Wednesday, August 29, 2012

California State Parks in Central California Host Fun Labor Day Family Activities

Located off Highway 9 in Felton, CA  (831) 335-7077
 Birding for Beginners – A Walk in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with a Naturalist
Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 AM
Explore Henry Cowell’s river and meadow habitats while sharing basic birding knowledge. Walk leader is a park naturalist.  Binoculars and bird identification guides are available to borrow for this walk.  Approximately 1 mile / 2 hours, leisurely pace, no elevation gain. Dress in layers. Bring water and snacks. Optional “chalk-talk” after the walk – to cover binocular selection birding books and apps, birding hot-spots, etc.  Meet at 8:00 AM in front of the Nature Store (edge of parking lot) at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.  Enter the park from Hwy 9 just south of downtown Felton, CA. Heavy rain cancels.

Located off State Park Drive in Aptos, CA  (831) 685-6444

* Family Beach Discovery Walk
Saturday, September 1 at 1:00 PM

Join docent Norm Beeson for a fun filled family beach walk to explore the mysteries and wonders of Seacliff State Beach and the shoreline along our incredible Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  We’ll see what the day has to offer on this easy, 1.5 mile, 1 and a half hour walk.  Bring beach friendly shoes, water, sunscreen, a snack and an inquisitive spirit.  Meet at the Seacliff Visitor Center at 1:00p.m.

Located off Mission Plaza on School Street overlooking downtown Santa Cruz 

* California Mission Ride Event in Santa Cruz
Saturday, September 1 from 3:30p.m to 8:00p.m.
Meet participants of The California Mission Ride: a 600 mile horseback journey through the past and for the present. The seven riders have been immersed in Mission history and asked themselves; what would happen if we rode from mission to mission on horseback? Could it even be done today? They decided to find out, and make an educational documentary film about the journey along their way. We’ll welcome the riders to the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park with a bicycle escort. Sample dinner fare from local organic farms and ranches, make your own tortilla on the comal, and enjoy live music and games for kids. Then we’ll gather around for cowboy music and storytellers bringing Ohlonean voices and California history to our campfire. Admission is Free. Food can be purchased from local vendors. 
Located two miles north of Santa Cruz, on Highway  (831) 426-0505

* Wilder Ranch Tour of the Ranch Buildings—Saturday and Sunday at 1:00p.m.
* Living History Demonstrations on many weekends from 11:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.  
Step back in time to visit a circa 1900 dairy ranch in Santa Cruz County at Wilder Ranch State Park.  At 1:00p.m., join the 1-hour tour of the 1897 Victorian home, 1896 water-powered machine shop, and other historic buildings. In addition to the tour, docents are often present to lead living history demonstrations; you may learn about hand quilting, watch blacksmithing, or learn about the Meder Family voyage to California. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the front lawn or picnic tables, visit the farm animals and see what activities are taking place on the ranch this weekend!

* Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks
Saturday, September 1 at 11:00 a.m.
On these two-hour natural history excursions you will explore the plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs. Meet at the Wilder Ranch interpretive center. Bring a snack, water, binoculars, and good walking shoes.  Binoculars are available to borrow.  Walk is canceled if rain.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Located off Highway 236. Turn left on Little Basin Rd. go 1.6 miles to the campground.
Little Basin offers free campfire programs, guided hikes, and kid’s programs on Saturdays and offers customized fee-based programs and multi-day programs throughout the month.  Ask us about naturalist-led hikes or group programs that we can provide for your family or group. Some programs require registration, so check the description below, and contact us at the WOLF School Office at (831) 338-8018, via Facebook or by emailing All programs are provided by WOLF School,    Programs are free unless otherwise noted.

Junior Rangers- 1 hour program for children
Saturdays in September at 4:00pm and
Sunday, September 2 at 10:00am
Discover the fascinating secrets of the forest.  Explore nature, 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 only.  Sorry parents, this program is just for the kids!  Please register your child 15 minutes, and be sure your child is dressed for active play in the outdoors.

Little Basin Nature Club- 30 minute program for children
Saturdays in September at  5:00pm
Sunday, September 2 at  11:00am
This fun program is for children ages 3-6 and their families.  Read, sing, pretend, play, and explore!  This half-hour program introduces youngsters to the wonders of the redwood forest. 

Kids Hike
Monday, September 3 from 9:30-10:30am
Kids, come take a loop around Little Basin and learn about the flora and fauna of the Redwood Forest. This is an easy hike (1 mile) and you should bring water to drink.

Campfires at Little Basin-
All Saturdays in September
Sunday, September 2 at 7:00pm
Come learn about Little Basin’s unique history, natural environment, and culture during this hour and a half campfire program. Be ready to learn some fun songs and hear some interesting facts about Little Basin.

Redwood Loop Walks-
Sunday, September 2, from 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Walk the campground loop at Little Basin in the deep redwoods and learn about the flora and fauna of the Redwood Forest. This is an easy hike (1 mile) and you should bring water to drink.

Tanbark Loop Interpretive Hikes-
Saturday, September 1, from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Hike a beautiful trail around the basin and learn about the wide variety of flora and fauna here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is a moderate hike (1.5 miles) and you should bring water, snacks for the leader and wear good hiking shoes.

Sponsored by United Camps Conferences and Retreats  

Located 9 miles outside of Boulder Creek on Hwy 236 (831) 338-8883

Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm
Monday, September 3 (Labor Day) at 11:00 am and 2:00 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.

Big Basin Nature Club
Saturday, September 1 at 4:30 pm
Sunday, September 2 at 4:30 pm
Monday, September 3 (Labor Day) at 10:00 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.

Junior Rangers
Saturday, September 1 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, September 2 at 3:00 pm
Monday, September 3 (Labor Day) at 11:00 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 designed for kids ages 7-12. 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.

Evening Campfire
Saturdays, September 1 at 6:30 pm
Sunday, September 2 at 6:30 pm
Join us in our historic campfire center for an evening of song and story. Serenade the stars and learn about redwood ecology, creatures of the forest or hear stories of the park while relaxing in the shadows of the towering trees. Fire lighting and marshmallows (we provide the marshmallows and sticks!) at 6:30 pm and program begins at 7:00 pm. Wheelchair/stroller accessible.

Bike and Hike to the Giants
Saturday, September 1 at 10:00 am
Explore Big Basin on this family-friendly adventure! First take a short 1-mile bike ride, with a stop to learn about our redwood giants. Then hike ¼ -mile to the site of Big Basin’s first pioneer settlers and learn of their life in the wild. Docents Peggy O’Shea and Maura McNamara will lead this easy, 2.5-mile, 1.5-hour roundtrip ride-and-walk. Meet at Park Headquarters.

Coffee Talk
Sunday, September 2 from 9:30-12:00
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 Norm Beeson 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
Sunday, September 2 at 1:00 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 or lunch and an adventurous spirit! Meet at Park Headquarters.

Last Chance Trail
Monday, September 3 at 12:00 noon
Join docent Doreen Devorah as she introduces you to one of our least-known trails. Experience the charm of a meandering stream, lush ferns and cool cliff formations on this four-mile, three-hour hike. Bring water and food. Meet at Park Headquarters.

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