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Organization Title

Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property

Contact Information

(650) 726-8819

Park Hours

Day-use Area 8:00am to Sunset

* Camping is not available at this park.

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.

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Camping and Lodging

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Brochures and Campground Maps

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

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.

Summer Activities along the San Mateo Coast

All events & activities are free. A $10 parking fee is enforced at certain parks. For more information regarding guided hikes and group programs please contact the Park at (650) 726-8819 or email        

Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association, California State Parks Docents, and California State Parks.

Half Moon Music in the Park - A Special Summer Event!

Thursday, July 14 at 6 pm
Thursday, August 11 at 6 pm
Thursday, September 8 at 6 pm
Thursday, October 13 at 6 pm

Bring a picnic blanket, beach chairs, snacks and your dancing shoes and join California State Parks in welcoming Francis Beach’s monthly outdoor concert series. Every second Thursday of the month Half Moon Bay State Beach will be featuring a local musician on the visitor center deck. This free event will run from July through October. Parking is $10; biking and walking are encouraged.

Junior Rangers at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Fridays and Saturdays at 2:30 pm
(through Saturday, September 3)
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest! Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This one-hour program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors. Meet at the Francis Beach Visitor Center at 95 Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay. 

Junior Rangers gather at more than 70 California State Parks, from the redwood region, to the high Sierra, to the sunny southern California beaches. At your first program you will receive a logbook and badge. For each activity you will earn a stamp in your logbook, and as you go through the program you can earn prizes.

Little Ocean Explorers at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Saturdays at 2:30 pm 
(through Saturday, September 3)
Imagine, play, learn and explore during this thirty-minute program for children ages 3-6 and their families. Youngsters will be introduced to the beach and discover the California coastline.  Meet at the Francis Beach Visitor Center at 95 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay. The program is free, parking fee is $10; biking and walking are encouraged.         

Campfire Programs at Half Moon Bay State Beach
Fridays and Saturdays; start time vary between 7:30-8:30pm contingent on sunset 
(through Saturday, September 3)  
Join us in our campfire center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the glittering stars and learn about the plants and animals of the beach, creatures of the ocean, or stories of the park while relaxing under the night sky. Arrive 30 minutes early to learn how to build a campfire. Meet at the Half Moon Bay Campfire Center.

Guided Hike along the Gray Whale Cove Trail
Saturday, August 13 at 10 am
Saturday, September 10 at 10 am
Join us for a moderate two mile, two hour hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail at State Parks’ McNee Ranch at Montara.  Enjoy ocean views, coastal plants, and wildlife on this picturesque hike. Leftovers from the Ocean Shore Railroad and WWII era bunkers will take you back in time along this trail.  Please meet on the north side of the Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 just south of Devil’s Slide tunnel.         

Guided Hike in Burleigh Murray State Park
Sunday, August 14 at 10 am
Sunday, September 11 at 10 am

Join us on a leisurely two and a half mile, two hour hike along Mills Creek at Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park. Enjoy one of our area’s hidden treasures as you learn about the lives of the first pioneers and farming families.  Please meet at the Burleigh Murray State Park parking lot, located in south east Half Moon Bay. From Highway 1 turn east on Higgins Purisima Road and you will reach the park in about 1.5 miles.    

Guided Hike through Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve  
Sunday, July 17 at 1 pm
Sunday, August 7 at 10 am
Sunday, August 21 at 1 pm
Sunday, September 4 at 10 am
Sunday, September 18 at 1 pm
Join us for a one mile, two hour guided walk along the Sequoia Audubon Trail in the Pescadero Marsh, an important stop along the Pacific Flyway. Learn about the fascinating human history of the Marsh from the days of the Ohlone to the present. Discover the byways of the Pescadero and Butano Creeks as they flow through this restored marsh to meet the Pacific Ocean. We suggest that you dress in layers, wear walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Dogs are not permitted. All walks will take place weather permitting. Please meet at the Central Pescadero State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 approximately 0.25 mile north of the junction with Pescadero Road. 

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