Adventures in Felton
Nestled in San Lorenzo Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains is the quaint, historic town of Felton, with a population just over 4,000. Things to do and see include 80 miles of hiking trails at a nearby state park, a restored 1892 covered bridge, and rides on a steam-powered train through the majestic redwoods.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is most famous for the 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees. Its historical significance and spectacular scenery draw travelers from around the world. Explore the unique Sandhills with wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. Enjoy hiking and camping on more than 4,650 acres of forested and open land. Keep an eye out for banana slugs, black-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, and steelhead trout within the park!
The Lime Kilns at Fall Creek in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is the site of one of the many abandoned lime kilns and quarries in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Santa Cruz was a major source for lime in the late 1800s. Lime kilns were made to heat marble or limestone to extract the lime, which was used in making mortar and later Portland cement and concrete. The lime was shipped to San Francisco in wooden barrels to fuel the rapid building of the city. Operations in area lime kilns stopped operating between 1920 and the 1940s. Take the South Fork trail within the park to see the remains of the kilns. The park is located at 1400 Felton Empire Road, Felton.
A Restored Covered Bridge
The Felton Covered Bridge is an 80-foot-long covered bridge over the San Lorenzo River built in 1892. It was placed on the California Historical Landmark in 1957 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It is considered the tallest covered bridge in the United States. It is no longer used as a roadway but is accessible to pedestrians visiting the Felton Covered Bridge Park. The park includes picnic areas, a volleyball court, a playground, and large, grassy areas and restrooms. Open daily 8 am to sunset.
Roaring Camp Railroads was established for steam-powered tourist rail operations in 1963 on the Big Trees Ranch at the site of the old Felton Depot. Roaring Camp is a re-creation of a 1880s logging camp. It is home to the original South Pacific Coast (later Southern Pacific) Felton Depot, and two unique tourist railroads: Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad. Roaring Camp Railroads has several Shay locomotives, a Heisler, Climax, and five diesel engines. Not all are operational as some are undergoing renovation and extensive refurbishing. Take a ride on a steam locomotive and delve deep into the heart of the breathtaking Santa Cruz Mountains!