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Santa Cruz, CA: Fall Creek to Lime Kilns

ca

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Distance: 1.2 miles


Hidden deep inside the Santa Cruz Mountains, this 2.4-mile out-and-back wanders through old-growth forests and past meandering creeks to century-old limestone kilns.
  • Beginning of the Bennett Creek Trail
  • Bennett Creek Trail
  • Trail Junction
  • Bridge
  • Forest Opening
  • Limestone Kilns
  • Three Limestone Kilns

From the dirt lot, begin descending the Bennett Creek Trail to Fall Creek. Quickly lose the sounds of cars traveling on Empire Grade and become enveloped in a thick forest of old-growth redwoods.

In just over half mile, veer left and follow Fall Creek up the ravine on a wide, well-traveled path. At the bridge, veer left again, and begin a gradual ascent up a steep, narrow ravine (zigzagging over fallen trees and twisted roots) to the Lime Kilns. Covered in hanging moss, the kilns look like short, stone-built tunnels. In the 1800s, Henry Cowell (for whom the forest is named) made a fortune quarrying limestone in this area. After exploring, retrace steps back to the Bennett Creek Trailhead.

-Mapped by Tim Shisler

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