Visit the Newest Trails in Santa Cruz at San Vicente Redwoods!

Whether you are a hiker, mountain biker or equestrian, you have new, exciting trails to explore at San Vicente Redwoods.

by Mike Kahn

July 20, 2023—If you are looking for a new outdoor adventure, look no further than San Vicente Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the Davenport and Bonny Doon area. It first opened for public access in December 2022, however the intense winter storms made things tough on the trails, muddying visitor prospects (pun intended). 

But with the rains gone, there’s ample opportunity to get out and enjoy this open space that allows you to witness its recovery from the CZU Lightning Complex wildfire in 2020. 


Yes, you can observe fire recovery at Big Basin Redwoods too, however the 7.3 miles of trails now open during phase one at San Vicente Redwoods wind through a different ecosystem comprised of mixed evergreen forest (Madrones, Douglas firs, oak varieties) and open areas of granite rocks, including some views out to the ocean on a clear day. 


Ultimately, the plan is to build out a 38-mile trail system but that’s a long way off. How visitors act during this first phase will inform potential future growth (so do it right, y’all!).

Get a feel for the trails and learn more about the synergy between conservation and recreation in this short video from Save the Redwoods League, Biking the San Vicente Redwoods with World Champion Kate Courtney:

Lots of people want to get out and enjoy trails without a care in the world as to who manages the land, but San Vicente Redwoods has a very unusual (one of a kind?) ownership and management structure that’s worth knowing about. Yes, you can impress your friends with this knowledge:  

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Sempervirens Fund own the property, Save the Redwoods League holds the conservation easement, and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County manages public access. And a hat tip goes to Santa Cruz Mountains Trails Stewardship for building the trails. Now how’s that for an amazing coalition effort! If you donate to and/or volunteer for one or more of these nonprofit organizations, give yourself a pat on the back!  

Watch this short video, Explore new trails at the San Vicente Redwoods, for more information about the property and the organizations that made it all happen: 

Visiting San Vicente Redwoods

Last, but definitely not least, here’s what you need to know in order to visit. San Vicente Redwoods is open to the public but all visitors must register and carry a free trail pass. For complete details, including seasonal hours of operation, regulations, trail map, and visitor passes, visit the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County’s San Vicente Redwoods web page. Insider tip: Check the weather report for Bonny Doon to get a sense of what it will be like out on the trails (Davenport is cooler, so that forecast will lead you astray). 

What did San Vicente Redwoods look like before the fire? How long has the project really taken? Take a walk down memory lane with this Hilltromper video:

Read Meet San Vicente Redwoods right here on Hilltromper!