Santa Cruz, CA

Wilder Ranch State Park

There are wonderful dirt trails in this 7,000 acre park that’s also a working dairy farm. The landscape rolls down ancient wave-cut terraces, through the marsh lands of a nature preserve, to the seashore. The dirt paths are non technical and smooth. The classic route is the 2.5 mile loop along the beach bluffs on the Old Cove Landing and Ohlone Bluff Trails, and features a scenic overlook above Wilder Beach. Multiple spur trails lead down to other beaches. There are also trails that lead back into wooded terraces. Home to the Run by the Sea 4k/12k/Half Marathon.

Add-Ons: Adjacent to the park are the beautiful campus of UC Santa Cruz, which has several miles of paths and trails.

Essentials
  • Several miles of trail options
  • Some elevation
  • Parking lot provides good access
  • Parking lot off Rt. 1