Gas station without pumps

2021 September 22

Secret Walks: Long-Antonelli loop

I’m finally catching up on blogging about our walks from Secret Walks & Staircases in Santa Cruz, by Debbie Bulger and Richard Stover. On Saturday 18 September, my wife and I did the loop walk for the Long Marine Lab and Antonelli Pond.  The loop itself is 2.7 miles, but we added 1.8 miles getting there and 2.3 miles getting home, for a total of 6.8 miles.

fish-sculptures

These fish sculptures are outside the new Hampton Inn Santa Cruz West on Mission Street.

pond1

The first part of the walk uses a public beach access through the large manufactured-home park at the end of Delaware Ave. We had never walked that route before, and we were surprised both by how big the trailer park is and how nice the ponds are along the coastal access.

pond2

Here is a view of the pond a little lower down, showing the bridge over the ponds.

pocket-beach

After the ponds there is a little pocket beach, which is what the path is providing access to.

pond3

The lowest end of the ponds has a bit of algae covering it, despite the aerating fountains. This is the view from bridge, looking out towards the pocket beach.

pond4

The view in the other direction from the bridge shows the pond and the cute little island in the middle of it.

gazebo

The gazebo is just for the residents of the manufactured-home park, so we did not go in, but it seems to have a commanding view of the ocean and of Natural Bridges State Beach.

Natural-Bridges-beach

Zooming in gives a nice view of Natural Bridges State Beach.

aloe

Both my wife and I like the Seussian look of tall aloe plants.

The coastal access provides a gate from the manufactured-home park to UCSC’s coastal campus, which houses the Long Marine Lab, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, the Southwest Fisheries Science Center Fisheries Ecology Division, the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, and several other lab buildings.

wave-splash

The waves by Long Marine Laboratory were not huge, but occasionally made a big splash. The big stick on the right is not a dead tree, but an old mast from the shipwreck of La Feliz in 1924.

Ms-Blue

The blue-whale skeleton is a popular attraction for the Seymour Center at the the Long Marine Lab. The Seymour Center is closed until mid-October, but they set up 6 or 7 outdoor docent stations, and they were letting people use the rest rooms.

The paved path across the wetlands on the coastal campus seems to be fairly new, and it is was quite popular with weekend bicyclists, though we did not see many others walking on it. We took the path up to the railroad tracks, which we followed over to Antonelli Pond.

post-pilings

These postpiles in Antonelli Pond are remnants of a refuse wharf. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, which now owns and maintains Antonelli Pond, has a nice interpretive map of the pond (available at the southwest end of the pond) that gives a lot of the history. There used to be a lot in that neighborhood that is now all gone (train station, hotel, lumbermill, mushroom factory, speakeasy, … ).

post-pilings2

Looking northeast across part of the pond shows some of the more recent development. The building by the pond on the right of this photo is the old TI building, which is now owned by UCSC and used for research (including the UCSC genome institute).

The ponds along this loop are much nicer than Moran Lake from the loop that we walked the previous week, though we did not see much in the way of birds this week. After walking the loops we went back along Delaware Ave to check the sale at Synergy Organic Clothing (which had really good prices, but not the colors my wife was looking for) and to eat lunch at Café Iveta.

bike-parking-shadows

I rather like the elegance of these bike parking loops and their shadows on Delaware Ave.

misplaced-bike-parking

This bike parking along the rail trail behind New Leaf is rather badly misplaced—it is on the far side of the parking lot from any destination, so it never gets used. I suspect that most bicyclists can’t figure out how to use it either.

little-free-library-king

We only saw two Little Free Libraries on this walk, and neither was on the loop itself. The one is the only Little Free Library that we know of on King Street.

little-free-library-bike-path

This Little Free Library is next to the rail trail on Almar Ave.

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