Limekiln State Park, Rockland Landing

Limekiln State Park, Rockland Landing

by | Jan 7, 2021

Limekiln State Park is 716 acres (290 ha) on the Big Sur coast, about 31 miles (50 km) northwest of San Simeon and 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Lucia, California. The park was established in 1994 and includes the ruins of four historical limekilns, Limekiln Creek and Hare Canyon Creek, an ancient redwood forest, and Limekiln Falls that drops 100 feet (30 m) to a beach at Rockland Landing.

From 1887 to 1890, the Rockland Lime and Lumber Company quarried limestone that was smelted in four huge wood-fired kilns. Long exposure to very hot fires extracted lime. The powdered lime was packed into barrels made from local timber. The industry was hard on the surrounding forest, ancient redwoods were chopped down to fuel the limekilns and to make barrels to store the lime. Thousands of barrels of lime were hauled by wagon to Rockland Landing, then attached to an aerial cable and loaded on schooners anchored in the cove. The lime was a key ingredient in making cement used for constructing buildings in Monterey and San Francisco. After only 3 years, the company had exhausted most of the limestone as well as the redwood used to fire the kilns.

Today, Limekiln State Park has a small but popular campground with 31 sites among the redwoods and 11 sites with an ocean view. Easy trails lead to the limekilns or up Hare Creek Canyon. Another trail leads to Limekiln Falls on the east fork of Limekiln Creek. Limekiln Creek Canyon shelters some of the oldest, healthiest, and largest of the remaining southern redwoods. Some scientists speculate that these redwoods, along with those in other nearby steep canyons, may be a subspecies or variety of redwood that differs slightly from more northerly stands. Read more here and here. Explore more of Rockland Landing here:

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