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Featured Events:

River Health Day
Volunteer and make a difference in the San Lorenzo River ecosystem!
The 2nd Sa of every month (Jul 23-Dec 8) from 9:30am to 12:30pm
Location: Santa Cruz Riverwalk, 107 Dakota Ave., Santa Cruz Map

Every second Saturday of the month you can join the Coastal Watershed Council in improving habitat conditions along the lower San Lorenzo River.

During these River Health Days, we will be planting and watering beneficial native seedlings, as well as removing invasive plants along the river to improve biodiversity and habitat complexity.

Events occur along the banks of the lower San Lorenzo River near the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. Equipment, gloves and refreshments are provided.

All ages and abilities welcome. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Visit https://coastal-watershed.org/events/ to learn more and sign up. Call (831) 464 9200 x104 with any questions.

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Kids2Parks
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State Parks, Friends of
Park field trips for kids!
Date: Every day (Apr 1-Apr 30)


(0 A 0 March) Kids2Parks.jpgEnsuring State Parks Access For Youth

Mark your calendar! The 2019/20 application period opens at 10 a.m. Monday, April 1


Kids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools on State Parks field trips. The program, a partnership between California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, increases the number of students who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access.

 

The program offers field trips to select Title 1 schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Find out if your school is eligible for free bus transportation to a field trip!

 

Applications are accepted once a year for transportation. Teachers may apply for as many field trips as they would like (so long as the school is eligible) but will only be selected for one trip. Field trips will be scheduled by State Parks staff for the 2019/20 academic year based on availability. Teachers/schools are responsible for arranging transportation to the park. Funding is available to cover transportation costs.

 

The 2019/20 Kids2Parks application window will be April 1-30. Online registration opens at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 1. Teachers will receive a response from State Parks about the status of their application by May 15.


Field Trips

Registration for the 2019/20 academic year will be April 1-3


website Santa Cruz Countycreate a direct event link
Mindful Drawing with Michelle Antonisse
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State Park Rancho del Oso
Explore the shapes, shadows, folds and forms of wildflowers.
Date: Every day (May 4-May 5) at 2:00pm
Admission Fees: Free

Mindful Drawing with Michelle Antonisse. Explore the shapes, shadows, folds and forms of wildflowers. We will practice fast gestural sketches of flowers, do a close-looking meditation, and work on a longer drawing. No experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided.

 

Rancho del Oso Nature Center on May 4 & 5 at 2pm, both days 🌸 @ Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center

 


Location: Rancho del Oso Nature Center, 3600 Highway 1, Davenport Map
Phone: (831) 427-2288 •website Davenport create a direct event link
Elephant Seal Equal Access Tour
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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 (May 4-May 5)

Special Instructions: 10am and/or 1pm

gudied walks

Elephant Seal Equal Access Tour

Saturday, May 4 at 10am and 1pm

Sunday, May 5 at 10am and 1pm

Sunday, May 19 at 10am and 1pm

 

To accommodate those who require mobility assistance, Año Nuevo offers a 2-hour tour for visitors to access the natural preserve and view the elephant seals.

 

An ADA-compliant wheelchair-accessible van transports visitors to an accessible boardwalk that leads to an elephant seal viewing area. Each person in need of mobility assistance may bring up to 3 people on the tour.

 

Reservations are required and must be made by the Wednesday before the desired date.

 

Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, visit www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo. Event 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
Wildflower Weekend
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State Park Rancho del Oso
Come and see what's in bloom...Botanist-led wildflower walks at 10am and 1pm
Date: Every day (May 4-May 5) from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: Guided hikes at 10am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday

Wildflower Weekend
Saturday May 4, 2019 from 10am to 4 pm
Sunday May 5, 2019 from 10am to 4 pm
Guided hikes at 10am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday

Rancho del Oso's annual Wildflower Weekend event displays over 80 plants in bloom including species found in the Waddell Valley, the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Botanist-led Wildflower Walks are offered at 10am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday. The 10am hike is a moderately paced 4.5-mile hike along the Marsh Trail to the Skyline to the Sea Bypass Trail. The 1pm hike is a 1-mile wildflower excursion through multiple habitats along the Hoover Nature Trail.

 

The Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.

 


Location: 3600 Highway 1, Davenport Map
Phone: (831) 427-2288 •website Davenport create a direct event link
Stewarding the Elkhorn Slough Watershed
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Elkhorn Slough
Conservation in a Working Landscape
Date: 05/09/2019 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Admission Fees: free

Join us for another fun and informative Evening at the Estuary

This is a free community event - No pre-registration required!

Thursday, May 9th, 6 - 7:00 pm


Conservation in a Working Landscape
Stewarding the Elkhorn Slough Watershed

Dash Dunkell, Stewardship Director, Elkhorn Slough Foundation

 

With nearly 4,000 acres of land in the watershed, The Elkhorn Slough Foundation plays a large role in native habitat restoration around the Elkhorn Slough. Join us to discover the challenges and successes of stewardship in a working landscape. Highlights include updates on Sandhill Farm, eucalyptus removal, and the use of technology in land management.

 

As Stewardship Director, Dash Dunkell leads the Foundation's ongoing efforts to steward and restore native lands.

 

Explore live plant specimens and tips on backyard restoration after the presentation!

Join us at 5:30pm for a sunset stroll with the speaker before the presentation!


Location: 1700 Elkhorn Rd, Watsonville Map
Phone: (831) 728-2822 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Hummingbird Days
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Arboretum
Birds and the plants they love... You'll likely spot Anna's and Allen's hummingbirds, the two most common species in Northern C
Date: 05/11/2019 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: $5 for adults, 17 and under free

Hummingbird Day Docent Stories in the Garden Saturday, May 11, 2019 10am-4pm Free with paid arboretum admission.

 

Bring the whole family and explore the breathtaking gardens of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Meet up with a docent to learn about plants that attract one of the Garden's most celebrated birds - the Hummingbird (Plant List PDF). Visit our photo table in the Australian Garden, get some photography tips from our volunteer photographer, Ferd Bergholz. Join our monthly phenology walk; explore and track native plant cycles in our entrance garden, meet's at Norrie's at 11am, pre-registration is recommended, limited to 15 people.

 

You'll likely spot Anna's and Allen's hummingbirds, the two most common species in Northern California. "The density of hummingbirds - the number per area in the Arboretum - is ridiculously high," says Bruce Lyon, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCSC. "You can watch them feeding on flowers, you can watch their courtship, you can watch them chasing different species - it's a great opportunity to see some pretty amazing hummingbird biology."

 

No early access, gates open at 9 am. We will not have children's activities this year, but please visit our booth at the World Migratory Bird Day at Natural Bridges. No scheduled tours or lectures. No special pricing, just regular admission, payable at Norrie's gift shop.


Location: The Arboretum at UCSC, High Street, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 427-2998 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Hummingbird Photography
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Arboretum
Date: 05/11/2019 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: $5 for adults, 17 and under free

In partnership with naturalist and photographer Bill Bishoff, the UCSC Arboretum & Botanic Garden will be offering two different photography walks to take gorgeous pictures that capture sunset lighting and enhance the element of shadow. These sessions will be Saturday, May 18 and Saturday, June 22 from 4:30 pm - 6 pm. Sign up on the events page on our website to reserve your spot.

https://arboretum.ucsc.edu/news-events/events/photowalk.html


Location: The Arboretum at UCSC, High Street, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 427-2998 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
World Migratory Bird Day
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State Park Natural Bridges
Activities include guided bird walks, birding by ear tutorials, educational booths, workshops, native landscape designs, and kid
Date: 05/11/2019 from 10:00am to 3:00pm


World Migratory Bird Day

Saturday May 11 from 10am to 3pm

Fly, walk, bike, or drive to World Migratory Bird Day at Natural Bridges State Beach. Celebrate the amazing journey of flying future mothers and their mates as they migrate across the country. Activities include hourly guided bird walks starting at 8am, birding by ear tutorials, educational booths, workshops, native landscape designs, and kid's crafts and activities. You can even make a Mother's Day card! Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609, ext. 8. Event made possible by Santa Cruz Bird Club, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, and California State Parks.


Location: 2531 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 423-4609 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Archeology Demonstration
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State Park Mission
Follow the archeological process from the dig to the display, and participate in hands-on activities
Date: 05/11/2019 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm


Archaeology Demonstration

How do artifacts give us clues to the past? Follow the archaeological process from the dig to the display, and participate in hands-on activities to discover the stories told by the artifacts. Presented in collaboration with the Santa Cruz Archeological Society.

 

Event is free; rain cancels. The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park is located at 144 School Street in Santa Cruz. For more information, please call (831) 425-5849. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

 


Location: School St, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 425-5849 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
McNee Ranch Easy Hike
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State Park Montara State Beach
Discover ocean views, coastal plants, wildlife, and historic sites like a World War II bunker and evidence of the long-gone Ocea
Date: 05/11/2019 at 10:00am

Special Instructions: Easy 2-mile hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trai

McNee Ranch at Montara State Beach

Saturday, May 11 at 10am

Join us for an easy 2-mile hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail. Discover ocean views, coastal plants, wildlife, and historic sites like a World War II bunker and evidence of the long-gone Ocean Shore Railroad. Bring water and good walking shoes and dress for the weather.

 

Meet at Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking lot on Highway 1 just south of the Devil's Slide.

 

Rain cancels. Free event. For more information, please call (650) 726-8814. Event made possible by Coastside State Parks Association and California State Parks.

 


Location: Gray Whale Cove Beach, Hwy 1, Half Moon Bay Map
Phone: (650) 726-8814 •website Half Moon Bay create a direct event link
Drop-in Family Crafts: Poppies
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State Park Mission
Date: 05/12/2019 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Admission Fees: free

Drop-in Family Crafts: Poppies

This month's drop-in family craft is paper poppies. No registration is necessary. We begin crafting at 1 p.m. and you can drop in and begin a project at anytime up until 3:30. Different crafts require varying skill levels. Children may need assistance.

 

 


Location: School St, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: 831.425-5849 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Meteor Trail Hike
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State Park Big Basin
Forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike.
Date: 05/12/2019 at 10:00am
Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: See specific days & times

Meteor Trail Hike

Sunday, May 12 at 10am

Friday, May 17 at 10am

Saturday, May 18 at 10:30am

Join a Big Basin docent on one of our most diverse hikes-by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral, and redwoods. We'll discuss forests, flowers, and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch, and good hiking shoes. Meet at park headquarters. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

 

 

 


Location: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831-338-8860 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Mother's Day Walk: Women of Big Basin
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State Park Big Basin
Honor spirited women of the park
Date: 05/12/2019 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Mother's Day Walk: Women of Big Basin

May 12 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Celebrate Mother's Day in the park by honoring the spirited women who lived in, worked in, and fought for Big Basin throughout its history. Living history reenactments bring you back in time where you will meet pioneer homemaker Alice Maddock, Josephine McCrackin, the "Savior of the Redwoods," and Harriet "Petey" Weaver, the first female ranger. Interpreter Susan Blake portrays these inspiring women on this half-mile, one-hour living history walk through the magnificent redwoods. Meet at park headquarters.

 

This walk is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 338-8883.

 

 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831) 338-8883 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Meteor Trail Hike
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State Park Big Basin
Forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike.
Date: Every day (May 17-May 18)
Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: See specific days & times

Meteor Trail Hike

Sunday, May 12 at 10am

Friday, May 17 at 10am

Saturday, May 18 at 10:30am

Join a Big Basin docent on one of our most diverse hikes-by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral, and redwoods. We'll discuss forests, flowers, and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch, and good hiking shoes. Meet at park headquarters. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

 

 

 


Location: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831-338-8860 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Elephant Seal Equal Access Tour
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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: 05/19/2019

Special Instructions: 10am and/or 1pm

gudied walks

Elephant Seal Equal Access Tour

Saturday, May 4 at 10am and 1pm

Sunday, May 5 at 10am and 1pm

Sunday, May 19 at 10am and 1pm

 

To accommodate those who require mobility assistance, Año Nuevo offers a 2-hour tour for visitors to access the natural preserve and view the elephant seals.

 

An ADA-compliant wheelchair-accessible van transports visitors to an accessible boardwalk that leads to an elephant seal viewing area. Each person in need of mobility assistance may bring up to 3 people on the tour.

 

Reservations are required and must be made by the Wednesday before the desired date.

 

Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, visit www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo. Event 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 at the Castro Adobe: Women of the Castro Adobe
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State Park Castro Adobe
Please join our celebration of the role of women in our state-park-to-be and enjoy food, flowers, and fun with the special women
Date: 05/19/2019 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

Without working women out in front and behind the scenes, our adobe would have fallen apart ages ago. From the first indigenous woman to light the fire in the cocina, to the architectural historian who began picking up the pieces of her home after the Loma Prieta earthquake, to the project manager of our current reconstruction efforts, we honor them all this weekend.

Please join our celebration of the role of women in our state-park-to-be and enjoy food, flowers, and fun with the special women in your life. Event is free; limited parking (carpooling encouraged). Active construction site, open only during scheduled events like this.

 

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks


Location: 184 Old Adobe Road, Watsonville Map
Phone: (831) 226-9669 •website Watsonville create a direct event link
Redwood Tours
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State Park Henry Cowell
One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you
Date: Every Sa at 12:00pm
Admission Fees: Day-use parking fee is $10

Old-Growth Redwood Tours                                                                                  

Saturdays at noon

Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left?  How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have.

 

Meet at the visitor center. 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.


Phone: (831) 335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
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
Story Time Walk
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State Park Big Basin
Bring the whole family and join us for a walking story time!
Date: Every Sa at 10:30am


Story Time Walk

Saturdays at 10:30am

Bring the whole family and join us for a walking story time! Starting at park headquarters, we'll walk through ancient redwoods while reading a story. We'll stop and read one page, walk a bit, then read the next page until we finish the story. Meet at park headquarters. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: 21600 Big Basin , Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831-338-8860 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
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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What They Wore
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State Park Mission
What the clothing meant to the people who wore it
Date: 05/25/2019 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Admission Fees: Free
Special Instructions: at the end of School Street off the Santa Cruz Mission Plaza

 ​​What They Wore

Color, cloth, & cut - the clothing worn by the people in the Mission was not all about style - it was about identity, status, and different roles in the community. We will demonstrate the apparel you may have seen here in the 19th century, and learn what the clothing meant to the people who wore it. For more information, please call (831) 425-5849. Event free. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 


Location: 144 School St, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 425-5849 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Old Growth Redwood Tours
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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


Old-Growth Redwood Tours                                                                                  

Saturdays at noon

Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left?  How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. 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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Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
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State Park Big Basin
Explore the park's less traveled backcountry
Date: Every Sa at 12:00pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: See specific days

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!

Saturdays at noon

Sunday, August 4 at noon

Explore the park's less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike will be individually tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level, and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park's most scenic areas. Bring water and good hiking shoes. Meet at park headquarters. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831.336.8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Old-Growth Redwood Tours
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State Park Henry Cowell
Explore the redwoods!
Date: Every Sa from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

Old-Growth Redwood Tour                                                                                  

Saturdays at 11am and 2pm

Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left?  How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. Free event.

 

Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 335-7077. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Big Trees Park Road, Felton Map
Phone: (831) 335-7077 •website Felton create a direct event link
The Road Less Traveled: A Dog-Friendly Walk
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State Park Big Basin
Dog-friendly walk on North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic
Date: Every Su (May 5-Jun 30) at 9:30am

Special Instructions: See details for dates/times

The Road Less Traveled: A Dog-Friendly Walk

Sunday, May 5 at 9:30am

Sunday, May 19 at 9:30am

Sunday, May 26 at 9:30am

On this dog-friendly walk, we travel North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We'll discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun and easy, 3-mile, 2-hour walk with docent Diane Shaw. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water.

 

Meet at park headquarters. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek Map
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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
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
Tide Pool Tours
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State Park Natural Bridges
Explore our spectacular tidepools on this 1.5 hour guided tour.
Date: Every 2 weeks on Su and Sa (May 12-May 26)
Admission Fees: 5/12 11:30am; 5/25 10:30am; 5/26 11am
Special Instructions: See specific days & times

Tidepool Tour

Sunday, May 12 at 11:30am

Saturday May 25 at 10:30am

Sunday May 26 at 11am

Explore our spectacular tidepools on this 1.5-hour guided tour. Bring layered clothing and good walking shoes. Meet at the visitor center. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609, ext. 8. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

 

 


Location: 2531 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 423-4609 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate a direct event link
Ranch Tours
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State Park Wilder
Tour Wilder Ranch!
Date: Every Su and Sa (Jan 5-Dec 29) from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

Ranch Tours

Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm

Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1897 Victorian home, 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse, 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. For more information, call (831) 426-0505. Event free. Day use parking fee is $10.  Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.


Location: 1401 Coast Road, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Ask Us!: Visitor Center Staffed
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State Park Big Basin
Come to the visitor center, next to park headquarters, to get answers!
Date: Every Su and Sa (May 4-Sep 1) from 11:00am to 1:00pm


Ask Us!: Visitor Center Staffed

Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 1pm

Do you have questions about Big Basin? Want trail information? Information about the plants and animals you see? Come to the visitor center, next to park headquarters, to get answers! Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: 21600 Big Basin , Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831-338-8860 •website Boulder Creek 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
website Felton create a direct event link
Mission Strategy Game
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State Park Mission
Mission Strategy Game
Date: 05/27/2019 from 11:00am to 12:30pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free

Gather round the table and play a board game set in the 18th century. Spend Spanish real coins and roll the sheep's knucklebone to determine the fate of your mission. Geared for ages 8 and older. This event is free. Rain or shine.


Location: 144 School Street, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 429-1840 •websitecreate a direct event link
Memorial Day at Wilder
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State Park Wilder Ranch
Parade, cake walk, historic lawn games, draft horse wagon rides, ice cream cranking, make crafts, and listen to live music
Date: Every day (May 26-May 27) from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: All Admission Fees: Free admission, $10 parking

(0 A May 2019) MemorialDayWilder.jpgYeehaw! Come by for a ride and meet the new girls! Margaret and Millie! Randy Clayton and Alisa Merlin and Little Gma Marsha Morphew will be there too.

 

This event is appropriate for all ages. Day-use parking fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 426-0505.

 

Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, California State Parks volunteers, and California State Parks.

 

Wilder Ranch State Park is located 2 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1. The event is free; parking is $10.00 per car. For more event information, call (831) 426-0505.


Location: 1401 Coast Road , Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 426-0505 •website Santa Cruz create a direct event link
Exploring Big Basin
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State Park Big Basin
Learn about redwoods, forest plants, fires, history and more on these fun, varied hikes
Date: Every 3 weeks on Tues at 9:30am
Admission Fees: Free

Exploring Big Basin

Tuesdays at 9:30am

Learn about redwoods, forest plants, fires, geology, history and more on these fun, varied hikes with docent Diane Shaw. Hikes are 5-8 miles and last up to 5 hours. Meet at park headquarters. Rain or shine, but strong winds may cancel. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10.For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831)338-8883 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Big Basin Nature Club
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State Park Big Basin
Pretend, play, sing, and explore!
Date: Every Su, Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and Sa at 4:30pm
Ages: All
Special Instructions: See different times

Big Basin Nature Club

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 4:30pm

This fun program is designed for children ages 3 to 6 and their families. Pretend, play, sing, and explore! This half-hour program will introduce youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest.

 

Meet at the campfire center. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: (831) 338-8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Redwood Grove Loop Walk
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State Park Big Basin
Meet famous trees on this walk in the forest!
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa (May 3-Aug 31) at 11:00am
Ages: All Admission Fees: Vehicle day-use fee is $10
Special Instructions: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 2pm

Redwood Grove Loop Walk

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11am and 2pm

How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 1.5-hour walk. Bring water and good walking shoes.

 

Meet at park headquarters. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 338-8883. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 


Location: Hwy 236, Boulder Creek Map
Phone: 831.336.8861 •website Boulder Creek create a direct event link
Pigeon Point Light Station Guided Tour
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State Park Pigeon Point Light Station
History walks of the lighthouse
Date: Every Su, Fri and Sa at 10:00am
Ages: All

Guided History Tour

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, Pescadero, CA

Guided half-hour history walks of the lighthouse grounds are available 10am - 4pm Fridays through Sundays, except on rainy days.


Location: Guided Tour, 210 Pigeon Point Road, Pescadero Map
Phone: 650-879-2120 •website Pescadero create a direct event link
Bird Walk
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State Park Natural Bridges
Walk through good bird viewing areas and practice birding by ear too
Date: Every Fri (May 17-May 31) at 10:30am


Bird Walk

Friday, May 17 at 10:30am

Friday, May 24 at 10:30am

Friday, May 31 at 10:30am

Join a park docent and Santa Cruz Bird Club member for a 1-mile, 1.5 hour walk through good bird viewing areas and practice birding by ear too! Bring binoculars or borrow ours. Meet at the visitor center. Free event. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609, ext. 8. Event made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.


Location: 2531 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 425-5849 •website Santa Cruz West Sidecreate 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
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