increase font use small font sizeuse medium font sizeuse large font size

San Lorenzo Park and River Trail

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.

Trail/Pathway Details

San Lorenzo River Trail

Trailhead: Southern entrance: San Lorenzo Boulevard and Riverside Avenue. Northern entrance: Felker Street near Highway One.

Length: 2-4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

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.


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 Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Accessible Parking: Yes

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 Tables: Yes

Near lawn bowling court and at playground; shaded
Snake climbing structure
Snake climbing structure (Martha Wegner)

Features icon key

  • bicycling
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation
Address: 137 Dakota St., Santa Cruz
Nearest City: Santa Cruz
Phone: (831) 420-5030
TDD: (800) 735-2929
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Fees: None
Dogs: Not allowed
Public Transportation: Santa Cruz Metro 
Reviewed by Foster Andersen, October 21, 2008
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing