Butterflies led our way down the Old Cove Landing Trail out to the coastal bluffs. We rounded a bend to a view of pristine Wilder Beach - completely off-limits to humans as a nature preserve. The water sparkled shades of aquamarine, and the sand was the smoothest buttery white I’d ever seen. It doesn’t get touched by human feet, so the mini dunes you see on most beaches are completely absent. When the ocean irons out the sand, it stays flat.
Our final destination was Fern Grotto Beach, where two worlds meet - a pirates cove with rough surf and a fairytale sorcerers lair - the entrance to the cave dripping with ferns all shades of emerald.
Visitors to Wilder Ranch can also find tide pools, forests, wetlands, historic adobe and farm houses and barns, and live animals. The ranch hosts special events with living history reenactments, music, and food.