Aptos Creek and West Ridge Trail Loop to Top of the Incline and Sand Point Overlook. MODERATE(94). The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. In winters, the hiking trails in Forest of Nisene Marks are gorgeous, making any 18 and 21 miles long, even though visually, they look very different on a map. Nisene Marks mountain biking trails near Aptos, California. Soquel Demonstration State Forest, 9, km nisene marks activity log | embed map of Nisene Marks mountain bike trails | nisene marks mountain biking points of interest.

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All chopped down between and the The Nisrne of Nisene Marks State Park, now one of the biggest California State Parks, was a major logging operation with a railroad, residential housing, telegraph office and school.

Look at the photo today. Miracles do happen after all. This portion of the Loma Prieta Grade trail follows old railroad tracks. The Southern Pacific Railroad had Chinese workers cut, grade and lay a standard gauge railroad up the steep canyon leading to the upper Aptos and its treasure trove of redwood trees. As a result some , board feet of lumber flowed down the railroad line to markets all over the world from to you can find out more about this fascinating history in the Amended General Plan of the park.

As we walked steadily up the canyon, we kept seeing eroded tracks and could see where bridges had disappeared and where the tracks resumed further up the trail. If not for the interpretive sign you might even walk by it and maeks notice.

Hiking Trails near The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

While there used to be a thriving community of lumber workers, only collapsed roofs and broken doors remain. An extra mile and we would call it a day, returning to the trailhead. We sometimes had a hard time keeping up with the 6-year olds but the 4-year old kept tripping on roots and rocks so that was definitely slower. The effort was worth it though.


Quite the origin of the world. As the park does not offer any camping options other than backpacking, we camped at the nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Best Trails in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

May 28, at 5: Wow, a six mile hike with six and four year olds? Interesting about China Camp, too, I was wondering how much still exists there. August 26, at 9: If you want to know how to make extra bucks, search for: Ask me to write a book or an article, to speak at an event, to lead a workshop or to work mzp. No thanksI’m already a subscriber. Inspiration for outdoors ideas, family nisee, travel destinations Check out a recent edition. Bay Area California Hike.

After this appetizer, we set out for markd main course, Maple Falls, one of two major waterfalls of the park. You can get a green paper map created by Jeff Thomson, author of Explore — The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park by the entrance kiosk but once you hit the trails, they are not always well-marked and some junctions can be confusing.

We started the 6. Getting to the Porter House Site was a piece of cake as the trail was both wide and well-marked but nothing remains of the Porter House itself. Hence an unusual number of fallen trees on the trails.

Or shall we say, China Camp? Unexpectedly the kids enjoyed most this most challenging part of the hike, an adventure-course type trek through a narrowing canyon hopping over rocks, crossing the river several times without bridge and crawling under fallen trees and over land slides to the bottom of the gorge where Maple Falls are finally revealed behind a big boulder.


We stayed a while there. The girls threw rocks in the pool, they splashed around a bit, the sun was shining and it was a rare moment in the hike where we were actually under open skies and not under tree cover.

Map of Trails near The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park – California | AllTrails

We enjoyed it as long as we could before walking back through Bridge Creek Trail. Walking back was a breeze and strangely enough, the children picked up the pace so we were a lot faster than on the first half of the trail.

Following the banks of the river was refreshing mafks on occasions the creacking of tall trees above us made us pause. Obviously the girls kept looking for golden crowns behind redwood trees but this had been a unique surprise. The real treat, for me, was definitely the falls and I recommend marke see them while they are still flowing generously. Directions to the Forest foresst Nisene Marks: The following two tabs change content below.

Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She’s passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.

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