Harmony Headlands State Park
Sitting on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Central Coast of California, Harmony Headlands is made up of 748 acres of undeveloped land.
North of Cayucos, Harmony Headlands stretches along historic Highway 1, and is named for the tiny town of Harmony – population 18. Peaceful and underused, visitors can enjoy coastal scrub, rocky outcrops, wetlands, riparian corridors, ponds, and wildlife along the 1.5 mile trail with 360° panoramic views.
Human occupation along California’s Central Coast dates back at least 10,000 years. The native people, ancestors to today’s Salinan or Northern 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 resources needed for survival.
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. Today the Salinan and Northern Chumash people are working to revive their ancient languages and cultural traditions.
Lands along the Central Coast were granted to individuals, then often used for cattle and dairies. On the Harmony Headlands land, owners operated a dairy from the late 1800s until the mid 1960s. Like neighboring Estero Bluffs, the land was planned for development in the late 70s to 80s. However, in 2003, the American Land Conservancy bought the parcel and deeded it to California State Parks. Click here to access the State Parks webpage.
Photos: Mike Baird/Flickr