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Activities and Programs

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September in Area Park Activities

Please click here  for a downloadable list of programmed events at in area California State Parks.

August Activities at Big Basin

Redwood Loop Walk
Saturdays & Sundays in August at 11 am and 2 pm
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.

Evening Campfire Program
Saturday, August 22 at 7 pm
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 marshmallows (we provide the sticks and marshmallows!) at 7 pm; program begins at 7:30 pm. Wheelchair, stroller accessible. Good dogs welcome!

Junior Rangers
             Saturdays at 3 pm
              Sunday at 11 am
(no program August 29)
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest! Explore, practice outdoor skills and play games as you learn about plants, animals, geology, and more. This program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! This activity lasts 1 hour, except for the 2 hour hike on Thursdays. Please register your child at the Nature Lodge15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.

Big Basin Nature Club
              Saturday at 4:30 pm
              Sunday at 10 am
(no program August 29)
This fun program is designed 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.

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!
Saturday, August 29 at 12 pm
Sunday, August 30 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. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Meteor Trail Hike
Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 am
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.

September Activities at Big Basin

An Annual Special Event!

Big Basin Founders’ Day and Redwood Jubilee

Saturday, September 26

 

Honor the Visionaries, Valued Workers and Visitors that shaped the character of Big Basin over the past 113 years. Revel in the beauty of the majestic old growth redwoods that inspired the movement to Save the Trees! Celebrate our wild heritage with a melodrama, history hikes and games for kids.

 

Founders’ Day Events:

Timeline Tree: Changing Times among the Ageless Giants

9 am-5 pm (all day, walk by anytime)

Come walk along a downed 100 foot redwood tree and read about the stories of change in the forest where time appears to stop. The timeline describes events in words and pictures of Big Basin over the last century…and more. Some were grand occasions, others mundane details…together, the stops along this path tell a fascinating story of the oldest state park in California. The timeline is along the Redwood Loop Trail, across from Park Headquarters.

 

Coffee Talk and Crafts

9 am to Noon

Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate! This room tells the story of the history of California’s oldest state park. Docent Kathy Willott will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And there’s a fun craft activity for the kids!

 

Old-Time Big Basin Resort Walk

9:30 am

Get in a time machine with Docent Scott Peden as he leads us on a history walk around Park Headquarters. Big Basin was a world famous resort, with a swimming pool, dance hall, cabins, dining hall, and more! See photos from then, and compare them to what it looks like now. Scott has 80 to 100 year maps and photos of that era—we will stop by the exact spots those old photos were taken and learn something about the past! This is a 1 mile, 90 minute walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Outlook from Mt. McAbee

10:30 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. Learn about the different habitats as you watch the environment change as we climb and enjoy the view. 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.

 

Horse Tails

11 am

Come meet Bellarose the horse and learn about the important role horses played in early Big Basin history. Join Docent Peggy O’Shea as she shares stories of how horses were used by the Spanish explorers, early settlers and the lumber and tanning industries. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Old-Time Redwood Grove Loop Walk

11:30 am

Join Docent Scott Peden as he leads us on an old-fashioned redwood grove loop walk. Over the years, this walk meandered over a much longer distance and passed by many old buildings and even older trees. See photos from then, and compare them to what it looks like now. Scott has 80 to100 year maps and photos of that era—we will stop by the exact spots those old photos were taken and learn something about the past! This is a 1 mile, 90 minute walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Big Basin Melodrama!

1 pm

Celebrate Big Basin's history! Watch a strolling play into the past on this easy, family friendly redwood loop trail and meet colorful characters from Big Basin's past. Listen to the stories of a pioneering homesteader, an early conservationist, the first female ranger at Big Basin and more! This walk is a 0.5, 1.5 hour and is wheelchair and stroller friendly. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Once Upon a Nest

3 pm

Listen to tales of the history and lore of the endangered marbled murrelet as you follow the path of its discovery right here in the center of Big Basin with Docent Karen DeMello. You’ll also meet typical birds of the redwood forest along the way on this 1.5 mile walk. Meet at Park Headquarters. Binoculars recommended (not required).

 

Old-Fashioned Children’s Games

From 3 pm to 5 pm

Step back in time and play some old-fashioned children's games. Stop by anytime during this two-hour program. The games are for kids of all ages. Meet at the Old Lodge.

 

Campfire!

Native Stories

6:30 pm marshmallow roasting; Program starts at 7 pm

Join us in our historic campfire center for an evening of song and story. Tonight, hear stories from the past, from Native California’s history. Fire lighting and marshmallows (we provide the sticks and marshmallows!) at 6:30 pm; program begins at 7 pm. Wheelchair, stroller accessible. Good dogs welcome!

 

 

Redwood Loop Walk

Every Saturday and Sunday in September at 11 am and 2 pm

Monday, September 7 Labor Day at 11 am and 2 pm

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.

 

Evening Campfire Program

Every Saturday in September at 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 6 at 6:30 pm

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 marshmallows (we provide the sticks and marshmallows!) at 6:30 pm; program begins at 7 pm. Wheelchair, stroller accessible. Good dogs welcome!

 

Junior Rangers

Every Saturday at 3 pm (except for a special event on Saturday, September 26)

Sunday, September 6 at 3 pm

Monday, September 7 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 1 hour program is designed for kids ages 7 to 12. Sorry parents, this program is for kids only! Please register your child at the Nature Lodge15 minutes before the program begins. Please be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.

 

Big Basin Nature Club

Saturday at 4:30 pm (except for a special event on Saturday, September 26)

Sunday, September 6 at 4:30 pm

Monday, September 7 at 10 am

This fun program is designed for children ages 3 to 6 and their families. Pretend, play, sing and explore! This 30 minute program will introduce youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest. Meet at the Nature Lodge.

Coffee Talk and Crafts

Saturday, September 5 from 9:30 to Noon

Monday, September 7 from 9 to Noon

Saturday, September 12 from 9 to Noon

Saturday, September 26 from 9 to Noon

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!

 

Meteor Trail Hike

Saturday, September 5 at 10:30 am with Peggy O’Shea

Saturday, September 12 at noon with Hal Anjo

Join one of our knowledgeable docents on a diverse hikes, by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral and redwoods. You’ll discuss forests, flowers and fires on a 6 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.

 

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!

Saturday, September 5 at Noon

Monday, September 7 at Noon

Sunday, September 13 at Noon

Saturday, September 26 at Noon

Sunday, September 27 at Noon

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. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Nature’s Reading Room

Saturday, September 5 from 1 to 3 pm

Come sit under our redwoods in the Campfire Center, nature’s reading room, and choose a book or two to read with your family. Drop by and Docent Norm Beeson will help you find the perfect book for your family to enjoy. Nature’s Reading Room is at our Campfire Center.

 

Hike to Buzzard’s Roost

Sunday, September 6 at 10 am

Develop your hiking muscles with this challenging 5 mile 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. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Biking Big Basin

Sunday, September 6 at Noon

Thursday, September 17 at Noon

Tuesday, September 22 at Noon

Pedal some of the Park’s easier gravel fire roads with Docent Barry Grimm. Families with kids can enjoy the initial flat paved section, after which the rest of the group can enjoy moderate climbs and downhill glides on gravel fire roads. Most any bike will work on the initial flat paved section, mountain bikes will be needed for the second half. Bring a full water bottle and trail snacks. Meet at Park Headquarters. Come early for a free mini tune-up, chain and pedal lube and tire pressure check.

 

Family Discovery Walk

Sunday, September 6 at 1 pm

Saturday, September 19 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 will discover what surprises the day offers on this easy, 1 mile roundtrip walk that lasts about 1.5 hours. Bring water, a snack and an adventurous spirit! Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

A Walk in the Past

Monday, September 7 at 10 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

Monday, September 7 at Noon

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.

 

Volunteer with the Trail Crew

Saturday, September 12 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, September 13 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 will guide you on this seven-hour hike. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

The Road Less Traveled—A Dog-Friendly Walk

Sunday, September 13 at 10 am

Saturday, September 19 at 10:30 am

Sunday, September 27 at 9:30 am

On this dog, stroller and wheelchair 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 will discuss redwood ecology and park history while exploring the deep shade of the redwood forest. This is a fun, easy, 3 mile, 2 hour roundtrip walk with a Big Basin Docent. Dogs not required, but welcome! Bring water and meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Wildflower Walk!

Saturday, September 19 at 10 am

Sunday, September 20 at 10 am

Join Docent Scott Peden on this slow paced walk with lots of stops to identify flowering plants and take photos. You’ll also visit several historical spots within the park. Saturday’s walk is a leisurely 4 mile, 4 hour amble that includes two chimney trees and a waterfall. Sunday’s walk is a relaxed 5 mile, 5 hour amble that includes a chimney tree. Bring water and lunch. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Shadowbrook Stroll

Saturday, September 19 at Noon

Join Docent Hal Anjo as he guides you on a less traveled trail that takes you by Union Creek, to the Sempervirens Falls and back through the redwoods. This is a 4 mile, 3.5- our hike. Bring water and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Hike to Ocean View Summit

Sunday, September 20 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. Meet at Park Headquarters.

 

Snakes Alive!

Sunday, September 20 from Noon to 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 snake and talk to Diane.

 

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

 

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