California travel

Fort Ord Dunes State Beach

Images by RJM
Entrance to the State Park

Carrieanna and I recently visited Fort Ord Dunes State Beach, where we enjoyed the accessible boardwalk and the view across the bay to Monterey.

Images by RJM
View of Monterey (and the steep streets leading to the Presidio) from Fort Ord Dunes State Park

This State Park was created in 2009, and encompasses 4 miles of coastline along the Monterey Bay, including the now-closed Fort Ord, a former U.S. Army post.

The park has a boardwalk, a path to the beach, a four-mile road for walking and biking, and interpretive exhibits describing its former use as a military training area. As the dunes are a nesting area for sensitive species, public access is limited to the paths and trails.

Images by RJM
Images by RJM
Accessible trail for biking and walking.
Images by RJM
Interpretive signs are at the right level to be read by wheelchair users.

According to Wikipedia, Fort Ord was established in 1917 as a maneuver area and field artillery target range, and was considered one of the most attractive locations of any U.S. Army post, because of its proximity to the beach and California weather.

Images by RJM
Looking northward
Images by RJM
Beach access

From 1941 until 1976, Fort Ord was the primary facility for basic training for the U.S. Army.

(This was of special interest to me, as my father was undergoing his basic training at Fort Ord when I was born in May of 1955. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!)

Newborn Jeri - May 1955
Newborn Jeri – May 1955

When Fort Ord was converted to civilian use, space was set aside for the first nature reserve in the United States created for conservation of an insect, the endangered Smith’s blue butterfly. Additional endangered species are found on Fort Ord including Contra Costa goldfields and the threatened California Tiger Salamander.

While we did not see any of these endangered species, we did enjoy the coastal view, the multi-colored vegetation, and an entertaining squirrel!

Images by RJM
View of the Monterey Bay

Images by RJM

The wheelchair was able to power through sand at the end of the boardwalk and Carrieanna enjoyed the view from atop the dunes.

Images by RJM
Enjoying the view!

Images by RJM


Images by RJM

Images by RJM
It was a lovely day to enjoy the dunes!

By Jeri Murphy

Traveler, writer, photographer, former wedding officiant, mother, friend, explorer and new Texian ... that's just a little about me!

2 replies on “Fort Ord Dunes State Beach”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.