Photo by Laura Livengood
Something For Everyone
With a boat launch, trail, and boardwalk, Kirby Park is popular year-round with locals and visitors. From committed kayakers and paddlers to those who simply want a pretty spot to eat lunch, this property sees a huge range of visitors who come out to enjoy its natural beauty and proximity to the water.
With support from the California State Coastal Conservancy.
Visiting Kirby Park
Kirby Park is a public access point to Elkhorn Slough with a boat ramp and dock, parking lot, and handicap-accessible trail.
Currently, the Kirby Park Trail is CLOSED due to storm damage. Normally, it is open from sunrise to sunset for walking, birdwatching, and pets on leash. This flat, paved, ½ mile trail is the only wheelchair-accessible trail alongside Elkhorn Slough.
For detailed rules and information, visit our recreation page.
Moss Landing Harbor District/ESF
willow-riparian forest, tidal wetland
walking, birdwatching, boat launch
Things You Should Know
Open sunrise to sunset.
There are no restrooms available at Kirby Park.
Please keep your pets on a leash and clean up after them while visiting Kirby Park.
Fishing and hunting is not permitted.
Do not leave valuables in your parked car.
Kirby Park is located on Elkhorn Road north of the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Click "View larger map" to get directions.
Partnerships Make a Park
Collaboration is what makes Kirby Park such a unique, accessible spot. The road to Kirby Park is owned by Monterey County, the parking lot and boat ramp are owned by the Moss Landing Harbor District, and part of the trail and the boardwalk are owned by ESF. Working together, we create a hidden gem of a park that is unique at Elkhorn Slough, with waterfront parking, open 7 days a week, and direct access to the upper slough.
Threatened By Climate Change
Due to its location directly on the slough, and downslope from active agriculture, Kirby Park is uniquely exposed to the threat of climate change.
Already, during King Tides, the parking lot and portions of the trail are underwater. Loss of the salt marsh has removed the buffer between the main channel and sections of the trail, leading to dangerous undercutting and erosion of the asphalt. Uncontrolled runoff from neighboring properties during winter storms led to failure of the county access road.
ESF will be helping to lead new community efforts to look holistically at Kirby Park and the surrounding area to plan for ensuring both public access and resilience to weather extremes driven by climate change.
Sea level rise
Erosion of the marsh
Photo by Mike Kelly