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Travel BLOG
December 24, 2013

Take a Hike on New Year's Day!

CampingRedwoods Are you resolving to be healthier in 2014? Spend more quality time with family? Minimize screen time and enjoy the great outdoors? I know I am, and if you said yes to any of the above, then kick off the new year with a First Day Hike. On January 1st, state parks across the U.S. are offering free, guided hikes as part of a national movement to help folks get moving and get in touch with nature. For California State Parks, First Day Hikes are just the beginning of a yearlong sesquicentennial celebration…that's 150 years! In Santa Cruz County, First Day Hikes will be held at Wilder Ranch State Park, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and California's oldest state park- Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Personally, I like how none of these hikes start too early, allowing plenty of time to sleep in after ringing in the new year.

Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walk

Wilder Ranch Explore the plants, animals and geology along the the scenic coastal bluffs of the Old Cove Landing Trail. When: 11:00 AM Distance: 2.5 miles Time: 2 hours Level: Easy to moderate Best for: All ages Bring: Snack, water, binoculars, good walking shoes Meet at: Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center Additional info: Call (831)426-0505; Rain cancels. Please leave pets at home.

Hike to "A River Wild" at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park

Visit some of the park's less traveled "back-country" trails through old growth Redwood and Douglas-fir forest, descending into the San Lorenzo River canyon for a riverside lunch break on the sand bars. When: 11:00 AM Distance: 5 miles Time: 4 hours Level: Moderate Best for: Adults and youth who are diligent hikers Bring: Sturdy walking shoes, water and a trail-side lunch. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Meet at: In front of the Mountain Parks Nature Store Additional info: Call (831)335-7077; Heavy rain cancels.

Observation Deck Hike at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park

Explore four amazingly different habitats in a very short distance: riverside (riparian) broadleaf forest, old growth redwood forest, upland pine-oak woodland and the rare and endangered Santa Cruz sandhills. Enjoy 360 degree views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay! When: 12:00 noon Distance: 4-5 miles Time: 3.5 hours Level: Moderate Best for: Adults and youth who are diligent hikers Bring: Walking shoes, water, sun protection and snacks. Additional info: Call (831)335-7077; Heavy rain cancels.

"Critter Safari" at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park

Uncover animal tracks and other signs of wildlife. Reconstruct the hidden lives of deer, hawks, ducks, bobcats, lizards and more! When: 1:00 PM Distance: N/A Time: 2 hours Level: Leisurely Best for: Children from age 6 are encouraged, when accompanied by a parent Bring: Walking shoes and water. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Additional info: Call (831)335-7077; Heavy rain cancels. There are many places at Henry Cowell that allow dogs on leashes. Call ahead to find out.

New Year's Day Redwood Loop Walk Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big-Basin-Deer Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this fun and informative stroll through a spectacular old-growth redwood forest. When: 1:00 PM Distance: 1/2 mile Time: 90 minutes Level: Easy Best for: All ages- Stroller and wheelchair accessible Bring: Walking shoes and water. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Additional info: Call (831)338-8883; Rain cancels. Please leave pets at home.

Plan your First Day Hike at Big Basin- Coffee Talk and Crafts

When: 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon Where: Simpervirens Room next to Park Headquarters What: All your park and trail questions answered by docent Norm Beeson. Free coffee or hot chocolate and crafts for kids! There you have it! Pick a hike, invite your family and friends to join you and have a Happy and Healthy New Year! You may also be interested in reading: Weekend Bus Service to Big Basin from Spring through early December- ride the bus to Big Basin! Let's Cruz Holiday Gift Guide Your A-Z Guide to New Year's Eve in Santa Cruz



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  • Octavio 2 years 75 days ago
    Regional Evolution Media Corp.

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