Skip to Main Content
Menu
Contact Us Search
Organization Title

Interpretive Activities

Guided Activities at Portola Redwoods State Park

Portola Redwoods State Park
Located 6.5 mi W of Hwy 35 on Alpine/Portola SP Road (650) 948-9098

During the spring and summer season, Portola Redwoods State Park offers scheduled Interpretive programs.  In fall and winter, scheduled programs vary and may be available upon request. If you are interested in having the park interpreter lead a program during your stay at Portola Redwoods State Park, please feel free to call the park interpreter at (831)212-7615 or email  Audrey.Stapleton@parks.ca.gov.

August Activities at Portola Redwoods State Park

Portola Redwoods State Park
From Highway 35, turn west onto Alpine Road, go 3 miles, and turn onto Portola State Park Rd.
Use low gear as both these roads are steep and winding (650) 948-9098

Old Tree Amble
Fridays in August at 3pm
Join our interpreter, Audrey, on a scenic and gentle 1 mile hike to the ancient and awe inspiring redwood tree known simply as “The Old Tree”. See the majestic redwoods in all forms and stages of their development and learn about what makes these giants so unique, and vital to the plant and animal community. All hikes meet at the Hopkins grove, next to the Visitor Center. Hike generally lasts 1 hour.

Campfire!
Every Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 7pm in August
Come enjoy marshmallows, the comforting warmth of our campfire, and have some fun with us! Some activities include (But are by no means limited to!) entertaining and educating slideshows about the unique and interesting features of our park, as well as sing-alongs, silly skits, and trivia. Program generally lasts around 1 hour. Meet at the Campfire Center.

SPECIAL CAMPFIRE
Banana Slug Saturday August 18 at 7pm
Come learn about everyones favorite yellow slimeball while roasting marshmallows, singing songs and participating on stage. Fun for all ages and will meet at the Campfire Center.

Junior Rangers -- Every Saturday and in August at 11am
Have some fun playing in the woods and learning about the redwoods and its inhabitants: past and present. Junior rangers is a State-wide program designed for children ages 7-12 and gives children an opportunity to learn, have fun, and earn themselves the coveted title of Junior Ranger! Program topics range from plants, and animals, to Native Americans and Historical Events. Sorry parents, this program is just for kids! Drop-off and Pick up is at Hopkins Grove next to the visitor center. Programs are one hour long.

Little Rangers -- Every Saturday and in August at 2pm
Our littlest rangers should have some fun in the forest too! Little Rangers is designed for children ages 3-6 accompanied by their parents. This gives children an opportunity to learn about some of their favorite plants and animals in the park while having a total blast. Activities include puppet appearances, games, puzzles, sing-alongs, and coloring. Groups meet at the Hopkins grove next to the visitor center and last roughly 30 minutes.

Coffee n’ Crafts -- Every Sunday in August from 9 - 10:30am
Come join us in the Visitor Center for a good ol’ fashioned cup o’ joe and your very own bat! Free coffee is provided for our grown-up visitors, and a bat-making project is provided for our littler visitors, but grown-ups are welcome to make their own bat too! Learn about these cool winged mammals, hang out with Audrey the Interpreter and your fellow campers, all while enjoying your coffee and crafts.

Creek Sneak -- Every Sunday in August at Noon
Fun for the whole family! Come join our interpreter Audrey for fun activities down at the creek! Learn about the cool little critters living in the water, and how important the water here is to us and the plants.  All ages are welcome, parents must accompany their children.  Activity is drop-in style, and lasts 1.5 hours.

Baked Potato Pals – Every Monday in August at 10 am
Come Join our naturalist, Erik, to learn about a mysterious bird and what it might have in common with a baked potato. This program includes games and activities appropriate for children ages 3-12 accompanied by their parents. Activity meets at Hopkins Grove. Program lasts 45 minutes.

Home in the Redwoods – Every Monday at noon
Come join our naturalist Erik for a short, gentle hike down Old Tree Trail to learn about the creatures that call the redwoods home.  Hike lasts 1 hour. Meet at Old Tree Trail trailhead.

Sponsored by California State Parks and Portola-Castle Rock Foundation. Visit us on the web at www.portolaandcastlerockfound.org

September Activities at Portola Redwoods State Park and Castle Rock State Park

Portola Redwoods State Park
From Highway 35, turn west onto Alpine Road, go 3 miles, and turn onto Portola State Park Rd.
Use low gear as both these roads are steep and winding (650) 948-9098

Old Tree Amble
Saturdays in September at Noon
Join our park interpreter, Audrey, on a scenic and gentle 1 mile hike to the ancient and awe inspiring redwood tree known simply as “The Old Tree”. See the majestic redwoods in all forms and stages of their development and learn about what makes these giants so unique, and vital to the plant and animal community. All hikes meet at the Hopkins grove, next to the Visitor Center. Hike generally lasts 1 hour.

Tip Toe Tour
Saturdays in September at 4 pm
Join our park interpreter Audrey for a leisurely 1.2 mile hike on varied terrain to the trickle we know as Tip-Toe Falls. See the creek-side riparian habitat, and how it is responding to the current drought. What does the future hold for this delicate ecosystem? All hikes meet at the Hopkins grove, next to the Visitor Center. Hike generally lasts 2 hours.

Castle Rock State Park
Located on Highway 35, just 2.5 miles southeast of the junction with Hwy 9 (408) 867-2952

Friday Night Done Right
Fridays in September at 5:00pm
Why join the party animals in the city when you can party with the animals in the mountains? There is some extremely wild nightlife going on up in Castle Rock, and they know how to have a good time. Come learn about their habits and why this wildlife hot-spot couldn’t party on without them. This hike will not go past sunset. Hike meets in the day use parking lot off of Highway 35. No water is available in the park; bring plenty of water and snacks for yourself. Please wear appropriate footwear for hiking (I.e. no flip-flops, high-heels, or shoes without significant tread).

The Gardens of Castle Rock
Sundays in September at 9:00am
Castle Rock is home to many monuments. While the amazing and timeless rocks tower above, the unsung heros of this park dig their roots deep into the soil and gently support everything growing and existing here. Come learn about the amazing variety of plants here, how they’ve been naturally tended over millions of years, and how they help the land as well as how they’ve supported the people of the past. Hike meets in the day use parking lot off of Highway 35. No water is available in the park; bring plenty of water and snacks for yourself. Please wear appropriate footwear for hiking (I.e. no flip-flops, high-heels, or shoes without significant tread).

The Rockstars of Castle Rock State Park
Sundays in September at 1:00pm
What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Castle Rock? Come see the towering, cavernous tafoni, marvel in their beauty and savor their delicate splendor. You will learn how these radical rockstars were born, and what you can do to keep them rocking out for generations to come. Hike meets in the day use parking lot off of Highway 35. No water is available in the park; bring plenty of water and snacks for yourself. Please wear appropriate footwear for hiking (I.e. no flip-flops, high-heels, or shoes without significant tread).

Sponsored by California State Parks and Portola-Castle Rock Foundation: www.portolaandcastlerockfound.org

SPRING VOLUNTEER PROGRAM TRAINING FOR PORTOLA AND CASTLE ROCK STATE PARKS

Portola Redwoods and Castle Rock State Parks
Trailblazers and Park Stewards Sought
Sign up for Volunteer Training -- Class of Spring 2015

California State Parks will be recruiting new volunteers with a love of nature, enthusiasm, and an interest in developing their knowledge of the outdoors to join the Portola-Castle Rock volunteer team. If you would enjoy interacting with park visitors and have a minimum of 6 hours per month to give, become a volunteer! Training takes place Saturdays  from March to April. Attendance at all (four) sessions is necessary; with an additional optional two days in April to hike the parks with staff to get to know the trails and infrastructure. For registration information, please send a short email to: volunteer@portolaandcastlerockfound.org

With the help of the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, California State Parks has established a volunteer program for both Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks. Volunteers are quickly proving themselves to be vital to sustaining the livelihood of these parks. In 2013, the first year of the new program, the volunteers in Portola Redwoods State Park and Castle Rock State Park donated over 1600 hours. Their presence has been felt on the trails, in the Portola Visitor Center and around the rocks at Castle Rock.

Castle Rock State Park is a rock climbing, hiking, and backpacking open space park. Portola Redwoods State Park is traditional camping and hiking park.

Those that apply will be asked to include a one or two paragraph short biography to introduce yourself and why you are interested in becoming a volunteer in either Portola Redwoods or Castle Rock State Park (or both). Accepted registrants will receive confirmation that they are registered, and before the training itself, will be interviewed. Interviews are ideally done in person, but may also be done over the phone.

Sponsored by California State Parks and Portola-Castle Rock Foundation