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Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park  - BEST Places to Picnic
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The park is 20 miles south of Carmel on State Route 1.

GPS: 36.283333, -121.833333

Andrew Molera State Park is a state park of California, United States, preserving relatively undeveloped land on the Big Sur coast. Situated at the mouth of the Big Sur River, the property was part of the Rancho El Sur land grant, and later owned by the Cooper-Molera ranching family. The park is named in commemoration of Andrew Molera, who popularized the artichoke in California in 1922. His sister Frances Molera made the name a condition when she sold the property to The Nature Conservancy in 1965.

Activities at the park include hiking, fishing and beachcombing, with miles of trails winding through meadows, beaches and hilltops. A primitive walk-in trail camp, popular with hikers and bikers, is located approximately one-third of a mile from the parking area. It is considered the most reliable surfing area in Big Sur.

The park is 20 miles south of Carmel on State Route 1.

Andrew Molera State Park features the historic Cooper Cabin, built in 1861 or 62. It is the oldest structure in Big Sur. Fur trader Juan Bautista Roger Cooper was Andrew Molera's grandfather.

The Ventana Wildlife Society has established a Discovery Center within the park. The Discovery Center includes exhibits on local wildlife (including the California condor) and a bird banding lab. Scientists and other lab employees give regular tours of Andrew Molera State Park, explaining the flora and fauna that are unique to the area.

The park also features a year-round waterfall, 40-foot Highbridge Falls. Other nearby waterfalls include Limekiln Falls, Salmon Creek Falls, McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and Pfeiffer Falls in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Andrew Molera State Park has over 20 miles of hiking trails. Some run along the shore, others along the Big Sur River, while still others climb to high ridges with views of the entire Big Sur coast.

The only camping available in the park is in a 24-site walk-in campground. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground is particularly popular with European visitors. No dogs are allowed on the trails or campground.

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