Probably few of you have ever heard of Slide Ranch, but it’s a hidden gem along the bluffs rising up above the Pacific between Muir and Stinson Beach. It is an organic working farm and educational center that teaches children and adults year-round about healthy foods, healthy living and environmental awareness. It sits inside the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on the site of an historic dairy farm, whose buildings are still used as part of the farm operations. And what I found out is that is accessible to the public – and you are free to walk through the gardens, among the chickens and along the paths down to the beach.
The first time I visited, I had planned to, but I planned to stop at Muir Beach first for some photography, and then head on to Slide Ranch. When I got to Muir Beach, the parking lot was so packed that there was no where to park anywhere close by. So, I headed on up Highway 1 about 2 miles and turned in at the Slide Ranch sign and drove to the almost completely empty parking lot. This shows what a completely different level of awareness there is about the two places, because Slide Ranch is equally beautiful, although a bit different.
The first thing you’ll see are the livestock pastures and pens, with a varity of goats, sheep and turkeys lieing down, munching away, or wandering across the pastures. They make a fair amount of noise with their pretty constant calling out to one another. It’s very entertaining and kids love it (well, OK, we did too).
The vegetable gardens are wonderfully untidy, with somewhat haphazard rows and harvesting practices in evidence. But everything looked very healthy and somehow very full of nutrients.
The walk down to the beach is pretty easy, but part of the path has a fair amount of loose soil and small gravel, so shoes with good soles are a big help. The beach was deserted when we were there, and a little intimidating in that respect. However, it the beach and the vistas from the trail down to it are absolutely stunning and a must see. Take a special friend or an out-of-towner for great memories!
Where: 2025 Shoreline Highway (Highway One), Muir Beach, CA 94965 (map)