The 25-mile long San Lorenzo River threads along the mountain towns of Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, and Felton. Early preservationists championed the ideas of appreciation and protection of nature following barren land left behind by the logging industry. Finally, the mountains returned to their natural state, where trickling streams and graceful waterfalls cohabitate with old and second-growth redwoods. Today, the resiliency of the valley’s natural surroundings is reflected in its hills and towns.
GETTING HERE: Arrive at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and drive approximately 70 miles/113 km south to Santa Cruz County (recommended: drive via Scenic Highway 1 – Pacific Coast Highway).
Start your day with a fresh-air hike at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
Roaring Camp Railroads features an Old West-style lumber camp near the depot. Take a ride on a vintage steam train through a redwood forest.
For more outdoor adventure, go fishing, rent a boat, or explore the riparian habitat at the Loch Lomond Recreation Area nearby.
Picnic at Felton Covered Bridge Park, and explore the 80-foot long bridge – a California Historical Landmark – considered to be the tallest covered bridge in the United States.
Afterward visit the Mountain Arts Center, to see multi-media works by local artists. Or visit the San Lorenzo Valley Museum, where you can pick up a map for a self-guided tour of the historic lumber town of Boulder Creek.
Enjoy live music at various venue in Felton or Ben Lomond.