You haven’t fully experienced Santa Cruz County until you’ve hiked through a redwood forest still dripping from a hard rain. The canyons are filled with the sound of rushing water. Wrens flit between the lichen-draped brush of the understory, and the silvery warble of a Swainson’s thrush filters down from the latticework of branches spiraling
For the second summer in a row, California State Parks is offering Naturalist-Led Backpacking Adventures through the Santa Cruz Mountains! Whether you’re new to backpacking or a seasoned nomad, there’s an adventure waiting for you! This year there will be five excursions throughout June to September with trips varying in length from one to three nights. These adventures will trek through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park, Butano State Park, and Portola Redwoods State Park.
Kick-start the new year with an energizing First Day Hike through ancient towering redwoods, sandy coastal stretches, and along soothing mountain streams. On January 1st, state parks across the country are offering free-guided hikes for the eighth year in a row. Get outside, connect with nature, and expand your knowledge of the wildlife, plant life,
Many state parks in Santa Cruz County feature unbroken trails which begin in redwood-covered mountains and end on the rugged, windswept beaches of the Pacific Coast. The vast preserves of open spaces in Santa Cruz County are a tribute to conservation efforts that began over a century ago. Today, Santa Cruz County has an extraordinary number of state parks – 14 in all – and each offers a unique experience for visitors.
As summer comes to an end, most of us look forward to stunning displays of fall foliage, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and drinking our fill of pumpkin spice lattes. But there’s another reason to get excited for shorter, crisper days and less persistent fog banks. Fall is migration season along California’s Central Coast, and one of the top places for birds to get some much-needed R&R before they continue their long flight south is right here in Santa Cruz County.