This small urban park on the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz has a duck pond, accessible playground, and large lawns. Many fairs and festivals are held here, and on Saturdays there’s a farmers market. Downtown shops and restaurants are only a few blocks away. The San Lorenzo River Trail, which runs several miles along both sides of the river, passes through the park. After sundown, poor park lighting warrants caution.
San Lorenzo River Trail
Trailhead: Southern entrance: San Lorenzo Boulevard and Riverside Avenue. Northern entrance: Felker Street near Highway One.
The trail runs parallel to the San Lorenzo River on both sides. The east side of the river offers the most access on and off the trail.
This two-mile trail mostly runs past houses, but the lush vegetation along the river—and the many birds that live there—make it a great place to find peace and quiet in the middle of the city. Starting from the northern end, you’ll pass several pedestrian/auto bridges that cross the river, providing access to both sides of the trail. About two-thirds of the way, you’ll come to San Lorenzo Park, where you can stop for a picnic or cross the pedestrian-only bridge near the duck pond and walk downtown for more dining options.
Past the park, the trail meets the sidewalk at Dakota Avenue. Cross Soquel Avenue, then turn right immediately past the restaurant, where the trail begins again. After you pass beneath Broadway, the trail ends near the tennis courts at San Lorenzo Boulevard and Riverside Avenue. Continue on the sidewalk a few blocks along Riverside Avenue to reach the beach, boardwalk, and amusement park.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
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