explore the outdoors
ABALONE COVE S H O R E L I N E PA R K Michael Kovalsky
Beautiful bluff-top views, sea caves, a black sand beach and tide pools full of marine life – it’s time to get out for some good old exploring with the family! You might even get the chance to see seals, dolphins, and migrating whales. Only a 40-minute drive from Manhattan Beach, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park & Ecological Reserve is one of the South Bay’s and one of Los Angeles’ hidden gems. You'll have numerous opportunities for fantastic photo ops and an adventure to remember. Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, the park has everything you’ll need, whether you’d like to explore or just to have a picnic with a great view of the coast and Catalina Island. There’s parking (for a fee), picnic benches, and bathrooms, and the trail to Abalone Cove Beach and its tide pools is nearby at the south end
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of the park. If you plan to see the sea urchins, sea anemones, sea slugs, and even starfish and octopi in the tide pools, be sure to look up the tide schedule on the web: you’ll want to head to the park about an hour and a half before low tide. This will give you enough time to hike down to the tide pools at the south end of the park and see all that they have to offer. Now if you’re ready for some of the best views in the park, you’ll want to hike up to the bluff-top views of Portuguese Point and Inspiration Point, which surround Sacred Cove. Sacred Cove is just a short hike south of Abalone Cove and is a bit more secluded. From both points, you’ll see the amazingly clear blue-green water, kelp forests and even the channels of water that enter the sea caves in the area.
Carved out of the rocky shoreline by the powerful Pacific Ocean, the three sea caves in the park are a very unique feature that everyone should see. The caves are all fairly large and one of them goes completely through rock—the ocean comes in one side and out the other. To find them, take the Cave Trail or the Sacred Cove View Trail. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has put together a brochure that includes a map that’s very helpful since there aren’t many signs for the different hiking trails. I’ve included their brochure along with other tips on my trip guide for Abalone Cove Shoreline Park on my website, www.exploremorenature.com. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you’re interested in any of the photography. As I tell everyone who explores nature, let’s all do our part to keep places the way we found them or better so that future generations can continue to enjoy what we’ve been so fortunate to experience. November 2016 t Hill Section Life