Trails & Hikes

Discover the beauty of Santa Cruz County by exploring County Parks! From ocean bluff strolls, to redwood forests, these featured hikes are ideal for safe and fun outings with friends and family. Happy trails!
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Featured Hikes at County Parks

Anna Jean Cummings County Park: Athletic Fields Loop

This 0.5 mile trail loops around the athletic fields on the upper bench of Anna Jean Cummings County Park. The trail is made of both compacted dirt and concrete paving. The whole family will enjoy the open grassy lawn area, picnic tables, and lovely trees that are planted along the trail!
Take me to Anna Jean Cummings County Park

  • Restrooms available.
  • Large playground.
  • Good for strollers, walkers, wheelchairs.
  • Dogs allowed on leash.

Carmichael Trail

Carmichael Trail is an approximately 1 mile out-and-back trail located near Nisene Marks State Park in Aptos. Popular with mountain bikers and hikers, the trail features a mixed woodland setting and allows dogs on leash. The trail is unpaved, compacted soil and is perfect for an escape to nature! Access the trail from Kamian Way in Aptos, CA.

  • No restrooms available.
  • Trail is popular with mountain bikers.
  • Not recommended for strollers or wheelchairs.
  • Dogs allowed on leash.

East Cliff Drive County Parkway

This 0.5-mile trail takes you on a gorgeous stroll along the world-famous Pleasure Point surf destination. The trail of decomposed granite and paved concrete can get quite busy with locals and tourists. The whole family will enjoy the beautiful view of the Monterey Bay and the surfers in the water along the coastline. Seabirds and marine mammals such as cormorants, otters, harbor seals, and dolphins can sometimes be spotted as you stroll down the parkway!
Take me to the East Cliff Drive County Parkway

Pinto Lake County Park

The trail at Pinto Lake County Park is 2.7 miles, has lots of shade and is relatively flat. Families will love this trail that winds its way around Pinto Lake and weaves through a large meadow and disc-golf area. On this hike you will see mature coast live oak trees, a large meadow, eucalyptus trees and gorgeous waterbirds on the lake. Also at the park is a bike jump track that is suitable for beginner bikers!
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Seascape County Park: Coastal Bluff Trail

This 0.5-mile trail shows off the gorgeous coastal bluff above Rio del Mar beach in Aptos. The trail is made of decomposed granite and offers beautiful views. The entire family can enjoy this trail as it winds its way through the 6-acres of park. With benches stationed along the bluff trail, families can rest and have a snack while watching for marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, whales, and otters!
Take me to Seascape County Park

Quail Hollow Ranch Discovery Loop

Beginning behind the historic Quail Hollow Ranch house, this one-mile hike is relatively flat on a compacted trail. You will discover xixed evergreen, ponderosa pine, willow riparian, and coast live oak forests, sandhill parkland, California mixed and maritime chaparral, grassland, pasture, eucalyptus grove, and pond ecosystem communities. You may find turtles, ducks, geese and other aquatic birds on or near the pond. The westside is boggy after rains, and generally offers shade and a view of Quail Hollow Creek!
Take me to Quail Hollow Ranch County Park

  • Porta-potty is available.
  • Good for strollers, not recommended for wheelchairs.
  • No dogs allowed on trails.

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