Hello Friends! Gourmet Girl Denise here.
I have been hiking pretty much since I learned to walk, and even though I’ve slowed down a bit now that I am older, I still get a thrill out of looking ahead and seeing a narrow path disappear around a turn and into the forest. The sense of mystery and adventure I feel when I witness this urges me forward towards the unknown.
One of the more memorable hikes I’ve taken was on a trip to Big Sur with the Gourmet Girls a couple of years ago. We were camped at Plaskett campground and decided to go down the highway a bit and check out Limekiln campground. It’s a small campground, but the trails are wonderful, meandering uphill through giant redwoods and ending at remains of the old Rockland Lime and Lumber Company. Beginning in 1887, they extracted, processed and exported thousands of barrels of lime from Limekiln canyon. Four huge, iron and stone furnaces were built at the base of a slope that contained a large limestone deposit. Limestone rocks were loaded into the furnaces where super hot fires burned for long periods of time in order to purify the limestone, which was later shipped away to become concrete.
Sadly, many beautiful redwood trees were used as fuel to heat the furnaces and for lumber, and the area soon became clearcut. The limestone vein was depleted after only three years and the mine was abandoned. Now all that remains of what was once a thriving business are the four kilns.
The hike is fairly easy with only one stretch that could qualify as moderately difficult towards the end. And the reward at the end is definitely worth it! Check out these pics of Limekiln. I hope they inspire you to get outdoors and hike the hills!
Denise, Gail and Lindsey
The Gourmet Girls on Fire!