Burleigh H. Murray Ranch Park Property

Update (Feb. 5, 2021) With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • Very limited parking is now available to the public.
  • Trails – Trail systems are open for active recreation.
  • Select chemical toilets will be available.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(650) 726-8819

Park Hours

Day-use Area 8am to Sunset

* Camping is not available at this park.

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs are allowed on a 6 foot leash on the service road only.

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.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Interpretive Exhibits
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms

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.

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 one of two known examples of a bank barn 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.

Park building side image

Hiking

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.

 

Basic Park Information

WATER is NOT available in the park.

DOGS are not permitted.

CAMPING is not available at this park. Nearby state park campgrounds include Half Moon Bay State Beach and Butano State Park.

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Wedding & Special Events Permits
SMPermits@parks.ca.gov
(650) 726-8819


Film & Photography Permits
For information on obtaining these permits please contact the park directly.