Imagine yourself strolling along the sandy shores, with the gentle ocean breeze caressing your face and the sound of crashing waves in the background. Now, take that enchanting experience one step further by exploring the best walking trails near the beach. Whether you seek a peaceful escape amidst nature’s beauty or an invigorating workout with stunning coastal views, this article will guide you towards the most breathtaking trails that await your eager footsteps. Lace up your walking shoes and let the adventure unfold! If you’re someone who loves the beach and enjoys taking long walks with the sound of crashing waves in the background, then you’re in luck! There are plenty of amazing walking trails near the beach that offer stunning coastal views, refreshing sea breezes, and an opportunity to connect with nature. In this article, we will explore some of the best walking trails near the beach, from the California Coastal Trail to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. So grab your walking shoes, pack some snacks, and get ready to embark on a memorable beachside adventure!
Starting our list is a trail that needs no introduction – the California Coastal Trail. Stretching over 1,200 miles along the stunning California coastline, this trail offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and takes you through some of the most beautiful coastal towns and landscapes. The California Coastal Trail is divided into different sections, each with its own unique charm and highlights. Let’s explore a few of them:
Section 9: Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail
Perfect for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail offers nine miles of picturesque coastal views. The trail takes you through the charming town of Monterey and offers opportunities to spot wildlife, including sea otters and seals. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a scenic walking trail, this section of the California Coastal Trail is not to be missed.
Section 10: Carmel River State Beach Trail
For a more secluded and peaceful beachside experience, head to the Carmel River State Beach Trail. This section of the California Coastal Trail boasts sandy dunes, picturesque cliffs, and access to a beautiful sandy beach. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the soothing sound of crashing waves.
Section 11: Andrew Molera State Park Trail
Nature lovers and adventure seekers will find solace in the Andrew Molera State Park Trail. This section of the California Coastal Trail offers a diverse range of landscapes, including golden sand beaches, meandering rivers, and lush green meadows. The trail also provides access to Point Sur State Historic Park, where you can explore a historic lighthouse and learn about the area’s rich maritime past.
Section 12: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Trail
If you’re looking to witness nature’s true beauty, don’t miss the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Trail. This section of the California Coastal Trail offers awe-inspiring views of McWay Falls, a stunning waterfall that cascades onto a pristine sandy beach. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by lush green forests and towering redwood trees – a truly magical experience.
Burleigh Heads National Park Trail
Located on the Gold Coast of Australia, the Burleigh Heads National Park Trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty and coastal charm. This trail meanders through the Burleigh Heads National Park, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding coastline. Here are a few highlights of this coastal gem:
Immerse yourself in the beauty of a coastal rainforest as you explore the Rainforest Circuit. This loop trail takes you through a lush green canopy, with towering trees and vibrant flora. As you venture deeper into the rainforest, you’ll come across hidden waterfalls and tranquil streams, creating a serene atmosphere that feels worlds away from the bustling beach nearby.
True to its name, the Oceanview Walk provides stunning panoramic views of the sparkling Pacific Ocean. As you walk along the trail, you’ll encounter several lookout points that offer breathtaking vistas of the coastline below. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales, and other marine life that frequent these waters – a sight that will surely leave you in awe.
Waringa Pool Track
For a refreshing dip in a natural swimming hole, take a detour along the Waringa Pool Track. This trail leads you to a hidden gem where you can cool off in crystal-clear waters surrounded by stunning rock formations. The tranquility of the pool and the surrounding natural beauty make it the perfect spot to relax and recharge before continuing your coastal adventure.
Cape Cod Rail Trail
If you find yourself on the East Coast of the United States, specifically in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the Cape Cod Rail Trail is a must-visit. This well-maintained trail spans approximately 25 miles and takes you through picturesque towns, charming villages, and breathtaking natural landscapes. Here are a few highlights along the Cape Cod Rail Trail:
North Falmouth to Harwich Port
This scenic section of the Cape Cod Rail Trail offers a perfect blend of coastal beauty and charming New England architecture. As you stroll along, you’ll pass through quaint towns like Falmouth and Harwich Port, where you can take a break and explore local shops and eateries. Don’t forget to take in the stunning ocean views that accompany you throughout this section of the trail.
Chatham to Brewster
For a peaceful and serene walking experience, head to the section of the Cape Cod Rail Trail that runs from Chatham to Brewster. This stretch of the trail takes you through beautiful marshlands, offering a glimpse into the diverse coastal ecosystems of Cape Cod. Keep an eye out for migratory birds and other wildlife that call this area home.
Eastham to Wellfleet
If you’re a history buff, you’ll appreciate the Eastham to Wellfleet section of the Cape Cod Rail Trail. This part of the trail is dotted with historic sites, including the Salt Pond Visitor Center, where you can learn about the region’s rich maritime heritage. As you walk along, take in the scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the charming Cape Cod landscape.
Truro to Provincetown
For a truly breathtaking coastal experience, make your way from Truro to Provincetown along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. This section takes you through the Cape Cod National Seashore, offering expansive dune views and pristine sandy beaches. As you approach Provincetown, be sure to catch the colorful sunset over the Atlantic – a sight that will leave you speechless.
Great Ocean Walk
Located along the stunning coastline of Victoria, Australia, the Great Ocean Walk is a bucket-list hiking trail for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Spanning approximately 65 miles, this trail offers unparalleled views of the Southern Ocean, towering limestone cliffs, and iconic rock formations. Here are a few of the highlights along the Great Ocean Walk:
Apollo Bay to Elliot River
Beginning at the picturesque town of Apollo Bay, this section of the Great Ocean Walk showcases the region’s natural beauty at its finest. As you walk along the trail, take in the breathtaking coastal views, listen to the crashing waves, and soak in the serenity of the surroundings. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and a wide variety of bird species.
Elliot River to Blanket Bay
Continuing along the Great Ocean Walk, the section from Elliot River to Blanket Bay offers a rugged and untamed coastal experience. Traverse through dense forests, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs as you make your way through this breathtaking stretch of the trail. Be prepared to be amazed by the powerful force of the ocean as it crashes against the majestic cliffs.
Blanket Bay to Cape Otway
For a walk through history, head to the section of the Great Ocean Walk that stretches from Blanket Bay to Cape Otway. This part of the trail takes you through the ancient landscapes of the Otway Ranges, where you can see remnants of the region’s Aboriginal heritage. Marvel at the towering Cape Otway Lightstation, a historic lighthouse that has guided mariners for over 160 years.
Cape Otway to Aire River
As you continue your journey along the Great Ocean Walk, you’ll be greeted by stunning coastal panoramas as you make your way from Cape Otway to Aire River. This section of the trail offers magnificent views of rugged cliffs, sandy bays, and crashing waves. Take your time to appreciate the raw beauty of the Southern Ocean and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
Aire River to Johanna Beach
The final leg of the Great Ocean Walk, from Aire River to Johanna Beach, offers a dramatic and awe-inspiring finale. Traverse through a diverse range of landscapes, including dense forests, open grasslands, and coastal heathlands. Arriving at Johanna Beach, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning sandy shoreline that stretches as far as the eye can see – the perfect place to end your memorable journey.
For those seeking a walking trail that combines coastal beauty with dramatic cliffside views, the Cliff Walks around the world are a perfect choice. These trails take you along rugged cliffs, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean and the striking landscapes below. Here are a few notable Cliff Walks that are worth exploring:
Newport Cliff Walk
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the Newport Cliff Walk is one of America’s most scenic coastal walks. This trail stretches for 3.5 miles, offering mesmerizing views of the Atlantic Ocean, historic mansions, and rugged cliffs. As you stroll along the path, you’ll pass by famous landmarks such as The Breakers and Marble House, immersing yourself in the area’s rich history.
Cornwall’s South West Coast Path
Situated in the southwestern region of England, Cornwall’s South West Coast Path is a hiker’s paradise. Spanning a whopping 630 miles, this trail winds through picturesque coastal villages, hidden coves, and towering cliffs. As you walk along the path, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Celtic Sea and the rugged Cornish coastline, dotted with ancient castles and charming fishing harbors.
Seven Sisters Cliff Walk
Located in East Sussex, England, the Seven Sisters Cliff Walk offers some of the most iconic cliffside views in the country. This trail takes you along the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, a series of breathtaking cliffs that line the English Channel. As you hike along the undulating path, you’ll be mesmerized by the dramatic scenery, including the famous white cliffs and the sparkling azure waters below.
Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk
Sydney, Australia is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, and the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk is the perfect way to experience it. This popular coastal walk stretches for approximately 6 miles, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, golden beaches, and rocky headlands. Let’s discover some of the highlights along this iconic coastal trail:
Starting at Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s most famous beaches, you’ll instantly be captivated by the vibrant surfing culture and the energetic atmosphere. Take a moment to soak up the sun, watch the surfers ride the waves, and maybe even take a dip in the turquoise waters. Bondi Beach is the perfect place to begin your coastal adventure.
Continuing along the trail, you’ll come across the charming Tamarama Beach, a hidden gem nestled between two headlands. This secluded beach offers a tranquil respite from the bustling city and is the perfect spot to relax on the soft sand and enjoy the soothing sounds of the ocean.
As you make your way towards Coogee Beach, you’ll pass by Bronte Beach, a picturesque coastal gem that offers stunning views and a vibrant local scene. Take a break at one of the beachside cafes or grab a snack from the Bronte Deli and enjoy the scenic beauty that surrounds you.
Located between Bronte and Coogee, Clovelly Beach offers a unique swimming experience. This narrow beach is sheltered by concrete walls, creating a calm and crystal-clear swimming area. Explore the vibrant underwater world by snorkeling or simply relax on the beach and take in the stunning coastal vistas.
Just a short walk from Clovelly Beach, you’ll discover the hidden gem of Gordons Bay. This tranquil cove is renowned for its rich marine life, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. Discover the colorful coral reefs and swim alongside vibrant fish before continuing your journey towards Coogee Beach.
The final destination of the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk is none other than Coogee Beach itself. This lively beach offers a beautiful stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Take a dip in the ocean, explore the rock pools, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the beachside atmosphere.
Wild Pacific Trail
If you find yourself on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, be sure to explore the Wild Pacific Trail. This stunning coastal trail winds its way along the rugged shoreline, offering breathtaking views of rocky cliffs, crashing waves, and old-growth forests. Here are a few highlights of the Wild Pacific Trail:
Ucluelet Big Beach Loop
Begin your Wild Pacific Trail adventure with the Ucluelet Big Beach Loop. This section of the trail takes you through ancient cedar forests and along sandy beaches, offering a diverse range of coastal landscapes. Take your time to explore the tide pools, feel the sand between your toes, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere of this pristine coastal stretch.
Ancient Cedars Loop
For a truly enchanting experience, venture onto the Ancient Cedars Loop. This section of the trail leads you through a majestic old-growth forest, where massive cedar trees tower above you. As you walk along the shaded path, you’ll feel a sense of reverence for nature and a deep connection to the ancient beauty that surrounds you.
Rocky Bluffs Loop
If you’re looking for panoramic coastal views, head to the Rocky Bluffs Loop. This section of the Wild Pacific Trail takes you along rocky bluffs that overlook the wild Pacific Ocean. Witness the raw power of the waves as they crash against the rugged cliffs, creating a dramatic and awe-inspiring spectacle. Don’t forget your camera – the views are simply unforgettable.
The final leg of the Wild Pacific Trail is the Lighthouse Loop, which takes you to the Amphitrite Lighthouse. This iconic lighthouse sits atop a picturesque headland, offering panoramic views of the surrounding ocean and rocky shoreline. As you stroll along the trail, listen to the sound of seabirds and breathe in the fresh sea air – a perfect way to end your coastal adventure.
Manly to Spit Bridge Walk
For those visiting Sydney, Australia, the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk is a must-do. This coastal trail offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour and takes you through picturesque bays, pristine beaches, and lush bushland. Here are a few highlights along the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk:
Cremorne Point Walk
Starting from Mosman, the Cremorne Point Walk is the perfect warm-up before embarking on the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, enjoying panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. Don’t forget to stop by Cremorne Point Reserve, where you can relax on the grassy slopes and soak in the breathtaking views.
Balmoral Beach to Chowder Bay Walk
As you continue your journey, you’ll pass through the picturesque Balmoral Beach. This family-friendly beach is perfect for a quick swim or a picnic by the water. After enjoying the beach, follow the trail to Chowder Bay, where you can explore the historic military buildings and take in the stunning views of Middle Harbour.
Dobroyd Head Track
The final stretch of the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk is the Dobroyd Head Track. This section of the trail offers panoramic views of the ocean and takes you through a diverse range of landscapes, including coastal forests, wildflower meadows, and rocky headlands. As you reach Dobroyd Head, you’ll be treated to expansive views of North and South Head, providing a fitting end to your coastal adventure.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Located on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This expansive park spans over 500 square kilometers and offers a range of walking trails that showcase the region’s stunning coastal landscapes. Let’s explore a few highlights of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve:
Take a stroll through the ancient temperate rainforest on the Rainforest Trail. This easy and accessible trail takes you through towering cedar and spruce trees, under a lush green canopy. Listen to the sounds of birds chirping and water trickling as you immerse yourself in one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
South Beach Trail
For a beachside adventure, head to the South Beach Trail. This trail takes you along the sandy shoreline, providing breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely beach walk or simply relax on the sand and soak up the sun, the South Beach Trail offers the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the coastal beauty.
Schooner Cove Trail
For a truly unique coastal experience, venture onto the Schooner Cove Trail. This trail leads you through lush coastal forests, across wooden boardwalks, and onto a stunning sandy beach. As you wander along the shoreline, keep an eye out for tide pools filled with fascinating marine life, and take in the dramatic sea stacks that dot the horizon.
Florencia Bay Trail
Discover the raw and untamed beauty of Florencia Bay on the Florencia Bay Trail. This trail takes you through old-growth forests, over rugged bluffs, and down to a secluded sandy beach. Enjoy the solitude of this hidden gem as you listen to the sound of waves crashing against the shoreline and take in the breathtaking coastal vistas.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk
For a quintessential beachside stroll, head to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This three-mile wooden boardwalk offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean while providing access to a variety of amenities and attractions. Here are a few highlights of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk:
As you begin your walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, you’ll find yourself on Atlantic Avenue, lined with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. Take a break from your walk to indulge in some delicious seafood, shop for unique souvenirs, or simply people-watch from one of the many cafes along the avenue.
Neptune’s Park & King Neptune Statue
Located on the boardwalk, Neptune’s Park is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. Take a moment to admire the iconic King Neptune statue, a towering bronze sculpture that represents the spirit of the sea. Depending on the time of year, you may even catch live music performances or festivals taking place in the park.
Cape Henry Trail
For a change of scenery, head to the Cape Henry Trail, located at the northern end of the boardwalk. This trail offers a peaceful respite from the bustling beachfront and takes you through coastal marshes and sandy dunes. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including migratory birds and playful dolphins that frequent this area.
First Landing State Park
Extend your coastal adventure by exploring First Landing State Park, located adjacent to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. This expansive park offers a variety of walking trails that wind through maritime forests, salt marshes, and sandy beaches. Take a leisurely stroll, go for a swim, or simply relax in the shade of the trees – a perfect way to unwind after a day at the beach.
With so many incredible walking trails near the beach to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect coastal adventure that suits your preferences. Whether you’re looking for scenic ocean views, tranquil rainforest walks, or a combination of both, these trails offer a chance to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the coast like never before. So lace up your walking shoes, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey along some of the best walking trails near the beach.