By Garrick Ramirez
The newly opened trails at Glenwood Open Space Preserve offer the latest reason to get outside in Santa Cruz County. Situated in Scotts Valley, the preserve recently unveiled five miles of trails, marking the culmination of an 18-year effort. Managed by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, the 166-acre property brims with diverse habitats such as redwood groves, lush wetlands, and evergreen forests. Plus, there are more trails on the way! Here’s everything you need to know about visiting this scenic new preserve.
By Traci Hukill
People love Wilder Ranch State Park. Hikers and mountain bikers come from all over to explore its 34 miles of trail winding through oak-crowned meadows and redwood ravines and to gape at its stupendous views of Monterey Bay. But many visitors also come to savor the gentler charms of the old farm complex, a tidy arrangement of whitewashed barns and restored old homes sheltered in a valley out of the reach of the brisk ocean breeze. Here goats, chickens and draft horses go about their peaceful daily business, the antique tractors snooze in their garage and time putters along like a Model T on Highway 1, cheerfully oblivious to the line of modern conveniences piled up behind and itching to take over.
By Molly Ressler
When you think of backpacking in California, the Santa Cruz Mountains isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind. There’s a healing serenity, however, found beneath the towering coastal redwoods that protectively enfold our sunny stretch of well-loved coastline. A quick day trip from the metropolitan hustle of the Bay Area, the Santa Cruz Mountains are an accessible, much-needed antidote to the frenzy of modern life.
By Molly Ressler
It happens every spring, but the transformation of a green hillside to a bright carpet of orange, purple, or golden blooms never gets old. The fields bordering Highway 1 north of Santa Cruz turn bright yellow with sour grass and mustard. Cheery orange California poppies pop up along the San Lorenzo River and striking spires of lupine create varying brush strokes of amethyst, violet, and fuchsia along the coast and in the mountains.
Post-rainy day hikes are kinda the best. Creatures are out, the forest is fresh, and the streams and falls are flowing! Check out a few of our favorite falls in the Santa Cruz Mountains: