by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Harmony Headlands

Park Brochure

brochure Harmony Headlands - Park Brochure
Harmony Headlands State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. The pristine and diverse beauty of Harmony Headlands is reflected in its coastal prairie grasses, its wildflower meadows, California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park office at (805) 772-7434. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Discover the many states of California.™ Harmony Headlands State Park 4500 Highway 1 Cayucos, CA 93430 (805) 772-7434 © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) and its dramatic coastline —  all teeming with life. I n a secluded and peaceful setting along Highway One, Harmony Headlands State Park adorns the stunningly beautiful Central Coast in San Luis Obispo County. PARK HISTORY Native People Human occupation along California’s Central Coast dates back at least 10,000 years. The native people, ancestors to today’s Salinan or Chumash people, lived along the coastal bluffs and further inland. They traveled seasonally up and down stream drainages to take advantage of the various food, shelter, and tool resources needed for survival. European Settlement The arrival of Europeans forever changed the lives of the native people. Recruited into the mission system, they succumbed to diseases to which they had no immunity. Those who survived became part of the labor force that built the missions and later worked on the ranchos. Today the Salinan and Chumash people are working to revive their ancient languages and cultural traditions. The mission period began in 1769 with the arrival of the Portolá expedition. California was then a part of Mexico, a colony of Spain. In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and in 1833 the missions were secularized. Lands formerly owned by the missions were granted to individuals. Rancho San Geronimo, which incorporated part of what is now Harmony Headlands State Park, was granted to Rafael José Serapio Villavicencio (later shortened to Villa), who raised cattle. Rafael’s son, Roberto, continued ranching until the mid-1860s. In 1883, the ranch was acquired by Robert Logan, who in 1901 sold it to Joseph Righetti, a dairyman. In 1912, Righetti sold the property to Armando Storni. The Storni family operated a dairy until the mid-1960s. Chinese Seaweed Harvesting Between 1890 and the mid-1960s, Chinese immigrants harvested seaweed along the San Luis Obispo County coast. They burned competing species of seaweed from rocks in the intertidal zone to allow the favored species, Ulva or sea lettuce, to thrive. The seaweed was harvested, dried and shipped to China by way of San Francisco. Becoming a State Park Private developers eventually bought the Storni Ranch and secured permits to construct up to 12 ridge-top homes overlooking the ocean. In 2003 before any houses were built, the State Coastal Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Board, State Parks, and the Coastal Commission together funded the purchase of the 750-acre ranch with $17 million in voter-approved park bonds. In coordination with the American Land Conservancy, property title was passed to California State Parks to preserve and protect the land in perpetuity. NATURAL HISTORY Habitats Grasslands — Non-native and native grasslands and coastal scrub are the most common vegetation in the park. The San Luis Obispo morning glory, California buttercups, blue-eyed grass, goldfields, owl’s clover, yarrow, coyote bush, and lupine thrive here. The flat terraces of the bluffs are dominated by native purple and slender needle grass, melic grass, wild rye, and California oatgrass. The steep north- and west-facing bluffs have the largest community of native grasslands and coastal scrub in the park. In spring, wildflowers bloom profusely. Scrub — Coastal sea bluff scrub  —including seaside daisy, California aster, goldenbush, lizard tail, coast buckwheat, and sea pink—  grow along the terraces, on bluff faces and in other eroded areas. Some shrubs may be dwarfed by constant wind and salt spray. Rocky outcrops  — Lichen-covered outcrops lie scattered among grasslands and scrub. Ferns, dudleya, Indian paintbrush, miner’s lettuce, golden yarrow, and California sagebrush flourish on outcrops. Wetlands  — In these low places where water accumulates, plants such as sedges, willows, Southwestern rushes, and aquatic pond turtle grasses grow in profusion. Riparian corridors   —These waterside areas are home to ferns, willows and cattails. Ponds  —The manmade ponds are fed by rainwater and runoff from surrounding hillsides; they support freshwater marsh habitat with rushes and willows. Emergent wetlands  —These low-lying areas  — wet about half the year — are home to such freshwater marsh and wetland plants as sedges and rushes. Wildlife Marine mammals are a welcome sight and sound along the intertidal areas. Sky-hunting northern harriers swoop down to seize their favorite meal—  meadow voles. San Luis Obispo morning glory RECREATION Harmony Headlands State Park will entice nature lovers, picnickers, photographers, artists, and bird watchers. From the parking lot, the two-mile Headlands Trail offers panoramic ocean views west to the marine terrace grasslands. Headlands Trail Typical grasslands species include California ground squirrels, brush rabbits, skunks, coyotes, mule deer, several varieties of mice, raccoons, and badgers. The endangered California red-legged frog and the southwestern pond turtle, a species of special concern, live in this area. Black-bellied salamanders, Pacific tree frogs, California alligator lizards, and California king snakes thrive. Seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, and waterfowl call this place home. Abundant grasslands and rolling terrain bring plentiful small game to attract peregrine falcons and golden eagles. Among sensitive avian species, see brown pelicans, double-crested cormorants, white-tailed kites, black oystercatchers, long-billed curlews, and Heermann’s gulls. Climate Summer is warm and dry with morning fog; winters are cool and wet. Wind and fog keep temperatures moderate. Coastal weather changes often. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES At this time, there are no accessible features. Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, call the park office or visit PLEASE REMEMBER • Hours are from 6 a.m. to sunset. • Dogs, horses, and bicycles are not permitted in the park. • Camping and ground fires are prohibited. • Stay on trails and avoid bushes or grasses where ticks are common. • Please stay away from sensitive wetlands and pond areas, and back away from birds or marine mammals that take notice of you. Please leave tide pool life undisturbed; it is protected by law. • Dial 911 for emergencies, or call (805) 7727434 to reach park staff for problems. NEARBY STATE PARKS • Hearst San Simeon SP & SHM 750 Hearst Castle Rd., San Simeon 93472 (805) 927-2035 • Estero Bluffs SP Hwy. 1, Cayucos 93430 (805) 772-7434 Silvery blue butterfly 0' 00 40 ' 0' to Cambria Harmony Headlands St at e Par k 0' 0' 52 48 56 1 ' 320 360 ' 28 0' 0' 12 This park receives support in part through the Central Coast State Parks Association 20 State Park Road Morro Bay, CA 93442 32 El 80 0' lys ' ly Cr ee 360' k ands Trail adl He 80' 0' 20 P Headlands Trail 0' 240' 24 ' 40 l Old Bunk Trai nds House Headla Pa HARMONY HEADLANDS S TAT E PA R K 1 0' ic 32 cif to Estero Bluffs State Park, Cayucos Ellysly C reek 0' 0' ea 36 Oc 28 n 480' Major Road 440 Trail Hearst San Simeon SP & SHM 0' 48 Intermittent Stream State Park Boundary Trailhead © 2010 California State Parks (Rev. 2015) Map by Eureka Cartography, Berkeley, CA 360' 0 0 100 200 500 300 28 0' 1000 160' 400 500 1500 ' 440 101 600 Meters 2000 Feet Pacific Ocean Avenal 10 10 20 Mi 20 30 Km 40 0 41 ' Paso Robles Shandon 46 Harmony Headlands SP Templeton 46 Estero Bluffs SP Morro Strand SB 400' Restroom 0 Lake Nacimiento Cambria Parking 33 0 Lake San Antonio 5 198 480' Lockwood 1 Creek Coalinga San Lucas Jolon ' ' 240 Paved Road King City ' 200 Legend 101 Los Padres NF Morro Bay Cayucos SB Morro Bay SP Los Osos Oaks SNR Montaña de Oro SP 1 41 Atascadero 58 Santa Margarita San Luis Obispo

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