Explore the most popular kid friendly trails near Santa Cruz with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful easy “hike”. Really a walk. Gorgeous secluded beaches. Entertaining sea lion colony. Well worth it.

I go on this hike every time I'm in Santa Cruz. The views are amazing and the hike is easy. Only bummer is that it can sometimes be pretty windy.

walking
11 days ago

One the most beautiful area to walk, run or bike.

Absolutely gorgeous! If you go down to the beaches with access points from the trail make sure and check out the caves. :)

1 month ago

I grew up in this area and I feel shocked by how beautiful it is Everytime I walk this trail

on West Cliff Drive

1 month ago

Somewhat crowded, beautiful none the less.

Amazing views! However I recommend parking on the highway because parking costs $10. Dogs aren’t allowed on the property. There are signs warning of mountain lions. We didn’t see any of them, but we saw three different mounds of feces that clearly belonged to a mountain lion.

hiking
2 months ago

5/14/2018 I’m house sitting nearby and had to take advantage of having a flat, beautiful place to skate. It was really nice, but it was crowded for a Monday, and obviously on Saturday when I came with my dog it was packed. Also, a lot of the paved walkway is rough for boards that don’t have the right wheels. The street is good though, and on a weekday there aren’t too many cars, especially up closer to Natural Bridges. There is also a beach along the way where you can let your dog off leash before 10 am and after 4 pm. You’re basically in the heart of town here, close to the west side and downtown, so it is good for families with older or younger members. Riding bikes would be fun for kids. The wharf and boardwalk are at the south end and on the north end there is the monarch butterfly preserve, Antonelli Pond and Moore Creek Preserve. Lots to do.

hiking
2 months ago

This isn't much of a hike on its own, but it's a great way to end a hike at Wilder. After doing the Enchanted Loop, I headed down to 4 Mile Beach via this trail. The beach is a great place to relax after a long hike.

2 months ago

beautiful places

trail running
2 months ago

peaceful, relaxing running path. great views and a few contact highs make for a nice morning run.

walking
3 months ago

Touristy walk for sure but hey I was a New Yorker in Santa Cruz for the first time!! As a big fan of the "Lost Boys" I was super stoked to walk around where a portion of the movie was filmed. Stayed in a hotel right on Beach St and left the sliding glass door open all night so I could listen to the sea lions under the wharf.

walking
4 months ago

This is a crowded, touristy part of town, as it is right next to the Boardwalk and loads of hotels, but that is normal for a wharf. This is a great place to see wildlife Iike sea lions and sea birds. I wouldn’t recommend any of the restaurants, as they are mostly tourist traps, but there are telescopes at the end so you can look out over the bay and see Monterey on a clear day, so it is worth a walk to the end. Pair it with a drive or stroll on West Cliff and Cowell’s Beach, or a walk on the San Lorenzo River levee and stroll downtown. You’re close to lots of classic Santa Cruz spots here.

hiking
4 months ago

FAVORITE. Surely breathtaking views! It’s an easy trail, but let’s just enjoy the views.

walking
4 months ago

Easy relaxing paved path along the beach/coast for running/walking

An easy trail - well worn and wide. Mainly overlooking cliffs, but there are a few spots where you can easily descend to a beach. As far as California coastline goes, the views aren't spectacular but just okay. Seems like a nice couples or family outdoor time kind of place.

Easy hike with great access to the ocean. Could easily push a jogging stroller on this trail. Busy but not overcrowded. Limited parking on site.

Stunning sights, a nice walk with a few stopping points for who wants to read or just take a break.
Was very windy the day I went. Also very busy.
Awesome wildlife sightings (birds and sea mammals).
There’s a $10 fee to park if you go all the way to the Park itself - park on the road right before it if you can!

mountain biking
4 months ago

A little challenging for beginners like me but I had a blast. It really is a nice trail.

Beautiful! Wonderful scenery. My only complaint is that the trail is not moderate, it is very easy.

Breathtaking views

on West Cliff Drive

6 months ago

Like others have said, it's a nice relaxing walk, but not a trail - it's a mixed use sidewalk/path. It's gorgeous, though, and great for walking with a friend.

trail running
6 months ago

Really beautiful path along the cliffs and nearby agricultural area.

Nice easy hike, minus the end. It was a bit of a steep climb to get to the beach that was hard with kids. Otherwise, pretty views and information/educational boards along the way.

It's an easy but beautiful hike. We even have the treat of seeing wild Monarch monarch butterflies nesting.

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.

walking
6 months ago

Took the trail few years back. Still remember the beautiful butter flies.

walking
6 months ago

Good walk. Beautiful ocean and marine wildlife views. It’s an easy walk. Not sure why it’s rated ‘moderate’.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice little 45 min loop. Good if you’re looking for something quick, easy to navigate and free. Free parking in small lot across from golf course club house. Access upper redwood trail through gate near blue gas tank. There was a wider, flatter loop lower down that looked good for running. Not quite sure where the best way to access that would be.

Free Parking along PCH! Beautiful hike! Bring a jacket? Nice chill air!

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