Moran Lake Park is a small park that is off the beaten path on the east side of Santa Cruz. Moran Lake is longer than it is wide, and it has a grove of sweet smelling eucalyptus trees that follow a walking trail along the shoreline. This is a short and fairly level 0.6-mile trail connecting 30th Avenue to Moran Way, and it is popular with day hikers and bike riders. A few picnic tables are set along the shore for lunch or simply watching the waterfowl and seabirds. Although Moran Lake is surrounded by residential areas, this mirror-like lake has some great reflections of the nearby buildings and trees.
The parking is free, and beach access is just across the street. This is a great spot to go during the peak tourist season when the more popular beaches in Santa Cruz fill up fast and have little to no parking. Moran Lake is one of the few parks in Santa Cruz County that is dog friendly.