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Park Events

Basic Event Information

  • All events and activities are free.
  • Parking is $10 in the day use area and the campground.
  • For more information, please call (831) 335-7077
  • Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation & California State Parks.
  • For a self-guided audio tour of the redwood loop trail, please click here.

 

December

Redwood Tours                                       
Saturdays in December at 11am (except no tour on December 23)
Meet at the Visitor Center (day-use area located off Hwy 9 in Felton)
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 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.

Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
Saturday, December 2 from 10am to noon
Saturday, December 9 from 1pm to 3pm
Join Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Docent Cheryl VanDeVeer or a fun, free, family workshop learning how to make a basket from local pine needles. Children 10 and older may attend if accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center in the day-use area, located off Highway 9 in Felton. No experience necessary.

Birding for Beginners
Saturday, December 23 at 8am
Join us for a 2-mile stroll to discover the winter time birds of Henry Cowell. Please bring binoculars, water, snacks, layered clothes, and walking shoes. Please no pets. Heavy rain cancels. Meet in the CAMPGROUND, located off Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley. 

 

 

First Day Hikes

On Monday January 1, 2018, California State Parks invites you to start the New Year outside as part of the sixth annual First Day Hikes initiative across America. First Day Hikes is a nation-wide promotion of healthy lifestyles and year round outdoor recreation through free guided hikes.

 

Birding for Beginners
Monday, January 1 at 8am
Join us for a morning stroll to discover the wintertime birds of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Meet in the main day-use parking lot, located in the day-use area off Highway 9 in Felton.

Sandhills Hike
Monday, January 1 at 9:30am
Visit one of Santa Cruz’s hidden gems on this guided 3-mile hike through a lesser-known portion of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Discover the rare Santa Cruz Sandhills habitat as we hike through old stands of coast live oaks, twisted mazes of manzanitas, tall majestic ponderosas, and ancient redwoods. Meet at the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall Parking lot located at 3650 Graham Hill Road in Scotts Valley.

Fall Creek Hike
Monday, January 1 at 9am
Hike through a 100 years young forest to examine evidence of the logging history and discover how the Bay Area was built on this 4-hour, 4-mile hike. Join us at one of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks hidden treasures and explore the beauty of Fall Creek. Meet at the Fall Creek Parking Lot, approximately 0.5 mile up Felton Empire Road from the Hwy 9 Intersection in Felton. 

Observation Deck Loop Hike
Monday, January 1 at 11am
There and back again – from the redwoods, to the river, to the sandhills, come and experience the multitude of habitats that you can find at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Enjoy a panoramic view while eating lunch with the acorn woodpeckers before returning to the redwoods on this 4-mile, 3.5-hour hike. Meet at the Visitor Center, located in the day-use area located off Hwy 9 in Felton.

Redwood Loop to Cable Car Beach
Monday, January 1 at 12pm
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 on this 1.5-mile, docent-led stroll. Meet at the Visitor Center, located in the day-use area located off Hwy 9 in Felton.

Redwood Loop
Monday, January 1 at 1pm
Every tree has a story, and many have names. Discover their stories on this 1-mile, docent-led stroll through the old-growth redwood grove. Meet at the Visitor Center, located in the day-use area located off Hwy 9 in Felton.

“What’s in a Name?”
Monday, January 1 at 2pm
Discover Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks’ past on this 1-mile, 1.5 hour living history stroll through the old-growth redwood grove. Meet at the Visitor Center, located in the day-use area located off Hwy 9 in Felton.

California State Parks Backpacking Adventures                     

Click here for more information.

 
 

Annual Events

Full Moon Madness
Friday June 29; events start at 6pm
Friday July 27, events start at 6pm
Friday August 24, events start at 6pm
Experience Henry Cowell in a completely new way… at night! This astronomy-based evening is perfect for the whole family. We will have kids’ crafts, guided night hikes, and a special astronomer guest speaker. To wrap up the evening, the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club will bring their telescopes out for stargazing. Event is in the day use area of Henry Cowell, located off Hwy 9 in Felton. Event is free; vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Ohlone Day at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Saturday September 8, 2018 from 11am to 4pm
 
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. 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. 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. All activities are free; day-use parking is $10. The main entrance to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located off of Highway 9 in downtown Felton. 

   Mountain Parks Foundation Lobster Feed Fundraiser
   at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
  
Saturday October 13, 2018 from 4:30pm to 8pm

Visit Mountain Parks Foundation for ticket sales start date at www.mountainparks.org or call (831) 335-3174.
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! 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. 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. 

During peak summer months, between Memorial Day (late May) and Labor Day (early September), the Henry Cowell Redwoods Campground offers regularly schedule free ranger-led interpretive programs. Programs may include campfire, junior rangers, little rangers, guided hikes, and more. Please call the campground to confirm at (831) 438-2396.

 

 

Self-Guided Family Activities

For self-guided family activities, download an Adventure Guide, pick it up at the visitor center, or email interp@parks.ca.gov to order a copy.

Redwood EdVentures are fun for the entire family. Take a self-guided treasure hunt in many North Coast redwood state parks, including Humboldt Redwoods. Find the final clue and win a cool patch!

Before heading to the park, explore the Redwoods Learning Center set up by Save the Redwoods League. It offers fun, redwood-themed activities, classroom tools, and ways to get involved in redwood protection. Redwoods bingo, anyone?