Loch Lomond Felton Opens for SeasonOutdoors Parks Recreation 

Loch Lomond is Open for the Season

By Mary Andersen

Daytrippers rejoice! Loch Lomond, nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is open. Administered by the City of Santa Cruz Water Department, the reservoir plays the concurrent roles of supplying drinking water and providing recreational activities.

Long enjoyed by boaters, hikers, fisherpeople, picnickers, wildlife watchers, and photographers alike, the park also offers environmental education events for local schools, free public natural history walks, and free on-the-water interpretive tours. The Loch is home to rainbow trout, white bluegill, largemouth bass, green sunfish, and catfish. And the surrounding watershed is noted for its diverse plant and animal species, including several considered endangered or threatened. Efforts to protect and preserve the ecosystem around Loch Lomond are ongoing. Good news – the 175-acre Loch is currently at 100.3% capacity thanks to an abundance of winter precipitation. 

Loch Lomond History 

While Loch Lomond in Felton shares its name with a famous Scottish loch, it has a unique history.  

The area around the loch was inhabited by the Ohlone, who thrived on abundant natural resources in the area. Spanish soldiers and missionaries, and later settlers, undermined their culture and existence; however, the work of the San Lorenzo Valley Museum and Mountain Parks Foundation continues to honor their rich legacy. 

In the early 1900s, the area around Loch Lomond became popular for recreation, attracting visitors seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of nearby urban centers. The reservoir was created in 1927 when a dam on Newell Creek was constructed for the purpose of providing drinking water to surrounding communities.

Hours Open to the Public

April:  7 am – 7:30 pm
May:  7 am – 8 pm
June:  7 am – 8:30 pm
July:  7 am – 8:30 pm
August – Labor Day:  7 am – 8:00 pm
Labor Day – Second weekend of October:  7 am – 6 pm weekends only

Loch Lomond Recreation Area
100 Loch Lomond Way, Felton
(831) 335-7424

Electric motor boats, pedal boats, row boats are available for rent. Your kayak or canoe can be stored on site for a fee. 

More information:
Visit Santa Cruz: Loch Lomond, Felton’s Awesome Hidden Reservoir
City of Santa Cruz Water Department’s Administration of Loch Lomond Recreation Area


Featured photo:
San Lorenzo Valley residents Bruce Bellochio and Ebin Warner enjoy a day fishing on Loch Lomond.
Photo by Julie Horner


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