8am to Sunset
Camping is not available at this park.
Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property
Winter Storm Closures
Due to extensive damage sustained during recent winter storms, many state parks in Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties are fully or partially closed. Staff are currently assessing the condition of the parks for reopening.
Parks that are fully closed include Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Portola Redwoods State Park, and Butano State Park.
Parks that are partially closed include Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (Fall Creek subunit, various trails, and parking lots closed except main parking lot at visitor center), Wilder Ranch State Park (most trails closed; historic complex and Old Cove Landing Trail open), Seacliff State Beach (lower parking lot, picnic areas, and campground closed; visitor center open and pedestrian and bicylist access only at beach level), The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park (closed beyond Winter Gate; Aptos Creek Fire Road inaccessible by vehicle between Margaret's Bridge and old slide), and the Rancho del Oso subunit of Big Basin (East side access to the Nature Center is closed. West side is open from the yellow gate to the horse camp parking lot; Marsh Trail is open from horse camp parking lot to the creek. Waddell beach parking lot is also open.)
Guided hikes and other in-person park programs have resumed in Santa Cruz-area State Parks! Pre-registration is required. Visit www.santacruzstateparks.as.me to see the schedule and make reservations.
Visiting Burleigh H. Murray Ranch
Purchased by the State of California in 1983, this historic ranch property is hidden in a pristine valley south of Half Moon Bay. The area offers solitude, as well as groves of mature eucalyptus and a rich assortment of wildlife. With the addition of Rancho Raymundo, the park property extends from Higgins Purisima Road up to Skyline Boulevard.
Burleigh H. Murray, for whom the acquisition is named, was born on the ranch July 19, 1865. His father, who founded the ranch, came to California from Vermont in 1852 following the cry of gold. He worked in the mines near Auburn in Placer County until 1857 when he settled at the present Murray Ranch with some sheep and cattle and began a successful dairy farm.
The Mills Barn and surrounding outbuildings are maintained in a condition of arrested decay. Mills Barn hugs the hill beside perennial Mills Creek. This historic structure dates back to the late 1800s.
Originally 200 feet in length and capable of housing 100 dairy cows, the Mills Barn is one of two known examples of a bank barn in California. Bank barns are named based on their construction, typically built into the side of a hill or a bank which allows the two-story structure to be accessed via the bank. The foundation of the barn and other buildings, including an unreinforced arched stone bridge, rely on Italian masonry techniques dating back to Roman times.
The current trail follows the old ranch roach winding its way alongside Mills Creek for about one mile up to a 1930s bungalow.
At this point, the trail veers off the road and bends down to cross the creek allowing visitors to look back in time while viewing the Mills Barn and surrounding outbuildings.
Basic Park Information
WATER is NOT available in the park.
DOGS are permitted on the service road only and must be controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.
FIRES are not allowed.
FIREWORKS are prohibited.
DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.
CAMPING is not available at this park. Nearby state park campgrounds include Half Moon Bay State Beach and Butano State Park.
PERMITS are required for all events and weddings. A photography permit is required for all commercial photography.
- Wedding & Special Events Permits:
- Film & Photography Permits: