Through the Woods, and Over the Creek........

California : Big Sur : Limekiln State Park

To Limekiln Falls we go......

While making our big-time plans for Big Sur, I was dead set on camping at Limekiln State Park. But due to unforeseen events, this was not possible. Upon arriving at the State Park to go hiking one day, I quickly realized that it was actually for the best that we didn't get to camp there. My idea of camping next to the beach at Limekiln was completely different from the accommodations themselves. In my head, I was thinking, oh yeah, a nice sandy beach. But once we got there, it was more like, ooohh no, pebble strewn compacted dusty white dirt! Aside from the beach front camping, they had other sites that were within the surrounding forest. Although the path down the middle was the one leading you up to the trail head. My idea of solitude doesn't include strangers walking through the campsites while I'm cooking breakfast, or in our case, eating a granola bar. We totally dodged a bullet........I'm glad their wasn't any availability, and yet again, I'm glad I didn't make reservations prior to leaving for California. It all worked out for the best.

Limekiln Creek

We went to Limekiln on Wednesday, the day after my vacation sick day. I still wasn't feeling all that hot, but I couldn't stand to waste another day sleeping. Once we started hiking I immediately felt like I had been bulldozed by this horribly unwelcome nauseas feeling which engulfed my feeble body. I sound like I'm being dramatic, but really, I felt so weak - it was ridiculous! At this point, I wasn't even hiking, I was pretty much dragging myself through the woods. Good thing it didn't stop me from taking my photos though.

Downed Tree

One thing that I absolutely loved about this trail were the coastal redwoods. Even though I felt like death warmed over, walking through this enchanted forest gave me reason to keep chugging along. This forest had so much character, from the downed trees, to the clover-covered ground that lined the trails was straight out of a "Lord of the Rings" movie.

Limekiln Bridge

Cody pointed out, as well questioned my fascination with bridges.......I can't remember what mumbo-jumbo answer I gave him at the time.....but from the very first time I hiked a trail here in NC, I was hooked. Maybe bridges symbolize a connection in which I can understand, or more literally, that it's the juncture itself that I relate to........then again, maybe I like them because I don't have to wade through water to get from one side to the other?!?! Either way, he was just wondering, why the heck I have to take a photo of every single one we cross!! haha

Limekiln Trail

It was such a sunny day. A photographers nightmare, really. I would have given anything to have hiked this trail on a foggy day.......then it would have been doubly magical. I feared that my photos weren't going to turn out the way my eyes relayed the scene to my brain. Your in camera technique will only get you so far on a blindingly sunny day. Looking at the photo on the tiny little screen is not a true representation of what it will really look like once you see it on a computer screen for the first time. My laptop would only allow enough time to unload my memory cards before I needed to recharge the battery, so I never knew what my photos looked like until the night before we were leaving (at Jimmy's house). I was really surprised at how well these shots turned out, with nearly no post-processing. Go figure, the group I would peg as my worst set of photos, end up being some of my favorites?!?!

Walking up to Limekiln Falls

Above is the path leading up to Limekiln Falls. The climb to the falls was a very gentle grade, and required very little effort (even for a sicko). The creek crossings did require some agile maneuvering at certain points, but it kept things interesting! Overall it was a mere .7 miles to get to the falls. Before you realize you're near the end, you pretty much come to a screeching halt when the 100-foot wall comes in to view. It was incredible. I remember telling Cody, that this was my most favorite waterfall.....EVER! Even better than the McWay Falls, which was pretty spectacular too, but this one was better because of how close you could get. It must have been those negative ions giving me that feeling of euphoria........

Limekiln Falls II
The park's name comes from the actual kilns that were used to produce lime in the 19th century. The Rockland Lime and Lumber Company would load the towers of the kilns with limestone and use redwood lumber to stoke fires at their bases to purify the rock before it was hauled out of the canyon and down to the coast where ships were waiting. The lime was eventually used in cement and other products.

An Actual Limekiln
(One of four kilns, which are still largely intact)
We were very close to skipping the actual limekiln's themselves because I just wanted to lay down. Thankfully I sucked it up, and trekked a little further to catch a glimpse of these rusty towers. To get to the kilns, we took a separate hike off the main trail once we backtracked from the waterfall. I can just imagine the bustling activity taking place there day-to-day, way back when. Big Sur harbors a lot of history, that I haven't even begun to fathom, but I'm learning more and more as I delve deeper into the trip.

Limekiln Falls Framed
View Large On White

Would you believe that there is actually MORE?! I mean, really, is anybody tired of seeing all of this stuff yet?!

Extra Details
  • Aerial Shot of Limekiln: Link
  • Panoramic View of the Limekilns: Link


  1. Sick of all this beauty? You must be kidding! These in the woods are so gorgeous. So clear, like being on the trail. What kind of camera did you use on your trip? You are a magician with it, for sure.

    More, more . . .

  2. It seems as if your trip worked out just perfect! Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Those pictures are gorgeous. Event hough it is in California it looks just like my trip to Costa Rica. Amazing!

    By the way, you know how you told me to just kind of ignore my crush. It's working! He is emailing and texting me like crazy. He is all, "I haven't talked to you in a while, what's going on."

  3. i was just looking at all your photos and can i just say, i need to move to big sur immediately! it's so beautiful!

  4. We will never tire of your photography Jessica!

    And bridges are magical, don't you know that? Anything can happen because you are Inbetween...
    LOTR indeed.

    We have lots of old lime kilns around our area. I will try to remember to post a few pics.

  5. I'M with you bridges go somewhere.great work.and i'm no softy? sian knows me to well. well i'm master in my own home i think???

  6. I'm amazed that you captured all these super lovely shots under such difficult conditions (light in the camera and in your head, LOL).

    I know what you mean about the camping sites... California is either hit or miss with these things and you can only know once you're ankle-deep in it.

  7. Sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well on the trip. The scenery is just amazing and I can quite understand you wanting to camp in solitude. Thanks for showing us the beautiful photos

  8. What a beautiful place to hike. Your photos are so sharp and show so much detail. I agree with you the LCD screen on you camera really isn't an indication of the photo quality. Always the way you go out to shot something and the unexpected stuff seems to turn out better then what you had in mind.

  9. lydia: Not sick of it....yet....good :)......I'm a firm believer that my equipment is not necessarily the reason the photos come out the way they do, it takes practice, patience and a lot of trial and error! But to answer your question I use a Panasonic Lumix FZ30, nothing special by any means. A magician.....sweet!!

    meridith: Thank you :o)

    1218: It really did, except for the getting ill part, that I could have lived without! Costa Rica, really....hmmmm

    Great news about the crush thing, sometimes you have to show them the way :)

    elisabeth: Thanks!

    working girl two: I'm with you, I would love to move there.....mountains AND the beautiful!

    sian: Bridges ARE magical....I really didn't explain it any better than that! The lime kilns were pretty interesting....I'd like to see some photos of the ones in your neck of the woods. Never tire of my photography.......hmmm.....can I get that in writing! haha

    POD: They just make you think that you're the master!! haha

    a little bird: :o)

    TD: Believe me, I was amazed too! We did find a really nice one that was perfect though, I'll have to remember to post about that also.....

    RR: I don't mind camping around other people, I just don't like to be on top of one another, you know?! Thank you for dropping in!

    liss: I am constantly surprised with what I get home to keeps things interesting that way!! It was a gorgeous hike :)

  10. Goodness those are pretty pictures. They really show the area as this magical place I would like to visit!

  11. I must say your photography is excellent and your narratives are interesting and I came to thank you for wandering into my birds blog which was just recently deleted and restarted.

    I have a lot more photos on and or on if you want to take a look when you have time.

  12. REmember the man as the last word,YES DEAR.

  13. What is to sicken of? It is all so beautiful. You are an incredible photographer. You did well, even in the sunny spots!
    That waterfall is awesome.

  14. Carmen: Big Sur was definitely a magical place :)

    Abe: Thank you, I'm glad you stopped in! I like your blogs new look, very nice.

    gillian: It was the best waterfall, I was happy to have pulled off some decent shots in those harsh conditions.......heaven knows when I'm going back!?!?!

  15. wow.
    so are these seriously straight exposure? no HDRI?


  16. bryan: You know what, I have HDR software, but have yet to take the time to learn how it works!! These are indeed straight exposure shots....I only resized them in paint shop.

    Glad you trekked over to WW, thanks for the the kudos :o)

  17. Sick of seeing your photographs? I think there is more chance of hell freezing! If I had to choose a favourite terrain, it would be woodland/forest. The smells, the colours, the sights, the textures, the wildlife.... everything about it is special, and you have managed to capture so much of these things in your photographs.

    I am so sorry to hear that you were really unwell on the hike. II am sure that it was worth every uncomfortable step, now that you can look back on the beautiful images that have been captured forever.

  18. Getty: It was well worth the discomfort to have seen those sights....although, I hope the next vacation will be virus free!!!!!

    I feel the same way you do about the woods...I am most alive when I'm outdoors amongst nature.....