South College Cove

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Rating: A

Recommended!

Fall is one of the best times to visit the two beaches -- to the north and south -- that form what is locally known as College Cove. Or visit in mid or late summer, when the skinny-dipping season really gets underway along the coast in this area. "It has gorgeous clear water and great wind protection," says reader Jack. Agrees Jessica, a student at nearby Humboldt State College,"it's definitely a fun place." Numerous non-nudes also use the beach.

State property. Years ago, deputies raided the beach and handed out anti-nudity citations.

How to find it:

From Eureka, go north on Highway 101 and take the Trinidad turnoff. At the first intersection turn right (the left branch goes to Trinidad) onto Stage Coach Road and follow it a quarter mile to a dirt parking lot on the left. It's three-quarters of a mile north of Trinidad State Beach. If you pass Abalone Beach or Sea Cliff Camp, you have gone too far. To reach College Cove South, which gets more nude use than this beach, follow the trail at the south end of the parking lot.

The beach:

A half-moon-shaped cove with around a quarter mile of sand.

The crowd:

Mainly young singles, most of them students. Expect around 50 visitors a day, with use equally divided between nudes and prudes.

Problems:

Icy water; eroding trail; gawkers; occasional fog; law enforcement raids in the past.

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