History of Limekiln State Park in Big Sur, California

History of Limekiln State Park in Big Sur, California
Limekiln State Park covers 716 acres on the Big Sur Coast in California, just 50 miles south of Monterrey. Limekiln also features rugged hillsides covered with second-growth redwoods. The original forest was cut to run the lime kilns for which the park is named.

Native Population

The original inhabitants of this part of the Big Sur Coast are believed to be the Salinan, Esselen and Ohlone peoples. These groups of hunters and gatherers ranged from the coastline into the interior hills. Their lives were changed in a major way upon the arrival of the Spanish missions in the late 18th century.


The Kilns

In 1887 Rockland Lime and Lumber began its major activity of producing lime from the rocks in Limekiln Canyon. To fuel the four large furnaces that made the lime substance, much of the nearby redwood forest was cut and burned. The lime was then transported to nearby Rockland Landing, where the valuable material was ferried offshore to larger ships. The whole operation only lasted three years, when the supply of both lime and wood fuel ran out.

Modern Era

The area changed immensely in 1937, when the Big Sur Coastal Highway was opened and motorists could drive on a scenic route that went from Monterrey to San Luis Obispo. In 1995 a private campground near the town of Lucia was bought by the state to create Limekiln state park. The state park is surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest.


Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.