Kirby Park

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Boating


  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Boating


visit link
Monterey/Santa Cruz
Info: 831-633-2461
Dawn to dusk
On leash
Last Visited:
April 2008

Elkhorn Slough is one of the best places in North America to see birds, and the best place for wheelchair riders to get close to the slough is little Kirby Park, at the upper end of Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve. Close to 350 bird species live in the slough or migrate through. The slough reaches seven miles inland from Moss Landing harbor. The reserve encompasses 3,000 acres of salt marshes, mudflats, waterways, oak woodlands, and grasslands. A short (about .25 mile) accessible trail travels along the slough and across mudflats, providing plenty of opportunities to see egrets, sandpipers, terns, warblers, loons, peregrine falcons, and many other birds, even occasionally such rarities as white-faced ibis. The park also has a boat launch for small watercraft, and the steep concrete launch ramp may allow some wheelchair riders to reach the water.

Trails and Pathways

Trailhead Location:
West end of parking lot near restroom
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Trail Overview: The first third of the trail travels along the edge of the slough. Pickleweed is the predominant plant, its crimson colors contrasting nicely with the surrounding water. You cross the mudflats on a narrow boardwalk that is several hundred feet long, with vista points and pullouts that are wide enough to turn around in on the otherwise narrow trail. The boardwalk ends at a step down to an inaccessible dirt path. On the return you see hills dotted with grapevines and fruit trees. You will likely encounter photographers and birders. 
More Info: A switchback at the trail entrance may be difficult for scooters. Boardwalk narrows to 3.5 feet The boardwalk is slightly bumpy.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
No – no designated accessible parking, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

Even though there is no designated disabled parking, you will likely be able to take up two spaces in the large, typically empty lot.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – West end of parking lot., Portable unit has no sink.

Good to Know:

The colorful red-tinged plant carpeting the marsh is pickleweed; its tips turn red as the plant absorbs saltwater.


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