I visited this spectacular property located fifty-two miles south of Carmel, California in 2019. At the entrance on Highway One, Pacific Ocean waves crash against rocky headlands and spread on a sandy beach. Moving inland, coast redwoods and tanoak shade a narrow canyon. I followed Limekiln Trail that ended with the remains of the four lime kilns that give the park its name. If I had taken Falls Trail instead, I would have reached 100-foot Limekiln Falls—next time! When the privately owned property, managed for many years as a public campground, went up for sale, Harriet Burgess knew she had to find a way to transfer it into public ownership.
With assistance from the Save-the-Redwoods League, the Packard Foundation, and others, ALC added Limekiln to the California State Park system giving the public access to sorrel-carpeted forest with pockets of old-growth redwoods, year-round creeks, the beach and the campground. The Packard Foundation made a grant that allowed ALC to option the property then funding for the purchase was provided equally by a grant from Save-the-Redwoods and by the State of California using tax dollars earmarked by Proposition 117, a state bond measure passed in 1990. The seller, S.H. Cowell Foundation, sold the property at a significant discount.
Robert Glenn Ketchum contributed some of his photographs of Limekiln as part of the campaign to add the privately owned property to the California state park system. Ketchum had been exploring, and photographing Limekiln for many years. He joined ALC’s Board of Councillors in 1994.
The Limekiln State Park brochure available on the State Parks website (parks.ca.gov/?page_id=577 as of February 2019) includes details on the park such as its history and a map.