Ano Nuevo State Reserve is a state park in San Mateo County, the aim of the park is to preserve and protect the cultural values of the central California coastline along with the scenic, biological and ecological aspects of the park. These parts include pinniped rookeries, wildlife habitats on the Island and the mainland.
There are also several sensitive native dunes and prairie habitats on the coastal terrace, along with an old growth forest, freshwater marsh, red alder riparian forest and a knob cone pine forest.
There are four streams in the park which are perennial and provide a wetland habitat for the rare San Francisco garter snake and red-legged frog. The streams are stocked with steelhead trout and Coho salmon.
Remnants of Indian reservations that occupied the area are located throughout the park; these include structures from the nineteenth century Cascade Ranch and historic Steele Ranch. These areas are preserved and protected and available for public education.
In the park visitors will be able to view the lonely, undeveloped and wild Elephant seals and sea lions. These animals use the Nature Preserve within the park to mate, give birth and rest in the sand dunes or on the beach. This is an unforgettable natural spectacle that is witness by thousands of people each year. The park is the site of the largest breeding colony of elephant seal. During breeding season access to the park is only available by guided walks only this in from December to March.
A Visitor center is located in the park which features a history exhibit and bookstore, restrooms, drinking water and picnic tables are located near the center. Pets are not allowed in the park, visitors are not to get within 25 feet of the seals and all natural items are to be left in the park.