College Cove is a particularly picturesque cove that is viewable from above on the forested cliffs. In addition to hiking down to the beach to get a better view of the dramatic Pewetole Island, we were so excited to discover the perfect coastal tree swing. Located on the north cove of Trinidad State Beach, the beach itself is popular with surfers, photographers, and nudists.
This is a great stop during a Northern California redwood roadtrip.
Trailhead: Google Maps
If you wish to access the beach itself, there are several main lots that give you easier and more direct access to Trinidad State Beach. We wanted to see College Cove from the cliffs, so we opted for a dirt turnout by the hiking trails on the cliffs of Elk Head, which is mostly a residential area.
The trail itself is lush and forested. The nearby residents must love taking these coastal trails — there are so many different paths covering the clifftop. Since there aren't many signs, you can have fun picking which path to take at each fork in the trail. We kept the ocean in sight and headed straight in the direction of the water.
At some points on the cliffside in our attempt to reach the beach below, the trail gets quite steep and overgrown, so we decided to traverse the cliff instead. You could imagine our surprise at stumbling across a tree swing with the exact view we were looking for!
Many of the diverging side trails towards the ocean lead to some great view points, each offering a different view of the Trinidad coast.
Eventually we headed back to our car, no more than a 15 minute walk away.
Although we didn't make it down to the beach, the trails above Trinidad State Beach give a beach view a unique perspective and are worth checking out, especially for that epic swing!