San Lorenzo Valley Real Estate

The San Lorenzo Valley refers to a part of Santa Cruz County, centered around Highway 9, that contains the communities of Felton, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Brookdale. Though they each have their own distinct feel, they all share the common trait of being artsy, outdoor-loving, mountain towns that are just far enough away from everything to be able to soak in their quiet charm.

All four were once part of the logging operation along the San Lorenzo River that transported lumber to Santa Cruz and reminders of that past are plentiful. San Lorenzo Valley is home to several state parks, most notably Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park, as well as some of the oldest steam engine trains of their type still in operation at Roaring Camp Railroads.

Homes are typically situated among the mountains and dense trees that surround Highway 9, which is the route that connects all four towns and leads to Santa Cruz. They’re all small communities and definitely feel reminiscent of the logging towns they once were. The San Lorenzo Valley is a great place to live if you want to be among nature, but still be able to visit the beaches in Santa Cruz or go shopping in San Jose without going too far.

San Lorenzo Valley Attractions

red basin redwoods state park

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is not the only state park or landmark in the San Lorenzo Valley, but it does having the distinction of being the oldest state park in California, having been established in 1902. It has several enjoyable trails for hikers and bikers alike—the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail being one of the most popular—along its 80 miles of trails that wind through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Roaring Camp Railroads

Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton is one of the great attractions of San Lorenzo Valley. The passenger trains on the narrow gauge railroad give visitors the opportunity to ride on an authentic steam train through the redwood trees around Bear Mountain and back to Roaring Camp. There’s also a Santa Cruz Beach Train route that takes visitors to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. In addition to the train station, Roaring Camp also has recreation areas, a restaurant, and is very near to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

roaring camp railroads
Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center

Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center

Located in Ben Lomond, the Santa Cruz Mountain Arts Center is a non-profit that works to support art and arts education through classes, events, and exhibits. They host events throughout the year and provide space and classes for both children and adults in a variety of artistic mediums.

San Lorenzo Valley Recreation

henry cowell redwoods state park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park spans over 4,600 acres and offers something for everyone. Activities include camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, swimming, hiking and picnicking. One of the parks most popular attractions is the Redwood Loop Trail. The .8 mile flat trail starts at the visitor center and then guides you through the historic old-growth redwoods.

Highlands Park

In Ben Lomond you will find Highlands Park, a 26 acre county park that borders the San Lorenzo River. The park includes a playing field, skate park, playground, picnic areas as well as volleyball and tennis courts. Also located here is a large, picturesque house that is rented out for weddings and large parties.

highlands park
junction park

Junction Park

Junction Park, located in Boulder Creek, is the popular neighborhood swimming hole. With a sandy beach, easy access to the river, a manicured lawn, and picnic areas it is the perfect spot to spend a hot summer day.

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