walker, reader, writer, traveller - see About Walking

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