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Touring the campus or hiking the forests at UC Santa Cruz.

Touring the campus or hiking the forests at UC Santa Cruz

Redwoods and meadows looking overMonterey Bay, and buildings as varied as the site's past, make UC Santa Cruz an ideal destination for walkers.

For nearly a hundred years before theuniversity opened its newest campus in 1965, the 2,000-acre property was a portion of the ranch of the Cowell family.

Since then, most of the ranch buildingshave been converted to college facilities, and many new buildings, some architecturally acclaimed, have been added. Behind the campus proper, the property retains its forests and meadows.

We've chosen three hikes, each highlightinga different era in the site's history. You can get a free brochure relating to each hike from the university's Public Information Office; see page 38.

1. A walk through the central campus

Route finding here is easily managed onyour own--posted campus maps guide you down paths, over footbridges, and through redwood groves.

The central campus's eight colleges rangein architectural style and design from redwood to college concrete modern--and in size from massive Porter to village-like Crown. They're separate, but woven together by the redwood forest. Each has its own classrooms, library, dining hall, and dormitories and maintains a distinct, intimate atmosphere of living and learning.

Make up your own tour, or follow ourshort (about 40-minute) and pleasant loop. It begins at the aptly named Redwood Building, near the intersection of Hagar and Heller drives, and gives you a feel for a campus that inspires the saying "nowhere else but Yosemite.'

From the Redwood Building, take thepath on the flagpole's downhill side until you reach Hahn Student Services. From here, continue west over the bridge to the glass-and-concrete McHenry Library, a structure that has received several architectural awards. If you like, check the main-floor exhibits.

From the library, take the path markedKerr Hall. Once there, take the path and steps up through the trees to Steinhart Way and the classrooms of Thimann Labs. Cross the plaxa and go up the steps by the concrete lecture halls.

At Natural Sciences II, take the path eastleading across a footbridge to the parking lot near your starting point. On your left is the Upper Quarry, where terraces cut into one of the Cowell quarries form an amphitheater. Another architectural award winner, it is the site of graduation ceremonies and convocations as well as theatrical productions.

Any weekday year-round, you can join afree guided tour at 10:30 A.M. or 1:30 P.M. On foot and by van, you'll be shown the colleges, libraries, housing, and laboratories. Reservations are required. Write to the Office of Admissions, Cook House, UC Santa Cruz 95064, or telephone (408) 429-4008.

2. Hiking trails, mostly in the forest

The forested land of UC Santa Cruz offersplenty of opportunities for peaceful walking. You'll share the path with jogers. The following is an easy 4-mile hike that takes you through shaded groves to an expansive meadow.

Park at the end of Heller Drive by KresgeCollege, where the fire road begins. Follow the unpaved road through the redwoods and up a moderate grade for about a mile. At the end of West Road, go left on Chinquapin Road for another mile. You'll walk under Douglas fir and redwoods to a meadow perfect for stretching out and cloud watching.

Return the same way, or use the brochuremap to chart a loop.

3. Walk into the past

With the historical walking tour brochurein hand, follow a roughly 1-hour route into the campus's ranching past.

In the 1860s, Henry Cowell bought theproperty and operated a lime and cement company. The Cowell family continued to work lime and cattle until the University of California bought 2,000 acres of the ranch in 1961. Most of the original structures have been restored and put to use.

Among the first you'll encounter are theGranary and the Stone House. The Stone House was the paymaster's office, where ranch hands were paid once a year in gold; now it holds offices for a student newspaper.

This tour includes the property's firstlimestone quarry, the powder house where chemicals for blasting were stored, the kilns where the lime was cooked out of the stone, and a dilapidated cooperage where lime-packing barrels were made.

You'll also pass the former horse barn,now a 207-seat theater, and the one-time blacksmith shop, now an art studio. For information about performances at all campus theaters, call 429-2121.

Visitor information

To get to the campus, take Bay Streetnorthwest about 1 mile from State Highway 1 (Mission Street) in Santa Cruz. The old ranch buildings are near the entrance, central campus and fire trails up the road.

Parking is free on weekends; weekdays youmust purchase a $1 day permit at the visitors' kiosk or the parking office, both just inside campus on Coolidge Drive. Or try to find a 1- to 4-hour metered spot.

Free brochures, available at the university'sPublic Information Office, relate to the walks outlined here. General campus information and a map are included in "A Campus Visit.' For hiking in the redwoods, a map of hiking and jogging trails includes mileages. For the ranch walk, "Historical Walking Tour of Lower Campus' gives directions and details of the ranch buildings.

Write to Public Information, CarriageHouse, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz 95064, or visit--turn right 1/4 mile inside campus-- between 8 and 5 on weekdays.

The campus also has an arboretum withplants of California, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand--call (408) 427-2998 for details--and offers tours of its Predatory Bird Research Group facility; 429-2466 (see the September 1985 Sunset).

Photo: Walkers emerge from upper campus's deep woods to enjoy the solitude of the rolling meadows near Kresge College

Photo: Face-to-face, youngster meets residentseal at Natural Sciences complex

Photo: Spanning gullies, footbridges (and forestsetting) belie the fact that this family is walking through the center of campus

Photo: Nicknamed "The Wave,' steel sculpture by alumnus Kenneth Farrell stands on knoll next to Porter College. Students take advantage of its location's quiet surroundings and expansive view

Photo: Limekilns on walking tour of historiclower campus date back to 1850s. They were used to make lime for cement

Photo: Limestone quarry turned amphitheaterbecomes peaceful lunch spot for visitors
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 1, 1987
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