CA, SF East Bay: San Lorenzo Park & 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.


San Lorenzo River Trail

see access criteria for definitions
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.

Description

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

Additional Information
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Map: See here.
Fees: None
Dogs: Not allowed
Public TransportationSanta Cruz Metro

Bonnie Lewkowicz Bonnie Lewkowicz (59 Posts)

I has worked for more than 30 years advocating for, and educating about access to outdoor recreation and tourism for people with disabilities. I hold a degree in Recreation Therapy and was a travel agent specializing in accessible travel for many years. In this capacity, and now as Associate Director at Wheelchair Traveling, I consult with the travel industry about accessibility, conducts disability awareness trainings and writes about travel and outdoor recreation. I also authored a book titled, A Wheelchair Rider's Guide: San Francisco Bay and the Nearby Coast, about accessible trails and has produced several access guides to San Francisco. My most current project is a website of accessible trails along the entire California Coast (www.wheelingcalscoast.org). My extensive experience as a wheelchair rider combined with her professional experience has provided me with in-depth knowledge about inclusive tourism and outdoor recreation.


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