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California State Parks

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USA Parks
San Francisco Bay Area Region
Burleigh Murray Ranch State Park
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Purchased by the State of California in 1983 this historic ranch property is hidden in a pristine valley south of Half Moon Bay. The area offers solitude, groves of mature eucalyptus, and a rich assortment of wildlife. With the addition of Rancho Raymundo at the east boundary, park property extends from Higgins Purisima Road in the west to Skyline Blvd. in the east.
History of the Area
Burleigh H. Murray, for whom the acquisition is named, was born on the ranch July 19, 1865. His Father came to California from Vermont in 1852 following the cry of gold and working in the mines at Auburn, Placer county. In 1857 he settled at the present Murray ranch with some sheep and cattle and began a successful dairy farm.

The Mills Barn and surrounding out buildings, are maintained in a condition of arrested decay. Mills Barn hugs the hill beside perennial Mills Creek. This historic structure dates back to the late 1800's and is a good representation of an English Lake County Bank Barn.

Originally 200 feet in length and capable of housing 100 dairy cows the Mills Barn is the only building of this type in California. The foundation of the barn and other buildings including an un-reinforced arched stone bridge, rely on Italian masonry techniques dating back to Roman times.

- Burleigh Murray Ranch Trail: The main trail within the park, a 1.3-mile path that follows Mills Creek to an old ranch site.
- Mill Site Loop: A short loop around the historic mill and barn structures at the end of Burleigh Murray Ranch Trail; length unknown.
- Hilltop Viewpoint Spur: An offshoot from the main trail leading up to a hill with panoramic views over Half Moon Bay area; less than half mile long.
-Ranch House Pathway: This pathway leads directly towards historical buildings including hayloft and bunkhouse for workers on this former dairy farm; distance not specified.
-Creek Side Walkway - Follows along side of Mills creek offering beautiful view of riparian habitat in valley floor setting ; exact measurement is unspecified
-Nature Study Trails - These are unmarked trails ideal for bird watching or studying local flora/fauna, their lengths vary depending upon individual exploration limits.

Note : All these paths have varying degrees of difficulty ranging from easy (Ranch house pathway) to moderate( Hill top viewpoint spur).

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Nearby Hotels

The park is on the San Mateo Coast near Half Moon Bay, just over a mile south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 92.

Turn east off Highway 1 onto Higgins-Purisima Road. Proceed just over one-and-a-half miles to the park. A small graveled parking area is set aside for visitors just inside the park gate.

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California State Parks