Watsonville City Trails

Wandering the Wetlands of Watsonville

The Watsonville City Trails provide easy public access to this stunning 800 acre freshwater wetland. More than seven miles of trails and 29 trail entrances in Watsonville neighborhoods offer many opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of our special wetlands for recreation and relaxation.
  • Trails are free, open every day
  • Dogs on leash are welcome
  • Wheelchair accessible trails noted on trail map
  • Drop-in trail clean-up opportunities
  • Trail maps available outside of the City's Nature Center or online here

Dogs on Trails

Dogs are permitted on leash only. To wildlife in the wetlands, off-leash dogs are often perceived as predators, causing unintentional wildlife disturbance and habitat damage. Dog owners are required to pick up their pet's waste. Please help protect our wildlife and water quality by utilizing a pet waste bag and disposing of it in the trash.

Trail Clean-up 

As part of our Beautification Program, community groups or youth programs can join our ongoing cleanup events or schedule litter clean-ups on the trails by emailing at naturecenter@cityofwatsonville.org. Materials, instructions and a leader (when needed) will be provided. Must schedule at least 2 weeks in advance. School volunteer credits are provided.

You can also join us for one of our Center's community event days listed here:
  • World Wetlands Day - February
  • National Trails Day - June
  • Coastal Clean Up Day - September

Learn While You Walk

Many interpretive trail signs have been installed along the Wetlands of Watsonville. These trail signs teach about the natural and cultural history of our wetlands and address local conservation issues.

Award Winning Trails

In May of 2006, the City of Watsonville received an award from the California Association of Trails for the development of community trails highlighting wetland protection. The trails also received recognition from the California Transportation Foundation, winning the 17th annual 2006 TRANNY award for Pedestrian Bicycle Project of the Year.

Recommended Trail Walks & Entrances

Watsonville Slough Trail

Trail Head: Park at 30 Harkins Slough Road, Watsonville, CA. 831-768-1622. Trail Map (PDF). Follow trail to the right, under the bridge.
Approximate walk: 0.5 miles to Ohlone Parkway and back.

Ohlone Trail

Trail Head: Park in the back of the West Marine parking lot by trail head - 500 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA.
Approximate walk: 1.5 miles

Upper Struve Slough Trail

Trail Head: Park in Body Zone parking lot (behind Body Zone) by trail head - 1810 Main Street, Watsonville, CA.
Approximate walk: 1.5 miles
Entrance to Wetlands Trails path