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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.

 

February

We Bring the Sandhills to You!
Saturday and Sundays from 11am to 2pm
Discover the Santa Cruz Sandhills formation—its fossils, its unique plants and animals, and how fire plays a role in preserving this special habitat—at our Sandhills Mobile Visitor Center in the parking lot next to the Nature Store. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Old-Growth Redwood Tours
Saturdays at noon
Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
Saturday, February 2 from 10am to noon
Saturday, February 23 from 10am to noon
Join docent Cheryl VanDeVeer for a marvelous family workshop learning how to make a basket from local ponderosa pine needles. Children 10 and older may attend if accompanied by an adult. No experience necessary. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Photography Hike
Saturday, February 9 at 2pm
Beginners to advanced photographers and nature enthusiasts alike are invited on a 5-mile hike through towering redwoods and rare ancient marine deposits discovering panoramic views along the way. We will be discussing the natural history of the park in addition to compositional elements. Please bring a camera, water, layered clothing, snacks, and hiking shoes. Meet at the visitor center. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Salamander Safari
Sunday, February 17 at 10am
Discover some of the secretive salamanders that live in the redwood forest! Learn all about salamander life cycles, behaviors, adaptations, and the current threats facing these astounding amphibians on a 2 mile excursion to Eagle Creek. Make sure to bring water, proper hiking shoes, an immense sense of adventure, and enthusiasm! This fantastic, educational, and free safari will meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

 

January

FIRST DAY HIKE: Bird Walk
Tuesday, January 1 at 8am
Join us for a morning avian stroll to hear and see some of the amazing birds that reside in our park, from hawks to Juncos—maybe even a woodpecker or two. Bring binoculars if you have them. Meet at the campground parking lot off Graham Hill Road. For more information, call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Fall Creek Hike
Tuesday, January 1 at 9am
Hike through a young, 100 year old forest to examine evidence of the logging history and discover how the Bay Area was built on this 4-mile, 4-hour hike. Join us at one of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park’s hidden treasures and explore the beauty of Fall Creek. Bring water, warm clothing, and a snack. Meet at the Fall Creek parking lot, approximately 0.5 mile up Felton Empire Road from the Highway 9 Intersection in Felton. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Sandhills to Observation Deck
Tuesday, January 1 at 10am
Experience the great biodiversity of Henry Cowell on this easy 3-mile, 2.5-hour hike. We will hike through the Sandhills, a habitat unique to Santa Cruz County, as well as walk through the redwood forest and other habitats of the park. We will observe how controlled burns have helped protect the native habitat of the Sandhills and learn about the plants and animals endemic to it, taking our time to look for rare plants, fungi, banana slugs, or whatever interesting things we can spot along the way! Bring water and snacks. Meet at the campground parking lot off Graham Hill Road. For more information, call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Observation Deck Loop Hike
Tuesday, 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 4.5-mile, 3.5-hour hike. Bring lunch or snack and water. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Sandhills, the New Acquisition
Tuesday, January 1 at 11am
Come explore the new Sandhills acquisition at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on this 3-mile, 2 hour hike. See the hidden treasures and unique geology, plants, and animals of an amazing and fragile ecosystem. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to see a relatively unknown part of this magnificent park. Bring water and snacks. Meet at the probation center parking lot at 3650 Graham Hill Road. Rain cancels. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Redwood Loop to Cable Car Beach
Tuesday, January 1 at noon
Come and walk through the majesty of an old growth redwood forest on this 1.5-mile, 1.5-hour hike. Hear the story of the redwoods and learn what makes the Sequoia sempervirens, the tallest tree in the world, so special on our way to Cable Car Beach and back. Bring water. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Sandhills Hike
Tuesday January 1 at 1pm
Journey to the highest point in the park with a view of the Santa Cruz mountains and Monterey Bay on this 3-mile, 2-hour hike. We will walk under tall oaks, knobcone pines, and alongside manzanita and other flora thriving in the Sandhills habitat and see courageous new growth emerging from the ashes of a recent prescribed burn. Bring water, snacks, and a hat. Meet at the campground parking lot off Graham Hill Road. For more information, call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

FIRST DAY HIKE: Redwoods, Evolution, and the Changing Climate
Tuesday, January 1 at 2pm
Please join us for a 1-mile, 1.5-hour stroll through the magnificent forest. As we wander past trees that are millennia old, we will learn about their evolution and relationship to our changing climate. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

We Bring the Sandhills to You!
Saturday and Sundays from 11am to 2pm
Discover the Santa Cruz Sandhills formation—its fossils, its unique plants and animals, and how fire plays a role in preserving this special habitat—at our Sandhills Mobile Visitor Center in the parking lot next to the Nature Store. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Old-Growth Redwood Tours
Saturdays at noon
Are there different kinds of redwoods? How do coastal redwoods grow to become the tallest organisms on earth? Why are there so few old growth trees left? How important are banana slugs to the redwood ecosystems? Answer these questions and more every Saturday on our Redwood Grove Walks. One of our knowledgeable and friendly docents will lead you through the wondrous old growth forest and answer any questions you may have. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
Saturday, January 5 from 10am to noon
Saturday, January 19 from 10am to noon
Join docent Cheryl VanDeVeer for a marvelous family workshop learning how to make a basket from local ponderosa pine needles. Children 10 and older may attend if accompanied by an adult. No experience necessary. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

Birding for Beginners
Sunday, January 20 at 8am
Join birder extraordinaire Jim Williams for a tranquil morning filled with our little flying friends! Learn about the birds in our park, receive a Henry Cowell RSP birding brochure, and begin your career as an energized birder! Make sure to bring water, comfortable footwear, and a keen eye and/or ears! Meet at the main parking lot located off Highway 9. For more information, please call (831) 335-7077. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

California State Parks Backpacking Adventures                     

Click here for more information.

 
 

Annual Events

Full Moon Madness
Friday June 14, 2019 from 6pm to 9pm
Friday July 12, 2019 from 6pm to 9pm
Friday August 9, 2019 from 6pm to 9pm
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 14, 2019 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
   
Sunday October 13, 2019 from 4:30pm to 8:30pm

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?