There are many places to see on the Point Reyes peninsula, but one very notable place, not seen by many, is Abbott's Lagoon. A little over a miles hike from the gravel parking lot, the trail opens up to a deep blue, oversized pond: the lagoon. A bench just before a bridge on the left side of the trail is a fine place to sit and bird-watch. You will probably see red-winged blackbirds and California quail. The north branch of the lagoon is visible to the right. A bridge joins the north and south branches of the lagoon. From far away you can see the ripples in the sand left behind from the constant wind that sculpts the sandy hillsides. This lagoon is home to so much wildlife, because it connects with the Pacific Ocean. Migratory birds fly through along with the blackbirds that stay year round; there are foxes, coyotes, skunks, deer, rabbits and other animals. It’s rare to see one out and about during the day, but we know they are there because of the tracks they leave behind in the muddy sand by the water on the south side of the bridge.
Coming from US 101, take the exit for San Anselmo (Sir Francis Drake Blvd.). It’s about a thirty minute drive on Sir Francis Drake until it meets Highway 1, where you will take a right turn. After Olema, turn left back onto Sir Francis Drake/Hwy 1 for about half an hour and then continue on Pierce Point Road. The trail head parking lot is located on Pierce Point Road on the left.
For the best experience at Abbotts Lagoon, pack the car full of your friends and family, bring the picnic basket, and bring a couple layers or two; it can get windy sometimes. Don’t forget the camera to catch the gorgeous scenes and wildflowers. Just before the bridge that joins the north and south braches of the lagoon, near a horse hitching post, look to the left for a faint, unmarked path. Carefully climb uphill on the trail that leads to a small bluff overlooking both branches of the lagoon and the ocean. I can't think of a nicer spot for a picnic. In the spring, the bluff is heavily sprinkled with wildflowers.So whether you’re heading out with friends and family or if you’re just on your own, Abbotts Lagoon is a really great place off the beaten path, hidden in the hills, so close to the ocean. With so much to offer, it’s hard to turn this one down.