Fern Trail, Spring Trail and Lookout Trail Loop

EASY 47 reviews

Fern Trail, Spring Trail and Lookout Trail Loop is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Santa Cruz, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
659 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Enjoy the wonder of the Pogonip open Space Preserve. This scenic loop offers a connection between Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Pogonip, and the upper UCSC campus

hiking
4 months ago

I like this place a lot for what it is. Obviously is and feels heavily trodden, has a lot of human history, but it’s a great green space to escape to in the heart of town, and it is undeniably beautiful with it’s mix of riparian habitats, open prairie, coastal chaparral, and second growth coastal redwood. As SC has a heavy mtn biking culture, every trail has specific designations for whether it can be utilized by bikers, hikers, dog walkers, and equestrians. Lookout Trail is NOT dog friendly, and if you are doing this loop as it is done in the title with a pooch, you will have to turn north on the western edge of the large prairie after Fern Trail onto BrayshawTrail to connect back to Spring trail. At the risk of a $70 ticket, and staying on trails which forbade bikers, I let my well-behaved dog off leash for the whole loop. I parked on Golf Club Dr., picked up a map, and took Lower Meadow Trail to the club house; then Brayshaw up to Spring Trail. You can also cut through the prairie for a wonderful open feeling. My dog had a friendly off leash encounter with a confident coyote on the way back at sunset in the middle of the big prairie; this was fun and exciting for the both of us, but dog owners/parents of young children beware, there is a large, active, and fearless coyote population here.

8 months ago

Great balance of forest, field and view of Santa Cruz.

10 months ago

This is not o mountain bike trail. There is a $208.00 fine. So we ride the mtb trail .

mountain biking
10 months ago

I went with my daughter to ride this trail and the trail head says no bikes! We tried going along the Emma McCrary Trail which was open to bikes but it was a bit advanced for her so we turned around :(

Thursday, May 04, 2017

so beautiful!

hiking
Sunday, January 01, 2017

Awesome hike but watch out for ticks. Lots of tall grass.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Perfect for an easy, fun walk with the dog after work.

hiking
Thursday, April 10, 2014

Redwood Forests, hills, meadows, streams, wildlife, Historic buildings and close to town. There is much to see in less than 2miles. There were several joggers, for good reason.
On the other side there's not much parking.

hiking
Saturday, March 29, 2014

I hike in through Golf Club Rd. write off River st. Into wide open meadows with horses grazing; follow the trail on up into the Redwoods to the Gold Fish Pond just below UCSC!

hiking
Saturday, December 22, 2012

Too easy, lots of ticks. Never many people there, though.

hiking
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Nice trail - probably more of a runner's than a hiker's layout though.

hiking
Friday, June 22, 2012

this is the small loop at the entrance of the park. nice easy hike although I like Lookout Loop a lot more.

hiking
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A pleasant, easy hike with a variety of views . Trails are well marked and there several options. Beware of ticks & poison oak in summer though.

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