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Featured Events:

Fish Tour: Seining in the San Lorenzo River
Observe how seining is conducted while learning about steelhead biology and lagoon dynamics.
09/23/2019 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Join us on your lunch break to learn more about steelhead and other fish in the San Lorenzo River! Staff from the Coastal Watershed Council, the City of Santa Cruz Water Department Watershed Section and Hagar Environmental Science will be leading a tour along the Santa Cruz Riverwalk to observe and discuss fish monitoring activities on September 23rd from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. 

 

Throughout the summer the City of Santa Cruz Water Department routinely conducts seining along the lower San Lorenzo River to determine the size of steelhead populations, fish growth and age and size class compositions of the lagoon steelhead population. Seining is a method of monitoring fish using a seine, a net that hangs vertically in the water and is deployed from shore or by boat. During routine seining events, crews work carefully to catch, measure, count and then release steelhead.

 

The City of Santa Cruz invites fish enthusiasts to come take a closer look into this fish monitoring. During this session, attendees will be able to observe how seining is conducted while learning about steelhead biology and lagoon dynamics. Fish biologists conducting the seining may also join the observers to describe the process and answer questions about their findings. However, their main priority is fish safety and survival and they will break to meet with the group only as their monitoring protocol allows. 

 

We hope you will join us for a fish-filled afternoon! This tour is limited to 30 participants. Please RSVP below to reserve your spot on the tour. We will meet at 12:00 p.m. on the west side of the San Lorenzo River Trestle Bridge and may move down to Main Beach or up the Riverwalk depending on where the crews are working.

 

San Lorenzo River Fish Seining Tour Sign-Up

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Evening Art Program
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State Park Henry Cowell
Activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more
Date: Every Sa at 1:00pm


Evening Art Program
Mondays and Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Join us in the campfire center for a family friendly arts and crafts program. All ages welcome. Topic changes week to week and activities will range from sketching and watercolor to nature journaling and more! Meet at the Henry Cowell Redwoods Graham Hill Campground, located off Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. No experience necessary. Event is free; parking is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
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Hikes at Castle Rock
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State Park Castle Rock
Discover expansive views, marvelous rock formations and great rock climbing opportunities
Date: Every Sa at 11:00am

Special Instructions: Located on Highway 35, just 2.5 miles southeast of the junction with Hwy 9

EASY HIKES
Castle Rock Loop
  Sat 11am
Trailhead: main parking lot; 1 mile loop; elevation gain 300 feet    
Ascend through Douglas-fir, madrone, and tanoak to see the park’s imposing namesake peak—a good spot for bouldering and roped climbs. The surrounding smaller rocks are a great playground for children.


Location: 15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos Map
Phone: (408) 867-2952 •website Los Gatos create a direct event link
Guided Elephant Seal Walks
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State Park Ano Nuevo
Elephant seals galore! 3 mile hike to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Mar 31) from 8:45am to 2:30pm
Ages: All: (Lots of walking) Admission Fees: Guided $7; Self-guided free
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31

Explore Año Nuevo with a Docent Naturalist

gudied walks

Guided Elephant Seal Walks

 

www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seals, or bulls, arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups. These popular guided walks take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. Vehicle Day use fee is $10. For more information, call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227, or visit www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo.


For reservations, please call ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

People with accessibility needs may reserve an equal access tour along the boardwalk.
These tours take place on Fridays, weekends, and select holidays.

 

Self-Guided Seal Walks

Daily, between 8:30am and 3:30pm (Natural Preserve closes at 5pm)

Stroll over sand dunes, enjoy beautiful ocean views, and gain a unique opportunity to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals on this 3-mile, 2.5-hour self-guided trail! Visit the female elephant seals as they return to shore to molt, or shed their fur, in this annual excursion.  Additionally, young pups are still ashore from the winter breeding season. Layered clothing, closed-toes shoes, and rain/wind gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted inside the dune area. Pets are not allowed in the park. Walk is free; day-use vehicle fee is $10. Entrance to the reserve for your self-guided walk requires a free permit that can be obtained at the entrance station, or the Visitor Center. Please contact the park at 650-879-2025 for further information.

 

If you require mobility assistance, you may request a volunteer-led equal access tour. You will board our accessible van and get a ride to our wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. A volunteer(s) will accompany you to the two seal-viewing decks, explain the Northern elephant seal natural history, the history of the park, and answer questions. Reservations are required. Please, allow a 2-week advance notice. The volunteer led tour is free, day-use vehicle fee is $10. Contact the park at 650-879-2033 or email Ano.EqualAccess@parks.ca.gov. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.


Location: Hwy 1, Pescadero Map
Phone: (650) 879-2025 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Open House 2019
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State Park Castro Adobe
"Thanks for the Memories" is a chance for history buffs, locals and Castro family descendants to visit
Date: Every Su and Sa (Jan 6-Dec 29) from 11:00am to 3:00pm

Special Instructions: Old Adobe Road, off of Larkin Valley Road

Located at 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville,  the two-story Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe, built between 1848-49, is one of the finest examples of a rancho hacienda in the Monterey Bay area. Friends is leading a multi-year restoration effort to preserve and interpret Pajaro Valley's first State Historic Park in partnership with California State Parks.

 

2019 Castro Adobe Open House events

Opened on a limited basis, the park will be open to the public one weekend day each month in 2019:

  • Sunday, Jan. 27
  • Saturday, Feb. 9
  • Sunday, March 10
  • Saturday, April 6
  • Sunday, May 19
  • Saturday, June 8
  • Sunday, July 14
  • Saturday, Aug. 10*
  • Sunday, Sept. 15
  • Saturday, Oct. 19
  • Sunday, Nov. 17
  • Holidays on the Rancho, Saturday, Dec. 7

The open houses will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the exception of the August event, which is 6-9 p.m. All events are free to attend; donations are gratefully accepted. Parking is limited; please carpool. Leashed dogs are allowed in the parking area only.

Learn more about how you can help create California's newest State Historic Park.


Location: 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville Map
Phone: 831-335-6318 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
We Bring the Sandhills to You!
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State Park Henry Cowell
Discover the Santa Cruz Sandhills formation -its fossils, its unique plants and animals, and how fire plays a role in preserving
Date: Every Su and Sa from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: Vehicle day-use fee is $10

We Bring the Sandhills to You!

Saturday and Sundays from 11am to 2pm

Discover the Santa Cruz Sandhills formation-its fossils, its unique plants and animals, and how fire plays a role in preserving this special habitat -at our Sandhills Mobile Visitor Center in the parking lot next to the Nature Store. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077.

 

Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Graham Hill Rd, Scotts Valley Map
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Life on the Ranch Day - The Early Days on a Dairy Farm
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State Park Wilder Ranch
Experience the Victorian era!
Date: Every Su and Sa
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: Weekends from 11:00am-3:00pm, tours of the ranch houses at 1:00pm

Life on the Ranch Day - The Early Days on a Dairy Farm
Saturday, August 11 from 11am to 3pm

 

Wilder Ranch State Park invites you to experience old-time activities from its rancho, dairy farm, and cowboy rodeo days. Hands-on activities and living history presentations may include butter churning, ice cream making, roping skills, and demonstrations in the ranch buildings. Come for a picnic on the lawn and follow it up with a game of tug of war, sack races, hoops, stilts, and Wilder Ranch's famous old-fashioned bubbles! This event is appropriate for all ages. Event is free; parking is $10. Please call the park to confirm at (831) 426-0505. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 


Location: 1401 Old Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
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State Park Pigeon Point Light Station
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa at 10:00am
Ages: All

The Pigeon Point Lighthouse is currently under repair, but that doesn't mean that the First Order Fresnel Lens can't shine! The Fresnel lens, the original lighthouse beacon, will light up once again from its temporary home in the Visitor Center. As dusk settles, the 24 beams of light provide a dramatic glimpse of how the lighthouse once guided ships passing by this rocky coastline. Bring a flashlight and join us for a unique experience. For more information, call the park at (650) 879-2120 or go online to www.Parks.CA.gov/PigeonPoint. Event is free. Events made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

* Please note the lighthouse will NOT be lit. The original lighthouse beacon, the First Order Fresnel lens, will be lit but in its temporary location inside the Visitor Center. The lighthouse is being repaired and is currently not accessible to the public.


Location: 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero Map
Phone: 650-879-2120 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Little Rangers Portola
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State Park Portola Redwoods
Explore Portola Redwoods State Park
Date: Every Su and Sa at 10:00am


Little Rangers

Saturdays and Sundays at 10am

All 3 to 6 year olds and their families are invited to learn, play, and laugh together at this 30 minute program. Activities, songs, stories, and silliness will help our youngest visitors find a connection to the redwood forest and all of its inhabitants. Adult supervision is required and participation is encouraged. Meet at the visitor center. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 291-8273. Event made possible by Portola and Castle Rock Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: 9000 Portola State Park Rd, La Honda Map
Phone: (650) 948-9098 •websitecreate a direct event link
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