Are you looking for a fun and easy way to engage your kids in nature? Walk or bike to the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. While visiting this 5-mile loop around the lower San Lorenzo River, be on the lookout for the items on the scavenger hunt and more! It’s a great way to get moving with your kids, especially by bicycle or scooter, as it’s a paved, car-free loop.

Activity Overview

Look for flora and fauna, Park Rangers and specific signs at the Santa Cruz Riverwalk in downtown Santa Cruz.


Time in nature can be a time to reflect and tune into our senses. Spend some time on the Riverwalk tuning into the sights and sounds around you.

The San Lorenzo River mouth marks the end of a 29 mile long river as it enters the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. If you are there you can see birds diving underwater, people moving along the Riverwalk path, and beautiful orange poppies dotting the riverbank.

Materials Needed:

  • Scavenger Hunt PDF. This can be viewable on a device like your mobile phone, or can be printed and brought with you. If you print it, bring a pencil or marker that you can use to circle what you see!


  1. Visit the Santa Cruz Riverwalk. During the COVID-19 shelter in place order, we recommend only walking or biking to access the Riverwalk.
  2. Review the Scavenger Hunt list. Go over the items you see, and think about where you might need to look to see them.
  3. Walk or bike the Riverwalk and keep an eye out for items on your list. If you find something, stop and note it. If you printed the PDF, you can circle the items that you found.
  4. TIP: If you’re having trouble finding something, stop and think about where you might need to look to find it. To see a fish in the water, try walking over a bridge and pausing in the middle to look down in the watrer.
  5. TIP: There’s a yellow dotted line down the center of the Riverwalk path. Please stay to the right. If a biker, walker or skateboarder might be passing you, shout, “Bike!” to your group to ensure that everyone is aware of traffic on the Riverwalk.

Interested in More Scavenger Hunts? Check Out These for Other Nearby Locations:

Thank you to New Leaf Community Markets and artist Gill Seaman for your support in creating activities like this for CWC’s Watershed Rangers Activity Book.
To all of the Watershed Rangers students, teachers and program partners, although we will not be able to see you in classrooms, field trips and after school programs right now, we hope to provide you and your loved ones with online resources and activities during this time. We know that parents, teacher and lifelong learners are seeking ways to stay engaged and active, and we’re going to be working to bring activities to you through the Coastal Watershed Council blog. Please share these resources and activities with friends, neighbors and parents groups and stay tuned for more.

Additional resources:

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