Limekiln State Park

Last updated
Limekiln State Park
Limekiln creek kilns.jpg
Two of the limekilns for which the park is named
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location Monterey County, California, United States
Nearest city Big Sur, California
Coordinates 36°0′36″N121°31′6″W / 36.01000°N 121.51833°W / 36.01000; -121.51833 Coordinates: 36°0′36″N121°31′6″W / 36.01000°N 121.51833°W / 36.01000; -121.51833
Area711 acres (288 ha)
Established1994
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Limekiln State Park is a California state park on the Big Sur coast. It contains four lime kilns from an 1887–1890 lime-calcining operation, plus a beach, redwood forest, and 100-foot (30 m)Limekiln Falls. [1] It is located 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Lucia on Big Sur Coast Highway. The 711-acre (288 ha) park was established in 1994. [2]

Contents

Cultural history

Limekiln Falls LimekilnFalls.jpg
Limekiln Falls

From 1887 to 1890 the Rockland Lime and Lumber Company harvested limestone from a scree slope and fed it into four iron and stone lime kilns they erected onsite. Long exposure to very hot fires extracted lime. [1] Barrels of lime were slid on a cable out to Rockland Cove, where they were loaded onto ships. The lime was a key ingredient in the cement that was used for construction in San Francisco and Monterey. [3] However, after three years the company had exhausted most of the limestone as well as the redwood used to fire the kilns. A .5-mile (0.80 km) trail leads from the Big Sur Coast Highway to the ruins of the lime smelting operations, which include four kilns and some stone walls and bridge abutments. [1]

Remains of one of the kilns in Lime Kiln Canyon in 1920 Lime Kilns Big Sur.png
Remains of one of the kilns in Lime Kiln Canyon in 1920

The redwood forest recovered from this industrial use, but in 1984 a private landowner planned to log the west fork of Limekiln Creek. Conservationists objected and succeeded in getting the land preserved as a public park. [3] The campground was family-owned before it was then sold and operated by the Esalen Institute for a number of years.[ citation needed ] The property was transferred to the California state park system and opened in September 1995. [3]

Limekiln State Park was heavily damaged in the Chalk Fire of September and October 2008. In total the Chalk Fire burned 16,269 acres (65.84 km2) in California. [4] Due to the damage the park was closed, not reopening until July 2, 2010. At that time the Limekiln Falls Trail remained closed, but reopened in summer 2011. The Hare Creek Trail is shorter due to damage related to the Chalk Fire.[ citation needed ]

Proposed for closure

Limekiln State Park was one of many state parks threatened with closure in 2008. Those closures were ultimately avoided by cutting hours and maintenance system-wide. [5] The park was again threatened with closure, along with 70 other California state parks in July 2012 as part of a deficit reduction program. [6] A partner organization has signed an agreement to keep the park open. [7]

Recreation

Limekiln State Park has a small but popular campground with 31 sites among the redwoods and 11 sites with an ocean view. Easy trails lead to the lime kilns or up Hare Creek Canyon. Another leads to Limekiln Falls on the east fork of Limekiln Creek. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

Big Sur Coastal region of California, United States

Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California between Carmel and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the "longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States", a sublime "national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development", and "one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation". The views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day's drive and visitors from across the world. It is among the top 35 tourist destinations world-wide. The region receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, but offers only limited bus service, few restrooms, and a narrow two-lane highway that for most of its length clings to the steep coastal cliffs. North-bound traffic during the peak summer season and holiday weekends is often backed up for about 20 miles (32 km) from Big Sur Village to Carmel Highlands. Due to the large number of visitors, congestion and slow traffic between Carmel and Posts is becoming the norm.

Andrew Molera State Park State park in California, United States

Andrew Molera State Park is a 4,800 acres (1,900 ha), relatively undeveloped state park on the Big Sur coast of California, United States, preserving land as requested by former owner Frances Molera. Situated at the mouth of the Big Sur River, the property was part of the Rancho El Sur land grant, and later owned by Californio pioneer John Bautista Rogers Cooper and his descendants. Cooper's grandchildren Andrew and Frances Molera inherited the property from their mother in 1918. Andrew popularized the artichoke in California in 1922, and died in 1931. In 1965, Frances sold the property to The Nature Conservancy, stipulating that the park to be created should be named for her brother.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park State park in Santa Cruz County, California, United States

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of California, located in Santa Cruz County, about 36 km (22 mi) northwest of Santa Cruz. The park contains almost all of the Waddell Creek watershed, which was formed by the seismic uplift of its rim, and the erosion of its center by the many streams in its bowl-shaped depression.

Castle Rock State Park (California) California state park near Los Gatos, CA

Castle Rock State Park is a 5,242-acre (2,121 ha) state park of California, United States, located along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and almost entirely in Santa Cruz County, with parts extending into Santa Clara County and San Mateo County. It embraces coast redwood, Douglas fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are a popular rock climbing area. The park is named after a sandstone formation called Castle Rock. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles (51 km) of hiking trails. These trails are part of an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock State Park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and the Pacific Coast. Due to its overnight parking lot, Castle Rock is a popular starting point for the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, a 30-mile (48 km) trail that begins near by at Saratoga Gap and leads to Waddell Beach north of Santa Cruz. There are two walk-in campgrounds within the park for overnight backpacking.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park State park in Santa Cruz County, California, United States

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a state park of California, United States, preserving mainly forest and riparian areas in the watershed of the San Lorenzo River, including a grove of old-growth coast redwood. It is located in Santa Cruz County, primarily in the area between the cities of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, near the community of Felton and the University of California at Santa Cruz. The park includes a non-contiguous extension in the Fall Creek area north of Felton. The 4,623-acre (1,871 ha) park was established in 1954.

Bixby Creek Bridge Highway bridge on the Big Sur Coast of California

Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Canyon Bridge, on the Big Sur coast of California, is one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design, "graceful architecture and magnificent setting". It is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge. The bridge is 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco and 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel in Monterey County along State Route 1.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park State park in California, United States

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a state park in Monterey County, California, near the area of Big Sur on the state's Central Coast. It covers approximately 1,006 acres (4.07 km2) of land. The park is centered on the Big Sur River. It has been nicknamed a "mini Yosemite." A Redwood tree in the park nicknamed the Colonial Tree is estimated to be between 1,100 and 1,200 years old.

Big Sur River River in California, United States

The Big Sur River is a 15.7-mile-long (25.3 km) river on the Central Coast of California. The river drains a portion of the Big Sur area, a thinly settled region of the Central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The upper river and watershed lies within the Ventana Wilderness and encompasses the headwaters downstream to the area known as the Gorge. The lower river flows roughly northwest through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, the Big Sur village, several private camp grounds and Andrew Molera State Park where it flows through a lagoon and sandbar into the Pacific Ocean at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Major Tributaries of the river include, in order: Redwood Creek, Lion Creek, Logwood Creek, Terrace Creek, Ventana Creek, Post Creek, Pfeiffer-Redwood Creek, Juan Higuera Creek, and Pheneger Creek.

Little Sur River River in California, United States

The Little Sur River is a 25.4-mile (40.9 km) long river on the Central Coast of California. The river and its main tributary, the South Fork, drain a watershed of about 40 square miles (100 km2) of the Big Sur area, a thinly settled region of the Central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The South Fork and the North Fork both have their headwaters in the Ventana Wilderness, straddling Mount Pico Blanco. Portions west of the national forest and Old Coast Road lie within the El Sur Ranch. Some portions of the North Fork are on land owned by Granite Rock Company of Watsonville, California, which has owned the mineral rights to 2,800 acres (1,100 ha) on Mount Pico Blanco since 1963. The North and South forks converge about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the coast where the river enters the Pacific Ocean.

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road Road in California

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is the only road across the Santa Lucia Range on the Central Coast of California, connecting California State Route 1 and the Big Sur coast to U.S. Route 101 and the Salinas Valley. The road is well-paved and maintained over its length, but is winding and has precipitous drops. It is widely regarded as one of the best motorcycling roads in central California due to its ocean views and forest setting. In January 2021, the road was washed out due to the impacts of the Dolan Fire and closed. It is not expected to reopen until December 2023.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park State park in California, United States

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a state park in California, 12 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on California's Pacific coast. A main feature of the park is McWay Falls, which drops over a cliff of 80 feet (24 m) into the Pacific Ocean. The park is also home to 300-foot (90 m) redwoods which are over 2,500 years old. The park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a respected resident and rancher in the Big Sur region in the early 20th century, who lived in the area for much of her life until her death in 1928. The 3,762-acre (1,522 ha) park was established in 1962.

The Pine Ridge Trail is the most popular hiking trail in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, California. The 19.5 miles (31.4 km) trail traverses the Ventana Wilderness from the Big Sur Station near sea level to China Camp on Tassajara Road at 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Built in 1916 by the Post family of Big Sur, the Pine Ridge Trail offers hikers and equestrians an array of backcountry camps to enjoy.

McWay Creek

McWay Creek is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) coastal stream in Monterey County in the U.S. state of California. It flows steeply west and south from McWay Canyon, high in California's Central Coast Range, and spills into the Pacific Ocean at Waterfall Cove after flowing over scenic McWay Falls. Most of the creek and its watershed are contained within Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, 12 miles (19 km) south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The creek is named after Christopher McWay from New York, a pioneer who homesteaded the property.

Basin Complex Fire

The Basin Complex Fire was a massive wildfire near Big Sur that ignited on June 21, 2008, and was the result of a lightning strike. It eventually grew to 162,818 acres (658.90 km2), becoming the second-largest wildfire of the 2008 California wildfire season, and burning most of the Ventana Wilderness. State and federal officials spent more than $120 million to fight the fire, making it is the most expensive fire in California history up to that time, and the second most expensive in U.S. history, exceeded only by the Biscuit Fire in 2002. Eventually, the Thomas Fire surpassed the Basin Complex Fire in firefighting costs as well.

Palo Colorado Canyon, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Palo Colorado Canyon is an unincorporated community in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. The canyon entrance is located 11.3 miles (18.2 km) south of the Carmel River at the former settlement of Notley's Landing, 6.5 miles (10 km) north of Point Sur, and at an elevation of 112 feet.

Taboose Fire

The Taboose Fire was a wildfire burning in Inyo National Forest, southwest of Big Pine and northwest of Aberdeen in Inyo County in the state of California, in the United States. The fire started September 4, 2019 and on October 7, it had burned 10,296 acres (4,167 ha) and was 75 percent contained. The cause of the fire was lightning. Select trails, campgrounds and roads in Inyo National Forest, Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park had been closed due to the fire. The community of Baxter Ranch was under mandatory evacuation.

Big Sur Coast Highway Scenic section of California State Route 1

Big Sur Coast Highway is a section of California State Route 1 through the Big Sur region of California that is widely considered to be one of the most scenic driving routes in the United States, if not the world. It is both a National Scenic Highway and a California Scenic Highway, and was described by Australian painter Francis McComas as the "greatest meeting of land and water in the world". Condé Nast Traveler named State Route 1 through Big Sur one of the top ten world-famous streets, comparable to Broadway in New York City and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The road itself is a destination for visitors.

Bottchers Gap

Bottchers Gap is a day use area, campground, and trail head. It is located 7.6 miles (12.2 km) from the Big Sur Coast Highway at the end of Palo Colorado Road on the northern border of the Los Padres National Forest and Ventana Wilderness. It is located between Mescal Ridge and Skinner Ridge. From Bottchers Gap, there is an 3.3 miles (5.3 km) long private access road that leads to Camp Pico Blanco. Beginning at Bottchers Gap, it is a difficult 14.7 miles (23.7 km) hike via the Skinner Ridge and Ventana Double Cone trails to the Ventana Double Cone, making it one of the more distant locations in the wilderness.

The 1,534 acres (621 ha) Mill Creek Redwood Preserve is located in Big Sur, California, 6.8 miles (10.9 km) from Highway 1 on Palo Colorado Road. The park is owned by the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. To alleviate resistance by residents of Palo Colorado Canyon who were concerned about the impact of traffic on the narrow, one-lane road, access was limited to six visitors per day who must obtain a permit in advance from the district. The preserve was pieced together from several large properties between 1988 and 2000 at a cost of $2 million. When open, it is only accessible via trail from the road. The preserve was severely damaged by the Soberanes fire and is closed indefinitely.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Limekiln State Park" (PDF). California State Parks. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  2. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks. p. 30. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  3. 1 2 3 McKinney, Jim. "Limekiln Trail". Day Hiker’s Guide to California’s State Parks. The Trailmaster Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  4. "InciWeb: Chalk Fire". InciWeb Incident Information System. 2008-10-30. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  5. McGreevy, Patrick; Louis Sahagun (2009-09-26). "State parks to stay open, but with cuts in hours, staffing". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  6. "State Parks Announces Closures" (PDF) (Press release). California State Parks. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  7. "Your Town: Local state parks get reprieve from closure". The Monterey County Herald. Monterey, Calif. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-07-29.

This article contains content in the public domain published by the California state government.