One of the Ocean Shore Railroad’s locomotives. There was a time when the dream of a coast-side railroad between Santa Cruz and San Francisco was ALMOST a reality.



Exploring the Ocean Shore Railroad: The Secret History of Swanton

The route of the Ocean Shore Railroad between Santa Cruz and Davenport is relatively easy to see as the present-day railroad (to be bought by Santa Cruz County any day now…) follows it precisely. However, the section from just north of Davenport to Scott Creek Beach is a little more difficult to follow, and the route between Scott Creek Beach to the town called Swanton is even more obscure. With the help of lifetime Swanton residents, we are going to spend a day exploring this least-well-known route.

Two Sessions:

Session #1 – Lecture/discussion
Friday evening, June 24, 7:00 – 9:00
We will have an overview discussion of the history of the North Coast with an emphasis on the Ocean Shore Railroad and its impact on the development of the North Coast and Santa Cruz’s West Side. Slides and recommendations for the next day’s hike.

The Swanton Inn was located at the northern terminus of the railr
Session #2 – Field Day
Saturday, June 25, – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
We will spend the day exploring the Scott Creek/Swanton area, finding remnants of the Ocean Shore right of way and some of the other OSRR-inspired development in the area.
Fee: $65.00 for the two sessions


Physical/Hiking Requirements: Participants will be expected to hike approximately four miles during the day. Participants need to be in reasonable physical condition.

Lunch: Participants should bring their lunch. You will not have to carry it throughout the day. Also bring liquid refreshments.
Note: Because of subject matter, children under 18 may not participate in this course.
Point of Beginning: Registrants will receive a map and directions to the place where we’ll begin our day.