Limekiln Beach Limekiln State Park California

After hiking to Limekiln Falls and to the historic lime kilns, it’s also worthwhile visiting Limekiln State Beach at Limekiln State Park (CA). The beach is at the other end of the parking lot as the hiking trails (easily seen from the parking lot). You cross a small bridge over Limekiln Creek and enter the Limekiln beach campground. The Limekiln beach is at the far end of the campground just beyond a huge bridge that carries cars across the Limekiln Canyon on highway 1:

Limekiln beach campground at Limekiln State Beach California

Although it would seem that the beach would be quite noisy with the highway bridge right above, that is not really the case. The bridge is high enough that there is very little car noise on the beach. When I visited, someone has set up a small love seat directly next to one of the bridge support columns:

Loveseat at Limekiln State Beach

That provided a wonderful view of Limekiln Beach when sitting on it:

the view of Limekiln Beach from loveseat

Limekiln Beach itself is pretty interesting. On the left side, Limekiln Creek empties into the ocean bringing down a rocky bed of stones and boulders to the sea:

Limekiln Creek emptying into the ocean at Limekiln beach

To the right is a the beach, although it is littered with large stones that have been swept down the creek in the past:

With the campgrounds nearby, there were plenty of kids and families enjoying the beach and the creek. I would imagine that it would be a wonderful place for families to camp giving everyone plenty of choices of how to spend the day depending on what they enjoyed doing most. If interested, here are some more photos of Limekiln State Park. Unfortunately, Limekiln State Park is on the list of California State parks to close.

Lime Kilns Limekiln State Park California

In addition to seeing Limekiln Falls at Limekiln State Park (CA), hiking to the historic lime kilns is also a must. It’s pretty strange seeing these huge iron and stone furnaces in the middle of a redwood forest where they look so completely out of place:

lime kilns at Limekiln State Park California

According to the Limekiln State Park brochure:

Beginning in 1887, the Rockland Lime and Lumber Company extracted, processed and exported thousands of barrels of lime from Limekiln Canyon. Four stone and iron furnaces were built at the base of a large talus slope eroding from the limestone deposit. Limestone rocks were loaded into the kilns, where very hot wood fires burned for long periods to purify lime.

The lime was packed into barrels, hauled by wagon to Rockland Landing on the coast and loaded onto ships that carried it to northern ports for use in concrete.

After only 3 years, the limestone deposit was depleted, as was the redwood forest that had been nearly clear-cut to use for lumber and fuel.

Today the four kilns, some stone walls and bridge abutments are the only remains of the thriving lime industry that existed here.

lime kilns in redwood forest

To get to the historic lime kilns, you follow the same directions as to Limekiln Falls, but take the fork to the left and remain on Limekiln Trail instead of right onto Falls Trail. The trail is quite easy without the obstacles that Falls Trail has, and the scenery is quite beautiful as you hike along West Fork Creek:

West Fork Creek Limekiln State Park California

If interested, here are some more photos of Limekiln State Park. Unfortunately, Limekiln State park is on the list of California State parks to close.

Limekiln Falls Limekiln State Park

I always love when I come across the unexpected. As I was traveling highway 1 down the coast of California, I heard that it would be worthwhile stopping at Limekiln State Park (CA) to see the waterfall that they had there. I enjoy waterfalls and think that they have a mysterious beauty in themselves so it was a no brainer that I would make the stop, but I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful Limekiln Falls actually is.

There isn’t much parking at Limekiln State Park (maybe 20 spaces total outside of the camping area) as it is mainly a place set aside for those camping. To get to the Limekiln Trail (which will lead to Falls Trail), you park your car and head toward the bathrooms at the end of the parking lot. As you pass the bathrooms, you’ll get a see of all the dangers that you could face on the trail.

hiking warning signs displayed at Limekiln State Park

Once past the bathrooms, you need to walk through the camp ground to the far end where the Limekiln Trail Head is located. Once on the trail, it will fork about 200 yards in with Hare Creek Trail to the right and Limekiln Trail to the left following Limekiln Creek:

Limekiln Creek at Limekiln State Park California

The trail is shaded and cool with huge clovers covering the ground in many areas:

giant clovers at Limekiln State Park California

Stay to the left at the fork on Limekiln Trail and about 1/4 of a mile further on the trail will fork again with Limekiln Trail to the left and Falls Trail to the right. Stay right. Once you reach this fork, it’s about another half mile to the falls (about 1 mile in total).

The Falls Trail has some obstacles, but most people should be able to manage it. There are several places where you must cross Limekiln Creek. Fallen branches and logs have been placed down at these crossings, but it does require a bit of balance if you don’t want to fall into the water:

Creek crossing Limekiln Creek California

There are also several places where fallen trees have blocked the trail and you must scramble under or over them to remain on the trail:

fallen tree across Falls Trail at Limekiln State Park

Once you reach Limekiln Falls, I immediately realised why people recommended to place it on the lists of places to see. The waterfall fans out and much of it cascades down mossy vegetation in the center of the falls. It reminded me a bit of the waterfalls in Fern Canyon at Redwood National Park, but on a much larger scale (it’s about 100 feet in height) and with the sun making everything sparkle:

Limekiln Falls at Limekiln State Park California

close-up of Limekiln Falls at Limekiln State Park

If you happen to being driving the coast of California, it’s definitely worthwhile making a stop to see this waterfall. If interested, here are some more photos of Limekiln State Park. Unfortunately, Limekiln State park is on the list of California State parks to close.