Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
Organization Title

Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property

Contact Information

(650) 726-8819

Park Hours

Day-use Area 8:00am to Sunset

Driving Directions to Burleigh H. Murray Ranch

The park is on the San Mateo Coast near Half Moon Bay, just over a mile south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 92.
Turn east off Highway 1 onto Higgins-Purisima Road. Proceed just over one-and-a-half miles to the park. A small graveled parking area is set aside for visitors just inside the park gate.

View on Map

Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Brochures and Campground Maps

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

A Great New Year’s Resolution!

Volunteer Positions Available at San Mateo Coast State Parks

Begins Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 9 am to 4 pm


Applications now being accepted!


Do you enjoy nature and being outdoors? Do you feel a strong sense of giving to the community, promoting conservation and stewardship, and sharing knowledge with others? Than join our volunteer team ! You can lead tours, run school group programs, operate the visitor centers, lead whale-watching programs, help with special events, work on preservation and maintenance projects, help with native plant restoration, participate in citizen science research projects, maintain trails and much more.

California State Parks is seeking enthusiastic new volunteers interested in helping parks in the San Mateo Coast Sector. Recruiting is currently occurring at Pigeon Point Light Station Historic Park, Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, Half Moon Bay State Beach, Burleigh Murray Ranch and McNee Ranch Montara State Beach.  Volunteers may choose to help in one or more of the parks.  The sector also has a special need for highly trained volunteers to present programs for school groups in the parks and at the local schools on weekdays.

New volunteers will participate in a series of training sessions scheduled for Saturdays. The first training session of the series will begin on Saturday, February 20 from 9 am to 4 pm at the  Historic Train Depot located at 110 Higgins Canyon Road in Half Moon Bay. If you are interested in volunteering primarily at Montara, Half Moon Bay and Pescadero State Beaches, please register for training with Nelle or Angie at (650) 726-8804, voice mailbox 7#, or e-mail  If you are interested in volunteering primarily at, Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, please register for training with Julie Barrow at or call (650) 879-2120 and leave a message.

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, groves of mature eucalyptus, and a rich assortment of wildlife. With the addition of Rancho Raymundo at the east boundary, park property extends from Higgins Purisima Road in the west to Skyline Blvd. in the east.

Location - Directions

The park is on the San Mateo Coast near Half Moon Bay, just over a mile south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 92.

Turn east off Highway 1 onto Higgins-Purisima Road and immediately continue straight onto Higgins Canyon Road (past the fire station). Proceed just over one-and-a-half miles to the park. A small graveled parking area is located on the left (Murray Ranch Road on GPS) a short distance from the entrance to the park.

Seasons/Climate Recommended Clothing

The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.


Park building side imageHiking Trail
The current trail consists of the old ranch road winding its way alongside Mills Creek for about one mile up to a 1930's bungalow that serves as a park residence.

At this point the trail veers off the road and bends down to cross the creek allowing the visitor to look back in time while viewing the Mills Barn and surrounding outbuildings.

Continuing on the road beyond the barn the valley narrows between steep, chaparral covered hill. The walking is good for an additional mile above the barn past the wooden tanks supplying water for the park residence, then the trail fades away into the dense growth of stinging nettles, poison oak and coyote brush.

Bring Water - None is available in the park.

Dogs are not permitted.

More about the park

Park equipment imageBurleigh H. Murray, for whom the acquisition is named, was born on the ranch July 19, 1865. His Father came to California from Vermont in 1852 following the cry of gold and working in the mines at Auburn, Placer county. In 1857 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 1800's and is a good representation of an English Lake County Bank Barn.

Originally 200 feet in length and capable of housing 100 dairy cows, the Mills Barn is the only building of this type in California. The foundation of the barn and other buildings including an un-reinforced arched stone bridge, rely on Italian masonry techniques dating back to Roman times.

Available Activities and Facilities at Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property

Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Interpretive Exhibits
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing