Lesser-Known Hikes in Carmel-by-the-Sea
It’s fall on the Central Coast and the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the pristine weather while getting a little exercise! Of course, Point Lobos State Preserve in the Carmel Highlands comes to mind when you think of hiking in Monterey County, but there are some hidden hiking gems in Carmel-by-the-Sea that are some of our favorites here at the Canning Properties Group. Whether you are new to the Monterey Peninsula, the Carmel area is your longtime home, or you are in the market for a new property in Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Carmel Highlands, or Carmel Valley, these trails will not disappoint if you are looking for a fun and easy day hike!
Carmel Meadows Trail
The Carmel Meadows Trail is an easy and less-traveled hiking option for those wanting a casual and uncrowded hike, especially when the weather is nice, and the crowds have flocked to Carmel Beach or Point Lobos for the day. Just a mile south of Carmel-by-the-Sea and before you get into the Carmel Highlands, there is the Carmel Meadows neighborhood which boasts world-class oceanfront homes and uncrowded beaches (this is where Betty White had a house!). You can access the roughly mile-long Carmel Meadows Trail from the end of Ribera Road within the Carmel Meadows neighborhood or just a bit farther down towards the Carmel Highlands, off Highway 1, right before Monastery Beach. Most of the trail hugs the shoreline, but there is a small loop on the north end of the trail (towards Carmel State Beach) which brings you up a little hill to the Portola Crespi Cross (a memorial to an ill-fated event that happened in 1769 which is well worth looking up and reading about). From the Portola Crespi Cross, the trail will take you by the estuary at Carmel State Beach (formed by the Carmel River before it runs into the Pacific Ocean) which is a great place to stop as it is usually full of active seabirds coming and going, and it is quite a sight to behold!
Mission Trail Nature Preserve
The Mission trail system in Carmel is a former estate that was turned into a 34-acre nature preserve and now boasts 3 miles of varying hiking trails that meander through large Pine and Redwood trees. You can access the trail system from multiple trailheads within Carmel-by-the-Sea, but the easiest entry point is likely off Rio Road, right by the Carmel Mission on the south side of town. From the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s official website:
“The Mission Trail Nature Preserve is a 34-acre park that encompasses three miles of hiking trails and a native plant garden. The Preserve’s habitats include a Monterey pine forest, coast live oak woodland, wetland, willow riparian corridor and a coastal prairie. The Preserve was designed as a nature park in 1979 for passive recreational use, including dog walking. The park boundaries include the Flanders Mansion, the Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden and the meadow off Martin Road. The City has an active management plan to remove invasive plants, restore wetlands, and improve the trail system.”
Like the Carmel Meadows Trail, the lesser-known Mission Trail Nature Preserve is a great hiking option for times when areas like Carmel Beach and Point Lobos near the Carmel Highlands are a bit crowded: One takes you between oceanfront homes and the coastline, the other past tucked away real estate gems in Carmel-by-the-Sea that border creeks and open spaces.
So, whether you are in Carmel for the day to eat and shop on Ocean Avenue or if you are in the area looking for real estate with the hope of making the Monterey Peninsula home, now you know a couple of trails to get out on and enjoy like a local!
If you need assistance in your Pebble Beach or Carmel-by-the-Sea real estate or simply want to learn more about the area, please contact Canning Properties Group. Whether you’re looking for a short-term rental or a forever home, Our team can walk you through the process from start to finish and help you find a place that’s right for you. With years of experience in the real estate industry and deep knowledge of the Monterey Peninsula, this team can help you find a house that truly feels like home.