Best Family-Friendly Hiking & Biking Trails Near Santa Cruz, CA

The picturesque town of Santa Cruz, CA has much to offer in terms of scenic nature and hikes. In this blog post, we will be taking you on a tour of our favorite family-friendly hiking and biking destinations in Santa Cruz!

Picture this: it’s a gorgeous day in the Santa Cruz region, and you and the fam are looking to go on a brisk, scenic hike. However, with the kiddos in tow, you’re looking for something that’s not overly strenuous or difficult that the whole family can enjoy. We’ve got the solution: simple yet beautiful hikes with fun surprises that your kids are sure to love! Without further ado, here are some of our favorite family-friendly biking and hiking trails in Santa Cruz, CA!

  • Old Cove Landing Trail - this 2.5 mile trail offers sweeping sea views as well as access to secluded beach coves and perfectly sculpted sea caves. Children will love the opportunity to spot the wildlife that reside in and on the surrounding beaches, including dolphins, sea lions, and even humpback whales! There are also “aloe tunnels” along the hike that make for an enticing game of hide-and-seek, and a historic dairy farm near the entrance where children can meet chickens, goats, horses, and cows.
  • Redwood Grove Loop Trail - this popular 0.8 mile loop trail boasts towering groves of redwoods, some of the oldest trees on the planet. Additionally, the Old West-themed campgrounds of Roaring Camp Railroads are a mere few steps away! Kids can enjoy steam train rides through redwood groves, make their own candles, pan for gold, and so much more!
  • West Cliff Drive - this gentle 4 mile out-and-back trail is not only cyclist-friendly, but dogs are welcome on this trail as well (as long as they are on a leash)! Within walking distance of one end is the Boardwalk and municipal pier, while the other end of the trail has Natural Bridges State Park. West Cliff Drive boasts one of the most densely packed nature walks in the Santa Cruz region.
  • Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve Loop - this 0.6 mile trail is considered suitable for kids and beginners alike; it takes roughly 12 minutes to complete. The trail is a popular destination for birding, walking, and biking, as well as encountering local wildlife, such as wild turkeys, deer, black squirrels, California Striped Racer snakes, and, of course, monarch butterflies!

While this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope that this blog post has provided you with inspiration for your next hiking or biking excursion in Santa Cruz. Whether you are a local or a tourist, these spots are sure to show you the innate beauty of Santa Cruz and the California coast and give your family memories that will last a lifetime! Have you been to or plan to go to any of these spots? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to take your SOULBUDDY hats along on the adventure too! As always, be sure to follow us on Instagram @soulbuddyhats for travel and adventure tips, and be sure to tag us in your posts across social media with #soulbuddyhats so we can see how you style your SOULBUDDY gear!

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