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Beach Front Park

Beach Front Park comprises 10 city blocks of grassy sports fields, picnic areas with unobstructed views of the harbor, a beach, a half-mile shoreline trail, and B Street Pier, a 900-foot-long accessible fishing pier (railings are 42" high). The Fred Endert indoor swimming pool at the park's east end is open to the public (fee). At the park's west end, by Battery Point, is Crescent Lighthouse, one of the first to be built in California, in 1856. Situated on a small island 200 yards from shore, the lighthouse can be reached at low tide by walking across a rocky beach and causeway. It is not wheelchair-accessible, but a short ramp by the Battery Point parking lot provides a good spot for taking photos. Tours are available April-Oct., Wed.-Sun.

Toward the middle of the park is the North Coast Marine Mammal Center, which rescues and rehabilitates injured, orphaned, and sick marine mammals. When volunteers are present, visitors may view harbor seals or sea lions up close. The center also has a small gift shop and educational materials. At the park's main entrance, at the corner of Front and H streets, are remnants of the S.S. Emidio, an oil tanker that was attacked by a Japanese submarine west of Cape Mendocino on December 20, 1941. Five of the crew were killed and the remaining survivors abandoned the ship before it drifted some 85 miles north and ran aground off Crescent City.

As you head out to the pier along B Street, you will see a level area that can provide wheelchair access to the beach with a beach wheelchair but you have to bring your own. Shorebirds, gulls, and terns feed in the flats near the beach.

Trail/Pathway Details

Crescent City Coastal Trail

Trailhead: Battery Point Vista parking lot at the foot of A Street

Length: 1-2 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

Obstacles: Along Howe Drive, parking blocks impede wheelchair passage across the road. There are only a few places where you can cross to reach the main section of the park.


On a rare fogless late-spring day, I had an enjoyable, leisurely stroll on this short trail, which follows the curve of the harbor at the park's edge. There are several places to pick up the trail; I started west of the park at Battery Point Vista parking lot, where I had a good view of the park and the Crescent Lighthouse farther west. From here, after a brief gentle downhill, you can turn right on B Street to reach the pier. You share the road with cars for several hundred yards, but traffic is minimal.

Back on the trail, you cross B Street, then travel behind a large building before entering the main section of Beach Front Park. At the entrance is a new path that leads to picnic tables with views across the harbor; I lingered here to watch a competitive game of disc golf and some shorebirds feeding at low tide. An accessible fire pit would be great for gathering around with friends on a chilly evening. A few hundred feet farther is a path to the Marine Mammal Center. The trail parallels Howe Drive along the shoreline for about a quarter-mile, passing expansive grassy sports fields, to the back of the cultural center and briefly through its parking lot. Next you cross an accessible bridge over Elk Creek, an important watershed for Coho salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout, and lamprey eel. Except for the traffic noise, this would be an ideal spot to watch for ospreys, pelicans, sanderlings, and great blue herons. Over 200 species of birds have been spotted at the mouth of the creek. The trail ends a few feet beyond, in a parking lot just before the entrance to Shoreline Campground.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

The Redwood National and State Parks information center, located at the Crescent City Information Center (1111 2nd St., Crescent City) has a beach wheelchair available for use in the area. You must pick it up and have a way to transport it. 707-465-7335.

Accessible Parking: Yes

Battery Point Vista lot at the foot of A Street, along Howe Drive, and west of Sunset Circle off Hwy. 101

Accessible Restroom: Yes

At Battery Point Vista at the foot of A Street, by the Marine Mammal Center

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

At Battery Point Vista parking lot; new tables near the beach, just east of the pier, have raised grills
Ramp to beach near lighthouse
Ramp to beach near lighthouse (Leah Lewkowicz)

Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • swimming
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: City of Crescent City
Address: Howe Dr. between B and H streets, Crescent City
Nearest City: Crescent City
Phone: (707) 464-7483
Hours: Park: Dawn to dusk. Marine Mammal Center: Thurs., 11 am-3 pm; Sat.-Sun., 10 am-4 pm; closed Mon.-Wed.
Fees: None
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: Redwood Coast Transit
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, April 16, 2011
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing