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Activities and Programs

APRIL ACTIVITIES


Redwood Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 and 2 (except for only at 11 am on Sunday, May 10)
AND Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day) at 11 and 2
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods!
Saturday, April 11 at 12 pm
Sunday, April 12 at 12 pm
Sunday, April 26 at 12 pm
Explore some of the park’s less travelled backcountry with docent naturalist Barry Grimm. This hike will be individually tailored to your group–so distance can vary from 2 to 8 miles, depending on your needs. The pace is always moderate–with occasional short stops to discover the park’s unique animals, plants and other natural features. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park’s most scenic areas. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and trail snacks. Heavy rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Sunday, April 12 at 10:30 am
Saturday, April 18 at 10:30 am
Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 am
On this dog-friendly walk, we travel on North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We'll discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun, easy, three-mile, two-hour roundtrip walk. Wheelchairs welcome too! Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Meteor Trail Hike
Friday, April 10 at 12 pm
Join docent Hal Anjo on one of our most diverse hikes—by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral and redwoods. You’ll discuss forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Volunteer with the Trail Crew
Saturday, April 11 at 9 am
Since 1969 the Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew has helped make it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of our park. The Trail Crew meets the second Saturday of each month, rain or shine. A typical workday lasts until mid-afternoon. Please bring your own work gloves, lunch and water. Join us for a unique perspective of Big Basin, a lively and productive experience with others who share a love of these redwood forests, and the satisfaction of participating in a vital part of the park's ability to educate and inspire the public! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Hike to Buzzard’s Roost
Saturday, April 11 from 10-2
Develop your hiking muscles with this challenging 5-mile, 4-hour round trip to Buzzard’s Roost. Join docent Steve Stolper for a hike to a dramatic rock formation with a commanding view of the park. We gain 1,200 feet in elevation on the way up. After a relaxed lunch on the rocks, we return to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.
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Berry Creek Falls Hike
Sunday, April 12 at 9:30 am
Travel deep into the heart of Big Basin as you experience a wide range of habitats on this moderate to strenuous 11-mile-loop hike. Wind through shady redwood canyons and climb dry ridges as you hike to the jewel of Big Basin—65-foot Berry Creek Falls. Bring lots of water, lunch and wear layers. Docent Bill Rhoades guides you on this seven-hour hike. Meet at Park Headquarters.

A Walk in the Past
Sunday, April 12 at 11:30 am
No Safeway? No Home Depot? No Pharmacy? How did the Ohlone Indians survive? Take a walk with Docent Eva Fewel and learn about some of the plants the Ohlones used for food, tools and medicine. This is a 4-mile, 2.5-hour walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Felling the Giants
Sunday, April 12 at 12:30 pm
Logging was the major industry in the Santa Cruz Mountains for over 50 years. How did lumbermen cut down these tall, tall trees? What was life like in a logging camp? What tools did they use? Join Docent Paul Fewel as he tells stories of the logging days and demonstrates how loggers were able to fell these giants—without chainsaws! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Wildflower Walk!
Saturday, April 18 at 10 am
Sunday, April 19 at 10 am
Join docent Scott Peden and learn to identify many of Big Basin’s flowering plants. This is a slow-paced walk with time to discover and identify plants, flowers and animals in the park, and allow for photography if you choose. You’ll also visit several historical spots within the park. Saturday’s walk is a leisurely 4+-mile, 5-hour stroll that includes two chimney trees and a waterfall. Sunday’s walk is a relaxed 5-mile, 5 1/2-hour amble that includes a chimney tree. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk
Sunday, April 19 from 9-12
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. Docent Tom Rohlf will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail.

Outlook from Mt. McAbee
Sunday, April 19 at 10 am
Join docent Hal Anjo on a hike to McAbee Outlook. We'll stop at the top and enjoy the lovely ocean views, returning through a beautiful old-growth redwood forest. Difficulty level is moderate. The hike is six miles and about three and a half hours. Bring plenty of water, snacks and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Hike to Ocean View Summit
Saturday, April 25 at 10 am
Escape the crowds on this 6-mile, 4.5-hour loop through shaded forest to a hilltop view of the coast. Join docent Steve Stolper as we climb the Meteor Trail through the trees, gaining 600 feet before emerging at Ocean View Summit. After a relaxed lunch we descend back into the forest and return to headquarters. Bring *at least* one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. This hike runs rain or shine. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Family Discovery Walk
Saturday, April 25 at 1 pm
Join Docent Norm Beeson for a fun-filled family walk and investigate the mysteries and wonders of Big Basin’s redwood forest! We’ll discover what surprises the day offers on this easy, one-mile roundtrip walk that lasts about 1.5 hours. Bring water, a snack and an adventurous spirit! Meet at Park Headquarters.

MAY ACTIVITIES

SPECIAL EVENT!
The Tramp and the Roughrider: John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt in Conversation
Saturday, May 16 at 2 pm in our Campfire Center
Mountain Parks Foundation, in cooperation with California State Parks, is proud to sponsor this interpretive program featuring Lee Stetson as John Muir and Alan Sutterfield as President Teddy Roosevelt. These skillful storytellers will illuminate an extraordinary encounter of two key figures in the preservation of America's natural wonders.
Each of these characters is feisty and opinionated, with sharp disagreements on issues like hunting, animal rights and forest management. Muir's poetic and evangelistic temperament clashes with Roosevelt's political enthusiasm, spawning both tension and humor. Both men are clever storytellers; you should expect that each one will seek to top the other by relating some of their many adventures in the wilderness of early America.
Seating is FREE, but space is limited. A donation to Mountain Parks Foundation is requested.

Redwood Loop Walk
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 and 2 (except for only at 11 am on Sunday, May 10)
AND Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day) at 11 and 2
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Headquarters.

Campfire Programs
Saturday, May 23 at 7 pm
Sunday, May 24 at 7 pm
Saturday, May 30 at 7 pm (special guest campfire, see below!)
Join us in our historic campfire center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the glittering stars and learn about redwood ecology, creatures of the forest or stories of the park while relaxing in the shadows of the towering trees. Fire lighting and marshmallow roasting (we provide the marshmallows and sticks!) starts at 7:00 pm and the program begins at 7:30 pm. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Good dogs welcome! Meet at the Campfire Center.
SPECIAL GUEST CAMPFIRE
A Visit with Pioneer Alice Maddock
Saturday, May 30 at 7 pm
What was life like 125 years ago in Big Basin? Come meet Alice Maddock, a pioneering homesteader who lived here with her family in the late 1800s. What did they eat and how did they get it? What happened if they got sick? Hear Alice tell of life with her husband Tom and their seven children. Marshmallow roasting from 7-7:30; campfire program 7:30-8:30.

Junior Rangers
Saturday, May 23 at 3 pm
Sunday, May 24 at 3 pm
Monday, May 25 at 11 am
Saturday, May 30 at 3 pm
Sunday, May 31 at 11 am
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest! Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This one-hour program is for kids ages 7-12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child at the Nature Lodge 15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.

Big Basin Nature Club
Saturday, May 23 at 4:30 pm
Sunday, May 24 at 4:30 pm
Monday, May 25 at 10 am
Saturday, May 30 at 4:30 pm
Sunday, May 31 at 10 am
This fun program is for children ages 3-6 and their families. Pretend, play, sing and explore! This half-hour program will introduce youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest. Meet at the Nature Lodge.

Coffee Talk
Saturday, May 2 from 9:30-12:30
AND Saturday, May 23 from 9-12
AND Monday, May 25 from 9:30-12:30
Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. A Big Basin Docent will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity!

Family Discovery Walk
Saturday, May 2 at 1 pm
AND Sunday, May 24 at 1 pm
Join Docent Norm Beeson for a fun-filled family walk and investigate the mysteries and wonders of Big Basin’s redwood forest! We’ll discover what surprises the day offers on this easy, one-mile roundtrip walk that lasts about 1.5 hours. Bring water, a snack and an adventurous spirit! Meet at Park Headquarters.

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk
Saturday, May 2 at 11:30 am
AND Sunday, May 10 at 9:30 am
AND Sunday, May 17 at 9:30 am
AND Sunday, May 24 at 9:30 am
AND Monday, May 25 at 10 am
AND Saturday, May 30 at 11:30 am
AND Sunday, May 31 at 9:30 am
On this dog-, wheelchair-, stroller-, family-friendly walk, we travel on North Escape Road, a paved road closed to traffic. We tour stunning old-growth redwood groves along beautiful Opal Creek. We'll discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun, easy, three-mile, two-hour roundtrip walk. Wheelchairs welcome too. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

Sense-O-Rama!
Sunday, May 3 at 1 pm
Sense-O-Rama is an easy, one-hour ramble with Docent Maura McNamara where you will tune into the more subtle sights, sounds, smells, and even taste of Big Basin! Come and enhance your experience of the forest. Open your senses! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
Sunday, May 3 at 12 pm
AND Saturday, May 9 at 12 pm
AND Sunday, May 10 at 12 pm
AND Sunday, May 17 at 12 pm
AND Saturday, May 23 at 12 pm
AND Monday, May 25 at 12 pm
AND Sunday, May 31 at 12 pm
Explore some of the park’s less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This hike will be individually tailored to your group–so distance can vary from 2 to 8 miles, depending on your needs. The pace is always moderate–with occasional short stops to discover the park’s unique animals, plants and other natural features. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we will choose from the many trails that explore the park’s most scenic areas. Dress in layers for changeable weather and temperatures. Bring sturdy walking shoes, water and trail snacks. Heavy rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Volunteer with the Trail Crew
Saturday, May 9 at 9 am
Since 1969 the Big Basin Volunteer Trail Crew has helped make it possible for others to safely enjoy the beauty of our park. The Trail Crew meets the second Saturday of each month, rain or shine. A typical workday lasts until mid-afternoon. Please bring your own work gloves, lunch and water. Join us for a unique perspective of Big Basin, a lively and productive experience with others who share a love of these redwood forests, and the satisfaction of participating in a vital part of the park's ability to educate and inspire the public! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Berry Creek Falls Hike
Sunday, May 10 at 9:30 am
Travel deep into the heart of Big Basin as you experience a wide range of habitats on this moderate to strenuous 11-mile-loop hike. Wind through shady redwood canyons and climb dry ridges as you hike to the jewel of Big Basin—65-foot Berry Creek Falls. Bring lots of water, lunch and wear layers. Docent Bill Rhoades guides you on this seven-hour hike. Meet at Park Headquarters.

The Women of Big Basin
A Mother’s Day Special Event at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Sunday, May 10 at 1 pm
Celebrate Mother’s Day by honoring some of the incredible women who have lived in, worked in and fought for the Big Basin. Meet pioneer homemaker Alice Maddock; Josephine McCrackin, the “Savior of the Redwoods” and Harriet “Petey” Weaver, the first female Ranger. Interpreter Susan Blake portrays these inspiring women on this half-mile, 2-hour guided walk. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Wildflower Walk!
Saturday, May 16 at 10 am
Sunday, May 17 at 10 am
Join a Big Basin Docent and learn to identify many of Big Basin’s flowering plants. This is a slow-paced walk with time to discover and identify plants, flowers and animals in the park, and allow for photography if you choose. You’ll also visit several historical spots within the park. Saturday’s walk is a leisurely 4+-mile, 5-hour stroll that includes two chimney trees and a waterfall. Sunday’s walk is a relaxed 5-mile, 5 1/2-hour amble that includes a chimney tree. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Here Comes the Sun!
Saturday, May 23 from 11 am to 1 pm
Come to the Campfire Center and look through a solar telescope at the Sun. You'll see sunspots, solar prominences and other features of our closest star as you learn about the parts of the Sun and how it shines. There will be Sun-related activities for the kids. Conducted by Steve Widmark of the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club.

Hike the Last Chance Trail
Sunday, May 24 from 10-2
Join Docent Steve Stolper as we hike the mysterious Last Chance Trail. We follow East Waddell Creek as it meanders through a deep forested canyon. The highlight of our trip is our lunch spot: a sunny rock overlooking cascades that feed the creek below. After a relaxing lunch, we leave our tranquil spot and return to park headquarters. This 4.4-mile out-and-back is a moderate hike with 300 feet elevation gain. But we cross a stream that requires hikers to rock-hop. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Snakes Alive!
Saturday, May 30 from 12-3 pm
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Old Lodge, across the street from the Nature Lodge/Museum, and meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Stop by anytime to meet the snakes and talk to Diane. Snake crafts for the kids too!

Hike to Buzzard’s Roost
Sunday, May 31 from 10-2
Develop your hiking muscles with this challenging 5-mile, 4-hour round trip to Buzzard’s Roost. Join Docent Steve Stolper for a hike to a dramatic rock formation with a commanding view of the park. We gain 1,200 feet in elevation on the way up. After a relaxed lunch on the rocks, we return to headquarters. Bring at least one liter of water, lunch, snacks, and appropriate clothing. Rain cancels. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Annual Events for 2015

Below are 2015 Annual Special Events at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.  Additional daily activities including guided walks, campfires and Junior Ranger programs, can be viewed on the parks main calendar.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Romance in the Redwoods
Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 1 pm
On this easy, 2-hour walk you'll learn about the courtship behaviors of some of the park's most fascinating plants and animals. Join us and discover how banana slugs, redwood trees and more celebrate love in the wild! Meet at Park Headquarters. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way. Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 338--8883.   

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Mother’s Day Walk: Women of Big Basin
Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 1 pm
Celebrate Mother’s Day in the park by honoring the spirited women who lived in, worked in and fought for the Basin throughout its history.  Living history reenactments bring you back in time where you will meet pioneer homemaker Alice Maddock; Josephine McCrackin, the “Savior of the Redwoods” and Harriet “Petey” Weaver, the first female Ranger. Stroll through the magnificent redwoods on this half-mile, one-hour guided walk. Meet at Park Headquarters. This walk is wheelchair and stroller accessible. The park is located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way. Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 338-8883.
 
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
The Men of Big Basin—A Father’s Day Special Event
Sunday, June 21 2015, at 1 pm
Celebrate Father’s Day by honoring some of the remarkable men who lived in, worked in and fought for Big Basin. Living history re-enactments bring you back in time where you’ll meet pioneer settlers, Big Basin founders and early park rangers. Stroll through the magnificent redwoods on this half-mile, 1.5-hour guided walk. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way. Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 338-8883.

Big Basin’s Fourth of July Weekend Celebration and Talent Show!
Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Come and celebrate Independence Day with a campfire, sing-a-long and talent show! If you have a skit, poem, song or a talent you’d like to share, sign up at headquarters in advance. All presentations should be appropriate for all ages. Acts should be only 3-5 minutes in length. Participants need to arrive promptly at 6:30 p.m. Fire lighting and marshmallows (we provide the sticks and marshmallows!) at 6:30 pm; program begins at 7 pm.
  
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Tales of the Basin—A Storytelling Weekend Event
July 24-25, 2015, Various times and locations throughout the weekend.
The oral storytelling tradition comes to life with the ancient redwood forest as a backdrop.
Events throughout the weekend include Big Basin Nature Tails for children of all ages, guided walks that spin a yarn along the trail and a Storyteller Showcase in the historic Campfire Center. Presented in collaboration with South Bay Storytellers and Listeners. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way. Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 338-8883.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Big Basin Founders’ Day and Redwood Jubilee
Saturday, September 26, 2015, from 9 am to 8 pm
Celebrate our wild heritage with a melodrama, historic hikes and games for kids as we honor the Visionaries, Valued Workers and Visitors that have shaped the character of Big Basin over the past 100+ years. Revel in the beauty of the majestic old growth redwoods that inspired the movement to Save the Trees!  Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way. Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 338-8883.
 
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
The Missing Arm of William Waddell
Saturday, October 24, 2015, registration begins at 6:30 p.m.
History takes a tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds. The silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail begin at 7:00 p.m. Enjoy the redwoods on a fall night with music, storytelling and “Ranger Apples” around the campfire. All participants must register at Park Headquarters (registration opens at 6:30 p.m.). Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 at 21600 Big Basin Way. Day-use parking fee is $10.  More information is available at (831) 338-8883.

Redwood Loop Walks
Every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 2 pm
(reduced winter schedule, call park for details)
How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Meet at Park Headquarters.  Self-guided trail brochures also available.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Mountain Parks Foundation