“A living history tour!”
The park has 34 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails winding through coastal terraces and valleys. Several restored buildings once belonging to the Wilder family are preserved. The park has tours and living history demonstrations to help visitors explore the history of early ranchers and farmers along the Central Coast. The site was originally the main rancho supplying Santa Cruz Mission. It later became a successful and innovative dairy ranch. Surrounding grounds include Victorian homes, gardens, and historic adobe. The restoration has been extremely successful. Since 1994, the agricultural fields have been returned to wetland and riparian habitats with their native tree, shrub and plant species. Wetland birds, and hawks nest in habitat that formerly was farmland. Red-legged frogs and other wetland animals have moved into the area. The riparian corridor along Wilder Creek has been widened to about 100 feet. Dogwood, alder, cottonwood and willows planted in 1994 have grown at a good rate, with some trees already over twenty feet tall. The adjacent upland restoration also has been successful. With continued monitoring to eradicate pest plant species such as hemlock and thistle, Wilder Ranch will become one of the showcase coastal wetland restoration sites.
This is not a private place, although you can see buildings around, this place is a state park! While you enter you almost feel you are gaining access to a small village.
Everything is so well maintained, the trails are easy to walk, horse-ride or cycle and you can see the historical first farm with water wheel electricity and the restored buildings, the farm animals, the ancient cypress tree which is fantastic to see and climb (my children did) .
There are breath taking views you get to see while being there but be aware of the strong winds later the afternoon.
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Wilder Ranch State Park
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
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