Become a Volunteer

Your nearby Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks need your help!

In 2013 the Foundation, in partnership with State Parks, initiated a Volunteer Trail Watch Program with the goal of training Volunteers to supplement the task of the two park rangers whose duty it is to patrol Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks.  This Program was continued through 2016.  These Volunteers walked trails, interacted with visitors, did minor maintenance and reported trail hazards to the benefit of the Trained Maintenance staff and Volunteers.  These Park Volunteers have done a great job of providing eyes, ears, and boots on the ground in Portola Redwoods and Castle Rock State Parks.   Park Staff keep the parks operating at reasonable levels of stewardship, but the Parks still need our help. 

Starting in 2017 the Volunteer Program was  divided into two separate but related programs -Docent Training and Wilderness Patrol:

Docent Training 

Parks staff will be training Docents for both Parks. Docents will learn the natural and cultural history of the Parks. The Portola Redwoods State Park Docents can also opt to become hosts at the Visitor Center and oversee sales in the PCRF Store. This store sells educational material for the benefit of the visitors.

The next Docent Training will take place in spring 2019 training will be held on Saturdays on April  and May  at locations in both parks. Training will typically include:

  • Day 1:  Intro to Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks and Interpretation How-to Presentation
  • Day 2:  Natural Resources and Junior Ranger Program
  • Day 3:  Cultural Resources Presentation and Model Hike ( Portola) + Portola Store Operation
  • Day 4: Model Interpretive Hike (Castle Rock + School Group Facilities.
  • Day 5: Graduation: Presentations and awards+ Lunch+ signups.

Current Docents and Volunteers are welcome to attend any of the training sessions from which you may benefit.

2018 Docents

For information and an application, please contact: 
Brandon Caskey at or email


Wilderness Patrol Training 2019

When: February 23, 24, March 9, 16, 23, 30, April 20

Join a team of active volunteers who rove backcountry trails, interact with park visitors, perform trail maintenance, and are ambassadors for California State Parks.

Wilderness Patrol volunteers are trained in interpretive communication, using park radios to report emergencies, and become familiar with the natural and cultural history of our beautiful and expansive public lands. Volunteers are invited to take shifts on mountain bike, horseback, or on foot.

In addition to attending the general training dates listed above, site-specific trainings are offered for Castle Rock State Park (3/30) and Portola Redwoods State Park (4/20).

In order to apply for this program, please confirm with that a spot is currently available (space is limited), and then complete this  WP Volunteer application form (including the Livescan fingerprinting).

Here is a link to the Wilderness Patrol Manual 2018 (we are currently updating several sections of this manual for the 2019 training). A full training schedule (tentative) can be found here.

Please contact with any questions about the Wilderness Patrol program.

Jeremy Lin Program Coordinator

Rancho del Oso – Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Wilderness Patrol Volunteer Program, Santa Cruz District

(831) 427-2288 |


2018 Wilderness Patrol Volunteers at Goat Rock.

For the Wilderness Patrol Duty Statement, click here.


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