Pogonip is a 640-acre park just minutes from the heart of Santa Cruz. This park offers over 8 miles of hiking trails, historic lime kilns, a koi Pond hidden away in the mixed evergreen forest, and an old Polo Club House that was used in the making of the movie "The Lost Boys." In the 1930s, Pogonip was the home field for one of the nation's top women's polo teams. Today it is a popular destination for hikers, joggers, mountain bikers, and equestrian enthusiasts.
Three different trails start from the parking lot at the end of Golf Club Drive, including the paved roadway continuing into the park. The roadway leads to the Pogonip Creek Nature Loop and then further to the club house.
Take the Pogonip Creek Nature Loop until you crest the top of the incline, and the Prairie Trail isn't far. Head northwest on the Prairie Trail until it ends at Bayshaw Trail. Heading west on Bayshaw quickly leads to Spring Trail, where you can take an extended hike to the Lime Kiln Trail and loop back, or just head up Box Spring Trail directly to the kilns. Near the Box Spring Trail and Lime Kiln Trail intersection you will find flowing water that leads to the koi pond.
The lime kilns are also close by. Overgrown with vegetation and in ruins, the kilns are quite interesting, and a little history is provided at the site. Above the lime kilns in a shady alcove you will find hundreds of stacked rock formations left by past visitors. It's another unique feature of this interesting hike.
Head down the Spring Box Trail to the Bayshaw Trailhead, where you will also find the Ohlone Trailhead. This is a great trail for expansive views of the Monterey Bay. Head south when the trail meets up with the Fern Trail, then east on the Bayshaw Trail, and you will reach the ranger station and club house. From here you can go out on the field near the house and see some unique views of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. Return to the parking lot via the road near the club house.
70 miles south of San Francisco, 35 miles north of Monterey, and unabashedly left of center, you'll find great surf, sandy beaches, redwood-covered mountains, laid-back towns, organic farms, and a burgeoning beer and wine scene. It's impossible to pick one place to visit in Santa Cruz County. Take a quick cruz of them all!