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- sand hill trail
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- south plateau trail
- south shore trail
- whaler's cabin
- whaler's knoll trail
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- Summer Adventures
- rules and regulations
Rules and Regulations
A state reserve is an area embracing outstanding natural or scenic characteristics of statewide significance. The purpose of a state reserve is to preserve native ecological associations, unique animal and plant life, geological features, and scenic qualities in an undisturbed condition. To help ensure the protection of the Reserve and for your safety, these rules are strictly enforced.
Don't Bet Your Life!
Respect the power of the ocean. Help avoid a disaster and keep at a safe distance. Remain on the designated trails within the wire guides, and stay away from the rocky cliffs. Rock climbing is absolutely prohibited.
The speed limit is 15 mph. To protect vegetation, park head in, NOT PARALLEL, and in designated areas only. There are 9 parking areas in the Reserve. If a lot is full, please drive to another parking area. Bicycles are not permitted on the trails.
Do not collect, remove, or even disturb any natural objects. This includes flowers, wood, rocks, shells, tidepool life, kelp, etc.
Fires and Smoking
Stoves, fires, and barbecues of all types are prohibited. NO SMOKING on the trails or beaches. If you wish to smoke, do so only on the paved roads, parking lots, and in picnic areas.
Permitted only in areas with tables. There are tables at Whalers Cove parking area, Piney Woods parking area, and the Bird Island parking area.
All animals within the Reserve are wild. DO NOT FEED any animals including squirrels (they bite) and birds. Protect their health and yours.
Fishing is prohibited in Reserve waters. Diving access is limited to Whalers Cove.
Diving regulations are posted at the ranger station.
You may not bring a dog or any other pets into, or permit a dog or other pets to enter or remain in any portion of the Reserve (Seeing eye, service, or signal dogs are the only permitted exception).
Games and Recreational Activities - CCR 4319
No person shall engage in games or recreational activities that endanger the safety of persons, property, resources, or interfere with visitor activites except as permitted by the Department. No person shall hold, sponsor, lead, or otherwise have control over a game or recreational ctivity, occurring wholly or partially within or on any property owned, operated or administered by the Department without an approved Special Event permit if any of the criteria set forth in section 4301 (j) apply.
Frisbee, softball, kite flying, etc. are not compatible with the purpose of a Reserve and are prohibited. Boogieboards, surf mats, the use of wetsuits and other equipment is not allowed at China Cove or Gibson Beach. These activities are welcome at Carmel River State Beach north of the Reserve.
For more information on geochacing in state parks ...refer to this Memorandum.
The Reserve opens daily at 8 A.M.
Due to staffing shortages and buget constraints the Reserve closing time is currently 7 pm. All visitors must exit by 7 pm. No entries after 6:30 pm.
Beginning October 16th with the shorter days...closing time will be 1/2 hour after sunset. No vehicles or pedestrians will be allowed to enter after sunset.
As the year progresses closing times will change. When you enter the Reserve you can always ask the park aid what time you need to exit.