Abbotts Lagoon, in Point Reyes National Seashore, is a stunning destination perfect for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts of all ages. The trail is relatively flat, easy to follow, and great for the whole family. Here is all the information on the hike, and you can read more about my favorite spots in Point Reyes National Seashore here.
- 3.5 miles round trip to get to the beach and back
- No cost to visit the park
- Location: 38.12342007836279, -122.9352015754962
How to get to Abbotts Lagoon
From Inverness, you will drive about 6 miles to the trailhead parking lot off Pierce Point Road. There is a small parking area near the trailhead that can hold about 20 cars, and a restroom there as well.
History of Abbotts Lagoon
The area was once home to the Coast Miwok people, who lived along the California coast for centuries before the arrival of European explorers. In the mid-1800s, European settlers began to arrive in the area and many established ranches and farms in the region. The land surrounding Abbotts Lagoon was used for grazing cattle and sheep, and the lagoon itself was used as a source of fresh water. In the early 1900s, the federal government acquired the land around Abbotts Lagoon, and the area was designated as part of Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962. Since then, the lagoon and surrounding landscape have been protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Abbotts Lagoon Trail
The trail to Abbotts Lagoon is an easy, flat 2.3-mile round trip that takes you through beautiful coastal grasslands and marshes. Along the way, keep an eye out for wildlife such as elk, coyotes, and various bird species.
The hike is easy to follow, and it goes over a few small bridges as it traverses along the small body of water that leads into the lagoon.
As you approach the lagoon, you’ll be greeted by stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding hills. The lagoon is a peaceful oasis with calm waters and plenty of opportunities for birdwatching.
After exploring the lagoon, consider taking a side trip to nearby Kehoe Beach, which offers miles of pristine coastline and breathtaking ocean views. Or, head up the small hill near the bridge, which gives you some of the area’s best views from a high vantage point.
Birds you can see at Abbotts Lagoon
Abbotts Lagoon is a prime location for birdwatching, with a wide variety of bird species calling the area home. Here are some of the birds you may see during your visit:
- Great Blue Heron: This large, majestic bird can often be seen wading through the lagoon’s waters in search of fish.
- Snowy Egret: With its striking white feathers and yellow beak, the snowy egret is a common sight in and around Abbotts Lagoon.
- American Avocet: This distinctive shorebird has long, thin legs and a curved beak to probe the sand for food.
- Marbled Godwit: The marbled godwit is a large, brown shorebird with a long, upturned bill. It can often be seen feeding in the mudflats along the lagoon.
- Western Sandpiper: This small, fast-moving bird is a common sight in the area, darting back and forth along the shoreline for food.
- Northern Harrier: This bird of prey can often be seen flying low over the grasslands surrounding the lagoon, hunting for small mammals and birds.
- Red-tailed Hawk: Another bird of prey commonly seen in the area, the red-tailed hawk can often be seen perched on a fence post or soaring high overhead.
These are just a few bird species you may see during your visit to Abbotts Lagoon. Overall, Abbotts Lagoon is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Point Reyes National Seashore. With its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife, it’s sure to be a highlight of your trip to the park.