San Lorenzo Valley

The San Lorenzo Valley is a great place to live if you want to be among nature,

Welcome to Felton​​​​​​​

 

The San Lorenzo Valley refers to a part of Santa Cruz County, centered around Highway 9, that contains the communities of Felton, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Brookdale. Though they each have their own distinct feel, they all share the common trait of being artsy, outdoor-loving, mountain towns that are just far enough away from everything to be able to soak in their quiet charm.

All four were once part of the logging operation along the San Lorenzo River that transported lumber to Santa Cruz and reminders of that past are plentiful. San Lorenzo Valley is home to several state parks, most notably Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park, as well as some of the oldest steam engine trains of their type still in operation at Roaring Camp Railroads.

Homes are typically situated among the mountains and dense trees that surround Highway 9, which is the route that connects all four towns and leads to Santa Cruz. They’re all small communities and feel reminiscent of the logging towns they once were. The San Lorenzo Valley is a great place to live if you want to be among nature, but still be a short drive to Santa Cruz Beaches and the Silicon Valley.​​​​​​​

 

Attractions

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Roaring Camp Railroads

 
Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton is one of the great attractions of San Lorenzo Valley. The passenger trains on the narrow gauge railroad give visitors the opportunity to ride on an authentic steam train through the redwood trees around Bear Mountain and back to Roaring Camp. There’s also a Santa Cruz Beach Train route that takes visitors to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. In addition to the train station, Roaring Camp also has recreation areas, a restaurant, and is very near to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
 

Felton Library

 
Just recently, the Felton Library was completed. You can read about how the new library came about here. The brand new library features a dedicated children’s area, community meeting room, fireplace reading room, multi-purpose room dedicated for teens, study room, outside patio along with an adjacent nature discovery park. The Nature Discovery Park hosts a pollinator garden, climbing areas, educational signs on the local habitat, animals, and plants.
 

Recreation

 

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

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Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park spans over 4,600 acres and offers something for everyone. Activities include camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, swimming, hiking and picnicking. One of the parks most popular attractions is the Redwood Loop Trail. The .8 mile flat trail starts at the visitor center and then guides you through the historic old-growth redwoods.
 

Mount Hermon Adventures

 
Mount Hermon is a private, non-profit camp and conference center that also runs outdoor adventures. Mount Hermon Adventures offers a few ways to experience the redwood forest in a new way! You can zipline through the canopy at 150ft or test your skill and challenge yourself at their Sequoia Aerial Adventure where there you traverse obstacles suspended in the treetops. Mount Hermon Adventures also offers team building for your school or corporate needs!
 

Fall Creek

 
Fall Creek is a section of Henry Cowell State Park that runs adjacent to Felton Empire Grade. The miles of trail meander through the redwood forest and along Fall Creek itself. On the hike you will be led to what is left of the Lime Kilns that were used in the late 1800’s to process limestone into Lime which was an essential building material and was used to create plaster and mortar. You can also find lime kilns by UCSC. For more information on the history of the lime industry in Santa Cruz County click here.
 

Restaurants, Coffee Shops & More​​​​​​

 

Restaurants

 
  • The Cremer House
  • Wylder Space
  • Cowboy Bar and Grill
  • Boulder Creek Pizza
  • Taqueria Vallarta
  • Empire Grille
  • Castelli’s Deli Cafe
  • Redwood Pizzeria

Coffee Shops

 
  • The White Raven
  • Mountain Roastings
  • Felton Donuts & Pastries

Breweries/Wine Tasting

 
  • Hallcrest Vineyards
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    Welcome to Ben Lomond​​​​

     

    Attractions

     

    Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center

     
    Located in Ben Lomond, the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center is a non-profit that works to support art and arts education through classes, events, and exhibits. They host events throughout the year and provide space and classes for both children and adults in a variety of artistic mediums.
     

    Recreation

       

      Highlands Park

       
      In Ben Lomond you will find Highlands Park, a 26 acre county park that borders the San Lorenzo River. The park includes a playing field, skate park, playground, picnic areas as well as volleyball and tennis courts. Also located here is a large, picturesque house that is rented out for weddings and large parties.
       

      Quail Hollow Ranch

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      Quail Hollow Ranch is located off of Quail hollow Road in Ben Lomond. This 300 acre county park is a historic horse ranch and nature preserve. Throughout the park you can find 15 different habitats, 4.5 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, a pond, historic farmhouse, picnic areas, and horse barns. The ranch hosts events and classes throughout the year for the community and you can also rent the ranch for special occasions.
       

      SLV Swim Center

       
      Located conveniently off Highway 9, the SLV swim center is the central spot for water related activities for the San Lorenzo Valley. The center offers swimming lessons, water aerobics classes, lifeguard training, swim team, and public swim.
       

      Restaurants, Coffee Shops & More​​​​​​

       

      Restaurants

       
      • Spanky's Cafe
      • Casa Nostra
      • Pat's Pit BBQ
      • La Placa Family Bakery
      • Tyrolean Inn Restaurant
      • Henfling’s Tavern

      Coffee Shops

       
    • Coffee Nine
    • Breweries/Wine Tasting

       

      Welcome to Boulder Creek

       

      Junction Park

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      Junction Park, located in Boulder Creek, is the popular neighborhood swimming hole. With a sandy beach, easy access to the river, a manicured lawn, and picnic areas it is the perfect spot to spend a hot summer day.
       

      Big Basin Redwoods State Park

       
      The Big Basin Redwoods State Park is not the only state park or landmark in the San Lorenzo Valley, but it does have the distinction of being the oldest state park in California, having been established in 1902. It has several enjoyable trails for hikers and bikers alike—the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail being one of the most popular—along its 80 miles of trails that wind through the Santa Cruz Mountains.
       

      Boulder Creek Golf and Country Club

       
      Boulder Creek Golf and Country Club was started in 1961 with the first nine holes and completed in 1966 with the last nine. The 18-hole par 65/67 executive course was designed by renowned Jack Fleming and is surrounded by towering redwoods. If you prefer disc golf, there is also a par 31 disc golf course to enjoy. Other onsite amenities include a full-service pro-shop, bar and restaurant, and golf cart rentals.
       

      Attraction

       

      San Lorenzo Valley Museum

       
      The San Lorenzo Valley Museum was created by the San Lorenzo Valley Historical Society and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the San Lorenzo Valley with the community. The museum hosts different exhibits including logging, school room, and kitchen which shows what a fully equipped kitchen looked like in the early 1900’s.
       

      Garrahan Park

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      Located north on Highway 9 just past Downtown Boulder Creek is Garrahan Park. This spacious park features a walking track, soccer field, playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and BBQ’s and pavilions that are available to rent for events and parties.
         

        Restaurants, Coffee Shops & More​​​​​​

         

        Restaurants

         
        • Jenna Sue's Cafe
        • Boulder Creek Pizza & Pub
        • The Red Pearl
        • Boulder Creek Roadside Cafe
        • Taqueria Los Amigos
        • Scopazzi's
        • Tae’s Edo Sushi Bar
        • Bella’s Cafe
        • Treehouse Cafe

        Coffee Shops

        Breweries/Wine Tasting

         
        • Big Basin Vineyards
         

        The Location

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