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Events & Activities

July Activities Schedule

Please click here for a downloadable monthly activities calendar for area California State Parks.

August Activities Schedule

Please click here for a downloadable list of programmed events at in are California State Parks.

Let us be your guide on an adventure like no other…

California State Parks Guided Backpacking Adventures

1 Night Trip: Saturday, August 1 to Sunday, August 2

            From Big Basin Redwoods State Park to Waddell Beach

            Cost $80

(Mandatory Pre-Meeting: Monday, July 13 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm)

3 Night Trip: Friday, August 21 to Monday, August 24

            From Castle Rock State Park to Waddell Beach

(Mandatory Pre-Meeting: Wednesday, August 5 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm)

Cost $190

Who better to lead you through our parks than California State Park professionals? Travel from spectacular ridgelines, through old growth redwood forests, to sandy shores with our knowledgeable team of naturalists. Imagine if the Santa Cruz Mountains could speak, and the stories they could tell. Our guides will share the secrets of this precious wilderness and give you a window into the lives of the people who lived here for thousands of years. There is no limit to the personal growth and amazing natural beauty you will experience on your backcountry adventure. For both trips, space is extremely limited   Sign up is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register by calling Cathryn Boult at Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks (831) 429-1840 or emailing cathryn@thatsmypark.org. For more detailed information please call (831) 335-6391 or (831) 427-2288 or visit www.thatsmypark.org.

1 Night, 2 Day Trip from August 1 to August 2:
Route: You will begin at Jay Camp, Big Basin Redwoods State Park and travel along the Skyline to Sea Trail and arrive at Waddell Beach, 17 miles North of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1. This trip is approximately 13 miles long, with a net elevation change of 1,000 feet. We will be hiking no more than 8 miles per day. Families are welcome, but please no children under the age of 13. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Transportation: You will be required to organize your own transportation for both drop off and pick up.
Cost: $90
*You will be responsible for providing your own food and gear  

3 Night, 4 Day Trip from August 21 to August 24

Route: You will begin at Castle Rock State Park and travel through the mountains, eventually arriving at Waddell Beach, 17 miles North of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1. This adventure is approximately 30 miles long with a net elevation change of 3,000 feet. We will be hiking no more than 10 miles per day. Families are welcome, but please no children under the age of 13. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Transportation: You will be required to organize your own transportation for both drop off and pick up.

Cost: $190

*You will be responsible for providing your own food and gear

July Activities

A Special Event!

Full Moon Madness

Friday, July 31 from 6 pm to 9 pm

 

This event is perfect for experiencing Henry Cowell in a whole new way… at night! The astronomy based evenings are perfect for the whole family. We will have live music, kids’ crafts and hikes throughout the night. We will also have a special astronomer guest speaker who will talk about their research. Finally, at the end of the evening, the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club will bring their telescopes out for stargazing. The event is free, and parking is $10. Meet at the Henry Cowell Day Use Area at 101 North Big Trees Park Road in Felton.


Guided Redwood Grove Walks

Every Saturday and Sunday in July at 1 pm

How do redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Why are there so few old growth trees left? Answer these questions and more every Saturday and Sunday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable docents will lead you through our magnificent old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the Visitors Center in the Day Use area of Henry Cowell.

 

Campfire Programs

Fridays and Saturdays in July at 8:30 pm

Everybody loves a good old fashioned campfire! Join us for 1 hour at our campfire center in the campground to sing songs, play games, hear stories and learn all about our unique and beautiful park! Please dress warmly and be prepared to have a fun time! Meet at the Campfire Center in the Campground of Henry Cowell at 2591 Graham Hill Road.

 

Star Stroll

Thursdays in July at 8:30 pm

We not only love to learn about the river and trees, but about our cosmos as well! This 2 mile round trip evening hike meets at the Campfire Center and leads to the Observation Deck. Along the way you may see bats, hear owls and learn about other nocturnal wildlife. We will have telescopes set up at the Observation Deck to do some star gazing and learn about the planets and constellations around us. Meet at the Campfire Center in the Campground of Henry Cowell at 2591 Graham Hill Road.

 

Junior Rangers

Thursdays through Sundays in July from 4 pm to 5 pm

This is a perfect opportunity for kids to explore the world around their campsite. Join one of our naturalists for an afternoon of games, hikes and learning! This program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12 only. Sorry parents, this is a kids only program. Parents, please sign your kids up 15 minutes early and make sure they are dressed for active play. Meet at the Campfire Center in the Campground of Henry Cowell at 2591 Graham Hill Road.

Basket Making

Saturday, July 11 from 10 am to Noon

Saturday, July 25 from 10 am to Noon

Join Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Docent Cheryle VanDeVeer or a fun, free, family workshop learning how to make a basket from local pine needles. Meet at the Campfire Circle in the campground at 2591 Graham Hill Rd.  No experience necessary. All materials supplied. Children should be accompanied by an adult. $10 parking fee.

 

Birding For Beginners

Saturday, July 11 at 8 am

Henry Cowell is home to many beautiful and fascinating birds. Join our Docent Jim for a leisurely bird walk throughout the Campground. Please bring your own binoculars and dress in layers. We will meet at the Campfire Center located at 2591 Graham Hill Road. The program is free, parking is $10.

 

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation. Visit us on the web at www.mountainparks.org or www.parks.ca.gov

August Activities

A Special Event!

Full Moon Madness

Friday, August 28 from 6 pm to 9 pm

 

This event is perfect for experiencing Henry Cowell in a whole new way… at night! The astronomy based evenings are perfect for the whole family. We will have live music, kids’ crafts and hikes throughout the night. We will also have a Special Astronomer Guest Speaker who will talk about their research. Finally, at the end of the evening, the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club will bring their telescopes out for stargazing. The event is free, and parking is $10. Program is held in the day use area located off Hwy 9 in Felton, at 101 N. Big Trees Park Road.

 

Guided Redwood Grove Walks

Saturdays & Sundays in August at 1 pm

How do redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Why are there so few old growth trees left? Answer these questions and more every Saturday and Sunday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable docents will lead you through our magnificent old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the Visitors Center in the Day Use area of Henry Cowell off of HWY 9, at 101 N. Big Trees Park Road in Felton.

 

Campfire Programs

Fridays & Saturdays in August at 8:30 pm

Everybody loves a good old fashioned campfire! Join us at our campfire center in the campground to sing songs, play games, hear stories and learn all about our unique and beautiful park! Please dress warmly and be prepared to have a fun time! Meet at the Campfire Center in the Campground of Henry Cowell,  located at 2591 Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley.

 

Star Stroll

Thursdays in August at 8:30 pm

We not only love to learn about the river and trees, but about our cosmos as well! This 2 mile round trip evening hike meets at the Campfire Center and leads to the Observation Deck. Along the way you may see bats, hear owls and learn about other nocturnal wildlife. We will have telescopes set up at the Observation Deck to do some star gazing and learn about the planets and constellations around us. This program meets at the Campfire Center in the Campground located at 2591 Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley.

 

Junior Rangers

Thursdays through Sundays in August from 4 pm to 5 pm

This is a perfect opportunity for kids to explore the world around their campsite. Join one of our naturalists for an afternoon of games, hikes and learning! This program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12 only. Parents, please sign your kids up 15 minutes early and make sure they are dressed for active play. This program meets at the Campfire Center in the Campground located at 2591 Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley.

 

Rivers and Redwoods

Friday, August 7 at 10 am

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is more than just redwoods! Join one of our docents as we explore beyond the old growth forest and onto the river. This slow paced adventure is perfect for families. Meet at the Visitors Center located in the Day Use side of the park off HWY 9, at 101 N. Big Trees Park Road in Felton. Parking is $10.

 

Exploring the Sandhills

Monday, August 10 from 9 am to Noon

The Sandhill ecosystem is a little known gem of our community. Join one of our Naturalists as we explore the rare flora and fauna which make this habitat unique. This 3 mile hike is fairly strenuous due to the warm climate so be sure to bring water and snacks. Meet at the Michael Gray Memorial Field: 3650 Graham Hill Rd.

 

Critter Safari

Friday, August 14 at 9:30 am

There are many animals that call the redwood forest their home. Sometimes we may not be able to see them, but they’re there! Join us on a walk through the forest in search of signs of life. This program is perfect for the whole family! Meet in front of the Visitors Center located off HWY 9, at 101 N. Big Trees Park Road in Felton. Parking is $10. 

Basket Making

Saturday, August 15 from 10 am to Noon

Saturday, August 29 from 10 am to Noon

Join Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Docent Cheryle VanDeVeer or a fun, free, family workshop learning how to make a basket from local pine needles. Meet at the Campfire Circle in the campground located at 2591 Graham Hill Rd in Scotts Valley.  No experience necessary. All materials supplied. Children should be accompanied by an adult. $10 parking fee.

 

Fall Creek Hike

Wednesday, August 19 from 9 am to 2 pm

Join our Docent Dennis on a moderate hike through the Fall Creek Unit of our park. Fall Creek is a beautiful second growth forest that is full of both natural and cultural history. This hike will take you through the redwoods, past the creek and by the outdated Lime Kilns. Dress in layers and bring plenty of water and a lunch. Event and parking is free. Fall Creek parking lot is located approximately a quarter of a mile up Felton-Empire Grade Road from the Hwy 9 traffic light in Felton.

 

In Search of Other Giants

Friday August 21 at 10 am

Coast Redwoods are the tallest living organisms on earth, but are there other giants that live in our forest? Join one of our Docents as we search for other Giants! This program is perfect for the whole family! Meet in front of the Visitors Center located off HWY 9, at 101 N. Big Trees Park Road in Felton. Parking is $10. 

 

Birding for Beginners

Saturday, August 22 at 8 am

Henry Cowell is home to many beautiful and fascinating birds. Join our Docent Jim for a leisurely bird walk throughout the Campground. Please bring your own binoculars and dress in layers. We will meet at the Campfire Center located at 2591 Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. The program is free, parking is $10.

 

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation. Visit us on the web at www.mountainparks.org or www.parks.ca.gov

Annual Events - 2015



Ohlone Day at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 10 am to 4 pm

 
Event features hands-on experiences to relate Ohlone cultural, social, and every-day life

Celebrate the Ohlone People of the past with those of the present at Ohlone Day on Saturday, September 13, from 10am to 4pm at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.  You will see traditional dancers and Ohlone demonstrators will share traditional basketry, songs, stories, tools, musical instruments, language and history.  During this family-friendly event, visitors can throw an atlatl, play Ohlone games and find out how rocks cook meals and bay trees cure headaches as Ohlone people share traditional basketry, songs and musical instruments, stories, dances, tools, language, and history.

For thousands of years, the native tribes we now collectively call the Ohlone thrived in this abundant region.  They had plentiful sources of food and enjoyed a life rich in culture.  Descendants of the Ohlone people present this event each year so that visitors make connections to Ohlone culture in a meaningful way.
 
The event takes place in the group picnic area, one of the largest riparian forests along the San Lorenzo River. The park is also known for its old-growth redwood forest along a .8 mile trail.  All activities are free; day-use parking fee is $10. The main entrance to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located off of Highway 9 in Felton at 101 Big Trees Park Road. 
 
Mountain Parks Foundation Lobster Feed Fundraiser
at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Visit Mountain Parks Foundation for ticket sales start date 
Twinkling lights under a canopy of trees and stars, the delightful sounds of live music floating through the air - it's that time of year again! Join us for our 20th Annual Lobster Feed at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Enjoy a full dinner featuring a 1.5 pound fresh Maine lobster served with crisp salad, steaming corn-on-the-cob, warm garlic bread, beverages, and dessert. The bluegrass sounds of Highway One add their own special magic to the evening. Visit Mountain Parks Foundation for ticket sales start date at www.mountainparks.org or call 831-335-3174; This annual fundraiser for Mountain Parks Foundation supports the educational and cultural programs in Big Basin and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks
 
Mountain Parks Foundation funds the nature education and enrichment programs offered at Henry Cowell and Big Basin Redwoods State Parks.  We believe an informed public will ensure the preservation of the natural habitats and cultural history of our California State Parks.  Interpretive and educational programs funded by Mountain Parks Foundation serve more than 1.7 million park visitors annually, including more than 200 student classes who participate in park curriculum-based educational programs.
 
Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation