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: Yellow 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 swim lessons and water aerobics.

We are open 6:00am-7:45pm Monday-Friday and 9:00am-4:45pm Saturday and Sunday.
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.

Warm Water Pool Reservations

The warm water pool is available for individual use and families by reservation only.

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.
Aquatics Camps
Summer 2021 Aquatics Camps registration began April 3, 2021 with limited capacity. All spots are currently filled.
Water Aerobics
Beginning Monday May 3rd, water aerobics classes are being offered at the Swim Center.

Join our team of certified lifeguards and head lifeguards! Check here to see if the Swim Center is hiring.

Unavailable Programs

Aquatic Fitness
Currently, Adult Fitness programming is not available at the Swim Center.
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.
Water Polo Drop-In Games
Currently, drop-in co-ed water polo games are not available at the Swim Center.
Pool Parties & Rentals
Currently, pool rentals are not available at the Swim Center.
Lifeguard Training

Training runs seasonally. Courses are a blend of virtual learning and in-person practical skills classes.


County Parks is excited to present the Summer 2021 Activity Guide! Check back often to get updates about programs!

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.

Meeting Rooms
Currently, meeting rooms for essential services may be permitted with Departmental approval.
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

Santa Cruz County Parks plans to re-open reservation and rental options on the anticipated State re-opening date of June 15, 2021. Possible modifications or restrictions may continue to be applied under the State COVID19 guidelines. Outdoor ceremony-only permits are being issued (please see Outdoor Ceremonies).
Special Events
Santa Cruz County Parks plans to re-open reservation and rental options on the anticipated State re-opening date of June 15, 2021. Possible modifications or restrictions may continue to be applied under the State COVID19 guidelines. At this time we are only issuing permits for limited use and under the current State guidance and tier system in place at the time of booking.


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.