An Everyman’s Ocean: The Walking Trail to Franklin Point.

Franklin Point is the most spectacular ocean viewpoint you’ve never heard of – even if you DO call the San Francisco Bay Area your chosen home. It’s so off the radar screen it hurts. John Hope Franklin fans (like me) will know the backstory here, but most visitors to this modest, unassuming wooden planked platform overlooking the Pacific Ocean will not. Google “Franklin Point San Mateo coast” for more information, or look it up on Yelp. Beyond that, I can only add pictures & stories gleaned from multiple visits here at all times & weather conditions of the year.

The trail to Franklin Point.

Mornings are best to walk the trail from Highway 1 (across from the driveway entrance to Costanoa & Rossi Road turn off), but anytime from sunrise to sunset will work.

Near to Smugglers’ Cove.

In overcast light conditions in winter or early spring you have the best chances to spot wildlife: seals & shorebirds mainly, plus amazing plant & insect life adapted to the sand dunes & native plant terrace landscape.

Amazing plant life abounds next to the main trail to Franklin Point.

Budget at least one hour round trip for the hike & wear sturdy weather resistant footwear if it’s raining or wet from high wintertime tides. Down jackets can help with early morning chill as well.

Warm down or fleece jackets recommended during the cooler winter months especially.

Binoculars are ideal for watching the local residents more closely & a telephoto lens is all but a requirement if you plan on posting pictures of the creatures you spot while walking to and from the Franklin Point viewing platform.

Pigeon Point lighthouse seen from the beach just north of Franklin Point.

You should bring a change of clothes for the drive home, or you could continue on to Davenport, Bonny Doon, Pescadero, or the city of Santa Cruz for more coastal fun.

Looking south towards Ano Neuvo State Park.
Heading to the Franklin Point viewing platform.

Any way you plan it, a morning visit to Franklin Point will elevate your mood level, refresh your oxygen inflow & stimulate your brain cells. Why not celebrate in Santa Cruz afterward with an 11am coffee at Verve on 1010 Fair Avenue, followed by wine by the glass & light snacks at Stockwell Cellars next door? You will be the envy of your WordPress fan base, for sure!

Stockwell Cellars montage.

Published by Sempervirens117

I am a content writer and founder of, an eco consultancy based in Woodside, California that assists Silicon Valley companies in developing greener products and promoting sustainable Earth solutions on social media. I offer team training sessions year-round in Northern California.

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