Interpretive Programs Resume in Santa Cruz-Area State Parks Starting June 12
Pre-registration and COVID-19 safety protocols are required
Guided hikes, junior rangers, and other in-person interpretive programs will resume in Santa Cruz-area State Parks starting on June 12! Pre-registration is required. Visit www.santacruzstateparks.as.me to make online reservations. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Portola Redwoods State Park have in-person pre-registration instead of online pre-registration. Spaces are limited and early pre-registration is recommended.
Attendees are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms when pre-registering. Masks and social distancing are also required at all programs.
Castle Rock State Park – Guided Hike – 2 hours
Rocks, ridges and redwoods- this park has it all! Join our experienced interpretive staff and volunteers as we highlight different features of Castle Rock SP each Saturday and Sunday! Keep in mind most hikes are somewhat strenuous due to the ridgeline nature of the park and may include long sunny stretches without shade. Bring closed-toe shoes, plenty of water, snacks, and a camera (if that’s your thing!) Meet at the Kirkwood Entrance, near the office. Vehicle day-use fee is $10.
Half Moon Bay State Beach – Bay Junior Rangers – 1 hour
This 1-hour program for 7 to 12 year olds teaches about the importance of nature and our coastal heritage through exploration, games, and various activities. Become a Junior Ranger and earn prizes while learning how to protect the ocean! Meet at the Campfire Center. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (650) 726-8814.
Burleigh Murray Ranch Walk – 2 hours
Join State Park Docents on a leisurely two-hour walk. Take a journey back in time along Mills Creek at Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park. This walk will be a 2.5 miles round trip hike with only a small gain in elevation. Along the way you will learn about the lives of early pioneers and farming families who first settled here in the 19th century. Enjoy one of our area’s hidden treasures. Meet in the parking lot. For more information, call (650) 726-8814.
Pescadero Marsh Guided Walk – 2 hours
Join State Park Docents on an easy two-hour stroll on the mile-long Sequoia Audubon Trail through the Pescadero Marsh. Learn about the fascinating human history of the Marsh from the days of the Ohlone to the present. Discover the byways of the Pescadero and Butano Creeks as they flow through this restored marsh to meet the Pacific Ocean. Dress in layers, wear walking shoes, and bring binoculars and water. Dogs are not permitted. Walks take place weather permitting. For more info, call (650) 726-8814.
Gray Whale Cove Trail Walk – 2 hours
Join State Park Docents for a two-hour hike along the scenic Gray Whale Cove Trail at State Parks’ McNee Ranch at Montara. Enjoy a moderate 2 mile hike overlooking the California coast. From the trail you will be able to view evidence in the landscape of the Ocean Shore Railroad and bunkers left over from the World War II era. Enjoy the ocean views, the coastal plants, and the birds on this exciting hike. Meet on the north side of the Gray Whale Cove State Beach parking lot on Highway 1.
Natural Bridges State Beach – Little Rangers – 30 minutes
Participants are invited to play games, listen to stories and songs, and learn about nature! Activities and games vary from week to week, but always cover a topic relevant to Natural Bridges. Meet at the side porch of the Visitor Center. Parent or caregivers are required to stay and encouraged to help facilitate the fun and games. Day use fee for vehicles is $10. For more information, call (831) 423-0871.
Natural Bridges – Tide Pool Tour – 1 hour 30 minutes
Explore our spectacular tidepools on this 1.5 hour guided tour. Meet at the Visitor Center. Bring layered clothing and good walking shoes. Day use fee for vehicles is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-0871.
New Brighton State Beach – Junior Rangers – 1 hour
This fun one-hour program offers kids, ages 7 to 12, an opportunity to earn prizes while learning about birds, sea life, and local park animals, playing games, and doing arts and crafts. Meet at the campground Ramada. For more information, call (831) 685-6444.
New Brighton Little Rangers – 30 minutes
Any and all 3 to 6 year old are invited to play games, listen to stories and songs, and learn about nature! Smiles, laughter, and good times abound at this program, and it’s a fantastic way to begin your morning in the park. Meet at the campground Ramada. For more information, call (831) 685-6444.
Santa Cruz Mission SHP – Junior Rangers – 1 hour 15 minutes
Junior Rangers is a statewide program for 7 – 12 year olds. Journey back in time through crafts, games, and STEAM activities. Explore the landscapes and lifeways of people from California’s rich history and earn prizes for participation.
Seacliff State Beach – History Walk – 1 hour
Join a State Park docent on this one mile hour-long stroll to the Aptos Creek Bridge and back to get the lowdown on Rafael Castro, Claus Spreckels, the development of Aptos, Seacliff Park, the “Madman of Seacliff”, and the story of the Concrete Ship. This walking tour meets near the ramada.
Sunset State Beach – Sunset State Beach Junior Rangers – 1 hour
Explore, hike and play games as you learn about plants, animals, and more. This 1-hour program is for kids ages 7-12 only. Please meet at the Campfire Center 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play (closed-toe shoes).
Wilder Ranch State Park – Guided Coastal Walk – 2 hours 30 minutes
On this 2.5 mile family friendly walk, we’ll explore the plants, animals, and geology of our coastal bluffs. Bring water, hat, closed toe shoes, layered clothing, and binoculars if available. Meet next to park map in Wilder Ranch main parking lot. Rain cancels. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505.
Wilder Ranch State Park – Historic Ranch Ground Tours – 1 hour
Discover what life was like a century ago on this innovative dairy ranch. This hour-long tour includes the 1896 water-powered machine shop, barns and other historic buildings. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505.
Wilder Ranch State Park – Coastal Birding Walk – 2 hours 30 minutes
On this 2.5 mile hike, be prepared to walk on uneven surfaces, with many stops to view the many birds, plants, and scenery along the way. You will help each other spot and identify birds! Bring your binoculars if you have them, clothes for variable weather, and good walking shoes. Meet next to park map in Wilder Ranch main parking lot. Rain cancels. Vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, call (831) 426-0505.
For program descriptions, schedules, and to make reservations, visit www.santacruzstateparks.as.me or call the State Park of your interest for details on in-person pre-registration.