Wilder Ranch State Park- What Fun Activities You Can Do

The North of Santa Cruz is rich in history and Wilder Ranch State Park is one point with layers of history. It’s an old farm with a meticulous plan of whitewashed barns and well maintained old ancient homes that are well kept in a valley away from the reach of ocean breeze. This used to be the rancho belonging to the Santa Cruz Mission.

Wilder Ranch State Park animals are another reason this spot is many people’s favorite, the chicken, goats, horses and beautiful birds are often living their best life as they mind their business in this well preserved natural habitat. No wonder bikers and hikers love this fresh stretch of 34 miles through red wood ravines and oak-crowned fields. From this park, the view of Monterey Bay is breathtaking.

In Wilder Ranch State Park, you can enjoy the following activities.


Learn History as you Experience it– Learn more about California’s ranching history while you get the privilege of experiencing it by exploring the Victorian home, the Gothic Revival farm house, the whitewashed barns, the water-powered, the dairy ranch and so forth.

Hiking and Bicycling – you have 34 miles to explore, tours and demonstrations are available at the park.

Horse Riding- equestrians can access all the park trails as well as the unpaved paths except the ones along the sea side of Highway 1.

Camping- There is the “Six equestrian-only” campsite available, it’s offered on a first come first served basis.

Group Tour- If you wish to visit the Wilder Ranch State Park as a group you will be required to schedule it at least fourteen days in advance. They allow for up to 25 participants and for schools too.

Park Events- Wilder Ranch State Park events include free ranch tours that are offered on weekends at 1pm and you do not need to make a reservation for this. You could view their website for any seasonal events that often feature some homemade ice cream, games and showcasing of old skills such as blacksmithing.

Other activities include:

  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife watching
  • Farms and Ranch sight seeing
  • Heritage Tourism

Other accessible features include a visitor’s center and parking space.


Dogs and drones are not allowed at the Wilder Ranch State Park.

Bicycles are allowed on all the park roads and trails but one must observe the 15mph speed limit and basic regard and respect for other park users.

Horses are allowed but should not ride on the seaside of Highway 1.

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