We were a little late for the azaleas and a little early for the roses but the garden was still beautiful. A trail along the cliff, overlooking unusual rock formations on the ocean shoreline, was an unexpected treat since we thought we would be seeing just a garden. The pounding of waves has honeycombed the rocks into a sculpted landscape that we’ve not encountered anywhere else. Definitely worth a stop!
The property was the estate of timber baron Louis Simpson. In 1907 Simpson built a mansion with an indoor swimming pool and a view of the ocean. The grounds included spacious gardens, a modern farm, and a dairy herd. After the mansion burnt down in 1921 a smaller version was built but the 1929 stock market crash and the depression that followed left Louis Simpson bankrupt. The property was neglected before becoming a state park so none of the buildings except for the gardener’s house are still standing. An enclosed viewing shelter with interpretive panels about the history and geology of the park is located on the mansion site.