Magazine article Sunset

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, Fall Creek Is a Hiker's Park

Magazine article Sunset

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, Fall Creek Is a Hiker's Park

Article excerpt

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, Fall Creek is a hiker's park

Steep and shady, Fall Creek State Parkoffers day-walkers a leisurely trek past creekside ferns and beneath tall redwoods, ending with evidence of long-gone industry: traces of lime kilns and a barrel mill slowly being engulfed by the forest.

A unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods StatePark, west of Felton in Santa Cruz County, this hiker's park can give you 7 miles and several hours of peaceful walking.

For a gentle 5 1/2-mile loop, descend fromthe parking lot through tanbark oak, madrone, and live oak to the lush banks of Fall Creek. At the creek, veer left (west) and head upstream. Where South Fall Creek and Fall Creek converge, go left beyond the bridge, up the south fork.

In about 1/2 mile, you reach the old kilns,built in 1870 and shut down in 1919. The limestone was quarried nearby, then brought to the redwood-fueled kilns for culling. Much of the lime--in the form of plaster and cement--was used to help rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 quake. …

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