COVID-19 Updates

Wear a Mask

Cover your nose and mouth

Social Distance

Stay six feet apart

Wash Hands

Wash your hands often

Santa Cruz County COVID Status: Orange Tier
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All County parks, beaches, and trails are open, including playgrounds and restrooms.

COVID-19 Safety Reminders for Park Users

Do not visit parks if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Face masks over the mouth and nose are required for everyone 2 years of age or older.
Do not use park features such as playgrounds, dog parks, skate parks, or bike jump tracks when different households are unable to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or when the capacity limit has been reached.
Caregivers must monitor to keep adults and children from different households at least 6 feet apart.
Consider visiting park features during different times or days to avoid wait times and potential crowded times.
No eating or drinking at park playgrounds, to ensure face masks are worn at all times.
Wash or sanitize hands before and after visiting the park or using park amenities.
Elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions should avoid crowded park areas.
Limit playground visits to 30 minutes per day when others are present.


Available Programs

Simpkins Family Swim Center
Simpkins Family Swim Center is currently open in a limited capacity for lap swim and pool use by reservation only, as well as private and semi-private swim lessons.

We are open 6:00am-7:45pm Monday-Friday and 9:00am-4:45pm Saturday and Sunday.
Simpkins Family Swim Center Reopening Overview PDF

Please direct all questions to the swim center. You can reach us by phone, 831-454-7960 or email,

Lap Swim

Available by reservation only for anyone age 9 and older. Family members and members of the same household may share lanes, otherwise limit one swimmer per lane. Children age 9-12 must pass a water proficiency exam before using lap lanes. Learn how to reserve a lane here.

Warm Water Pool Reservations

The warm water pool is available for single family reservations. Learn how to reserve a space here.

Swim Lessons
Available on a limited basis. Private and semi-private lessons available. Semi-privates are for up to two individuals from the same family or household who are at a similar swimming ability. Learn more here.
Aquatics Camps
Summer 2021 Aquatics Camps registration began April 3, 2021 with limited capacity. All spots are currently filled. Learn more here.

Available on a limited basis. Camps enrollment totals are limited to 4 stable groups of 14 individuals.

Lifeguard Training

Small group lifeguard classes are currently running. Courses are a blend of virtual learning and in-person practical skills classes. Learn more here.

Limit 6 participants per course.


Simpkins Family Swim Center is currently taking applications for lifeguard and head lifeguard positions. Find out more here.

Unavailable Programs

Aquatic Fitness
Currently, water aerobics and adult fitness (coached lap swim) are not available in accordance with all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy
Recreation & Open Swim
Open swim and recreations swim are not available at this time. Our warm water pool is available by reservation for adult individual and shared use as well as family use for all ages.
Pool Rentals
Currently, pool rentals are not available in accordance with all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy and Stay-at-Home orders.


Most County Park's recreation programs have been cancelled.

Current County Park's public recreation services and partnerships:

Permits & Reservations

Available Permits

Outdoor Class Permits

Outdoor class programs such as yoga, martial arts, fitness, Music & Me, and all other specialty classes require a permit to operate in County Parks. Outdoor fitness is approved through all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy and Stay-at-Home orders, but are subject to change at anytime.

Outdoor Ceremonies

Outdoor ceremonies, such as wedding ceremonies, are permitted in the following select park locations: Aptos Village Park, Dolphin/Sumner Beach, Felton Covered Bridge, Highlands Park, Quail Hollow Ranch, Seascape Park, Scott Creek Beach. Outdoor ceremonies are approved through all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy and Stay-at-Home orders, but are subject to change at anytime. Wedding receptions are not allowed as part of the outdoor ceremony reservation.

Athletic Fields and Courts

Permits for physical conditioning, practice, skill-building, and training are approved through all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but are subject to change at anytime. Inter-team competitions (i.e., between two teams) are not currently allowed. Contact us to find out more about obtaining a permit for sports fields.

Inter-team competitions, meets, races, or similar events are authorized only if (a) both teams are located in the same county and the sport is authorized in the Table below; or (b) teams are located in immediately bordering counties and the sport is authorized in both counties in the Table below.

COVID-19 Guidance

Picnic Areas
Picnic gatherings effective April 15: In the Red Tier, outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed. The gathering size increases to 50 people in the Orange Tier and 100 people in the Yellow Tier. In the Purple Tier, only outdoor gatherings are allowed, and they are limited to three households. Indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged in all tiers but are allowed with modifications and capacity limits in the Red, Orange and Yellow tiers. All Gatherings are only for a two-hour time frame.

Gatherings are defined as social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place. When people from different households mix, this increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Keep the households that you interact with stable over time. By spending time with the same people, risk of transmission is reduced. Participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged.

Gatherings should be two hours or less. The longer the duration, the risk of transmission increases.

Other Park Permits & Programs
Santa Cruz County Parks offer unique opportunities for commemorating loved ones, renting garden plots, placing your horse in a private horse stall, and more. All various permits and programs are subject to different guidelines. Please inquire with Parks Reservations staff to answer any specific questions you may have.

Unavailable Permits

Meeting Rooms
Currently, meeting rooms are not available in accordance with all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy and Stay-at-Home orders. Only meetings for essential services may be permitted with Departmental approval.
Large wedding receptions are not permitted and not approved through all tiers of the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy and Stay-at-Home orders. Outdoor ceremony-only permits are being issued (please see Outdoor Ceremonies). At this time, we are taking reservations for future events contingent on current health orders in place at the time of booking. Updated State guidelines may result in modifications.
Special Events
Special Events, both indoor and outdoor large events are not currently permitted. Please check back in June for updates. California Blueprint for a Safer Economy.


Interested in volunteering with County Parks? Volunteer opportunities are subject to current County and State COVID-19 Guidelines.

Individuals, families, and groups can volunteer for a one-day project or dedicate themselves to an on-going or long-term project.

Volunteer opportunities at County Parks include:

  • Adopt a Park or Beach – Volunteer groups may adopt one of our parks, natural areas, or facilities. Responsibilities include park beautification, reporting park needs, installing and monitoring bird nesting boxes, and other environmental projects.
  • Adopt a Trail – Volunteer groups adopt sections of paved or natural trails, reporting trail needs, and performing small projects.
  • Adopt a Project – Assist with Special Events, a project you are passionate about, or a new park!

Please note, all volunteers receive project coordination, safety orientation, and materials needed for the specific project from the Santa Cruz County Parks Department prior to the start of their service.

Contact Us


(831) 454-7901

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except holidays

Our physical office is open, but staff availability is limited as most staff members are working remotely.