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831.469.7777
1414 Soquel Ave., Ste100
Santa Cruz, CA, 95062

info@bradkurtz.com

Felton

 

The small community of Felton enjoys a truly unique blend of culture and nature Here you will find a historic railroad that you can ride to the nearby beach town of Santa Cruz, a historical covered bridge, a highly active Celtic society, old growth Redwood forest, a California State Park, great restaurants and wineries, as well as a noteworthy theatre -  and much more.

 

Location & Flavor

Felton sits in the San Lorenzo (River) Valley hugged by the Santa Cruz mountains. Roads from Felton connect to Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Ben Lomond, and Bonny Doon. Felton is just 15 minutes away from the beautiful Monterey Bay's Santa Cruz and just 30 minutes away from Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley) and San Jose.

Felton's pastoral surroundings and small population (approximately 1,100) makes this a wonderful location for those seeking peace and quiet at the end of the day. Weekends in Felton mean exploring the Redwoods on foot, bike or horse; visiting the wineries and antique shops; picnicking at the Historic Felton Covered Bridge and perhaps angling for trout or hopping aboard the Roaring Camp Railroad's Beach Train. 

 

Activities & Attractions

The Roaring Camp Railroad is a major tourist attraction in Felton that also provides a fun way for locals to travel. This re-creation of an 1880s logging camp is home to the original South Pacific Coast Felton depot, as well as two unique railroads: the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad (a steam-powered line up Bear Mountain) and the Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway.

The Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway Company operates on one of the oldest and most historic lines in California. When the route opened in 1875 it carried picnickers and tourists to the Big Trees and Santa Cruz. Today’s Beach Trains travel through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, down the scenic San Lorenzo River Gorge, across a 1909 steel truss bridge, and through an 1875 tunnel before arriving at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Eco-adventure programs featuring cycling and hiking through an old growth redwood forest are new additions to Roaring Camp Railroad.

 

 

Also in Felton...

  • Henry Cowell State Park features 15 miles of hiking and riding trails through a forest that looks much the same as it did 200 years ago. The park is the home to the famous Redwood Grove and offers a picnic area overlooking the San Lorenzo River. Anglers fish here for steelhead and salmon during the winter.
  • Felton Historic Covered Bridge Park is one of only a few covered bridges remaining is California. The park here offers picnic and BBQ areas, a volleyball court and a playground.
  • Don Quixote's International Music Hall brings fun and more than a sprinkling of culture to the small community. Music performed here runs the gamut from Western swing, folk and rock to blues, Celtic and recently a Grammy award winning Hawaiian musician. Belly dancing and comedy are also on the eclectic menu.

The Loch Lomond Celtic Society based in Felton hosts the annual Loch Lomond Highland Games and Celtic Gathering. Over 40 clans and societies welcomed visitors with games, music, wildlife demonstrations and festivities last year when the event was held in nearby Ben Lomond.

Of the same name, Loch Lomond Recreation Area offers fishing, row boating, picnicking, and hiking. The California Department of Fish and Game stocks the reservoir with rainbow trout from March to July. Large mouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish also maintain populations in the reservoir.

Loch Lomond is surrounded by coast redwoods, the tallest species of tree in the world. Giant Douglas firs, as well as oak, madrone, ferns and violets add to the forest's beauty here. Wild blackberry, honeysuckle, vetch and wild lilac adorn the sunny areas at the reservoir.

Wildlife viewing and birding are popular here. Mule deer, gray squirrels, chipmunks, and brush rabbits are often seen during the day, and raccoons and gray foxes can be observed occasionally at dawn or dusk. Bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions are shy, but are occasionally seen at night. Osprey, blue herons and kingfisher are seen soaring above and fishing on the water. Speaking of wildlife, the Big Foot Discovery Museum is also located in Fenton.

While swimming isn't allowed in the reservoir, which provides drinking water to the region, the San Lorenzo River running through Felton offers some great swimming holes and tubing opportunities.

 

Historical Tidbits

The Zayante, a group of Ohlone Indians, originally inhabited the canyon that now holds Felton's Loch Lomond Reservoir. Just as residents do today, the Zayante lived a peaceful life here, enjoying the fruits of the land, Temascals (saunas), songs, and games.