san lorenzo valley

The San Lorenzo Valley is a beautiful section of Santa Cruz County featuring multiple state parks, including the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. San Lorenzo Valley contains four small Santa Cruz communities (Felton, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Brookdale), all of which are connected by Highway 9. Few neighborhoods can match the natural beauty and small-town feeling of San Lorenzo Valley.

 Attractions

 

 
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Roaring Camp Railroads

One of the most novel attractions in San Lorenzo Valley would have to be riding the Redwood Forest Steam Train. This unforgettable train ride, offered by Roaring Camp Railroads, will take you through the towering redwood groves and up to the summit of Bear Mountain in an authentic narrow-gauge steam locomotive. The train’s engine dates back to 1890s and is one of the most authentically preserved steam engines in America. There’s also a Santa Cruz Beach Train available which takes riders on a train ride to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and back. It’s a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else!


San Lorenzo Valley Museum

If you want to learn more about the area, you can take a trip to the San Lorenzo Valley Museum. Formerly known as the Boulder Creek Museum, this small attraction is packed with information about the area’s rich logging history, bringing the past to life with impressive artifacts, exhibits, and informational outreach programs for local schools.

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Bigfoot Discovery Museum

If you’re looking for a novel experience, stop by the Bigfoot Discovery Museum! This obscure attraction will give you a look into the ongoing search for the Sasquatch! It’s a small museum, but it’s packed with wood carvings, bones, footprints, masks, sighting photographs, and plenty of other interesting items.

Recreation

 

 
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Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Established in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the oldest state park in California. The park contains beautiful ancient coast redwoods, some of which measure 50 feet around and are as tall as the statue of liberty. Some of these trees are estimated to predate the Roman empire, having survived over 1800 years. Beyond the big trees, Big Basin has lush forests, bustling wildlife, plenty of great hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and great views of the Pacific Ocean. Backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, and camping are all allowed in designated areas.


Henry Cowell State Park

From the Garden of Eden swimming hole to the Redwood Loop Trail, the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park offers outdoor adventures for the whole family. You can explore the forest on a mountain bike, go horseback riding by the redwood trees, set up camp and enjoy a night in nature, or enjoy a brief hike from the visitor center to the historic old-growth redwoods. It’s a great way to experience San Lorenzo Valley nature!

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Highlands Park

This 26-acre county park offers plenty of open spaces and amenities for San Lorenzo Valley citizens. There are picnic tables, playgrounds, volleyball and tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, and a skate park available for use. The park is most well-known for the English-style mansion on its property, which is often rented out for weddings and parties.


Junction Park

Junction Park is a community favorite. This natural swimming hole sits between a small sandy beach and a large granite cliff – nearby rocks slow Boulder Creek into a pool of deep blue languid water. It’s the perfect spot to sit back and relax on a hot summer day, and it even has a rope swing (which the kids love!)

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 schools

 

 

Public:

San Lorenzo Valley Elementary K-5th grade, Felton

Boulder Creek Elementary K-5th grade, Boulder Creek

San Lorenzo Valley Middle School 6th-8th grade, Felton

San Lorenzo Valley High School 9th-12th grade, Felton

Coast Redwood High School 9th-12th grade (charter school), Felton

SLVUSD Charter School K-12th grade, Ben Lomond

Private:

St. Lawrence Academy K-8th grade, Felton

Ocean Grove Charter School - K-12th grade (charter school), Boulder Creek

 SAN LORENZO valley