San Vicente Redwoods

Trails and Future Trails in Resilient Redwood Forest

By Naomi Friedland 

San Vicente Redwoods is the largest privately-held redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Located up the road from Davenport, the historic mining, logging, and railroad site includes rolling grasslands, coastal chaparral, and redwood forest. 

San Vicente also features eight creeks that serve as a habitat for many endangered and threatened species including marbled murrelet, coho salmon, and the California red-legged frog. You can also find rare plants including Point Reyes horkelia and Santa Cruz manzanita. 

The 8,852-acre preserve opened to the public on Dec. 3, 2022 under collective ownership and management by four local land trusts and a trails organization: Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund, Save the Redwoods League, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship. Since then, these local conservation organizations have been working hard to create trails. 

The project to build a 38-mile multi-use trail system is broken down into three phases. Phase one was completed in late 2022 and includes 7.5 miles of trails off of Empire Grade that are open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. 

When and How to Visit San Vicente Redwood Address: 12001 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz, CA

Hours of Operation:
October-April 9am-6pm
May-September 8am-7pm

Things to Note Before you Visit:

  • All visitors over age of 18 must register for and carry a pass. The pass is free and provides lifetime access to the property. 
  • Visitors must stay on trail.
  • Dogs must be on leash at all times and remain on designated dog trails only.
  • Cyclists are welcome but must use designated trails and yield to pedestrians and horses.
  • Check the weather report for Bonny Doon (inland) to get a sense of what it will be like out on the trails. Davenport on the coast is cooler, so that forecast will lead you astray.


San Vicente Redwoods Trail Map 2023, courtesy Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.
Above: San Vicente Redwoods Trail Map 2023, courtesy Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.


  • Parking and restrooms are fully accessible.
  • Fully accessible path with interpretive signage in welcome area.
  • ½ mile long accessible trail leading to a beautiful vista point that meets ORAR standards.

Visit this site for additional San Vicente Redwoods visitor information.

Learn more about San Vicente Redwoods from the organizations involved:

Read Hilltromper’s article and watch videos about San Vicente’s new trails