San Lorenzo Park and River Trail

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Particularly good for families
  • Bicycling
  • Picnic


  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Particularly good for families
  • Bicycling


137 Dakota St., Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Monterey/Santa Cruz
Info: (831) 420-5030
Sunrise to sunset
Not allowed, service animals OK
Last Reviewed:
October 2008
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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.

Trails and Pathways

San Lorenzo River Trail
Trailhead Location:
Southern entrance: San Lorenzo Boulevard and Riverside Avenue. Northern entrance: Felker Street near Highway One.
Trail Length:
2-4 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview:

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.

Accessibility Notes: 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.


The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, hard, level or slope no greater than 2%;

One street spot is just across from the playground. Street parking only (none designated accessible) at the trailheads.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Near lawn bowling court and duck pond

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance

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