Monday, December 20, 2010

Day Hike - China Camp State Park - Shoreline Trail - 12-19-10

           After being cooped up in the house all weekend due to rainy weather we decided to motivate and grab our rain gear and get out for a short hike at China Camp State Park. To download a park brochure and map click here.
           We drove north on San Pedro Road and parked in a pullout just south of the China Camp Village entrance. From here we crossed the street and accessed the Shoreline Trail.

Shoreline Trail

         After about a half mile the rain picked up enough to require a rain jacket, however, we never did need our rain pants. Paralleling the road, the hard packed trail leads north offering views of the bay and Rat Rock Island.

Rat Rock Island

China Camp Village picnic area soon comes into view with its manicured green lawns.

China Camp Village Picnic Area

We saw a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks scanning the area for prey.

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

Throughout the entire hike we would hear the shrieks of Red Shouldered Hawks as they communicated with each other.
          Continuing straight, we soon passed a signed junction with a spur trail leading down to China Camp Village. The trail undulates slightly as it weaves through forested areas and open grassland. While rounding a bend in a forested area we were greeted by several deer feeding in the near distance.
           The Shoreline trail and China Camp in general is very popular with mountain bikers, however, on this rainy day we only crossed paths with two.

Easy Going

          We noticed a squirrel perched on top of a Bay tree, listening to the shrieking hawks in the canopy above.

Gray Squirrel

Views of the marshlands opened up as we rounded a corner.

China Camp Marshlands

          We then passed another signed junction with the Peacock Gap Trail which offers a loop option for this hike. Losing elevation slightly, the trail dips down closer toward the shore and a recent detour forces a descent to Bullhead Flat near the Ranger Station. Bullhead Flat is a pleasant place to put-in a canoe or have a BBQ.

Bullhead Flat

          We traveled along the pavement for a brief moment before regaining the lost elevation and getting back onto the original trail. We followed the path slightly downhill and then veered off trail and crossed San Pedro Rd. to get to Chicken Coop Hill.

Chicken Coop Hill and Marsh

View from the base of Chicken Coop Hill

          We climbed the short steep trail to the top of the Hill with hopes of a great view however; we were greatly disappointed as it was engulfed in tree cover. It was a fairly flat place to relax and there was a short spur trail leading downhill that offered decent views of the marsh flats.
          We relaxed a short moment before retracing our steps back to the car.

China Camp Marshland

Ravens Perch

         Just before we reached the car we saw some very interesting mushrooms that went previously unnoticed.

Interesting Amanita(?)Mushrooms

1 comment:

  1. Definately Amanita. I think Amanita Muscaria. Laplanders and the reindeers of Lapland are fond of these mushrooms.

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