Learn local history while you wander the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.
By Jill K. Robinson
Photographs by Christopher von Steinbach
A rails-to-trails triumph, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail runs for 18 miles — from Pacific Grove north to Castroville — following the former Southern Pacific Railroad line. Start your journey on foot or bike at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, where the seascape meets the rocky shore and inspires visitors from around the world.
The trail enters Monterey and weaves between the historic buildings of Cannery Row. At Bruce Ariss Way, linger to view housing for Filipino, Japanese, and Spanish cannery laborers.
From men waiting for the morning's fishing boats to workers taking a music break to daily life along the canneries and railroad tracks, murals along the trail depict scenes from Cannery Row's industrial era.
As you leave Cannery Row and approach Old Fisherman's Wharf, a mural depicts the untouched landscape with a large California live oak first described in 1602 by the explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno (the tree lived until 1904).