The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park offers rugged semi-wilderness, rising from sea level to steep coastal mountains of more than 2,600 feet. Once the site of logging operations until the 1920s, visitors can still find evidence of logging operations, mill sites and trestles in the park. The land was donated to the state by the Marks family in 1963. With over 30 miles of trails, hiking, jogging, and biking are some of the activities to be enjoyed here. Picnic tables and barbecue pits are available. A trail camp is located six miles from the nearest parking lot. Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the park for more information. This park is on land that was clear-cut during a forty-year logging frenzy (1883-1923). When the loggers left the Aptos Canyon, the forest began to heal itself and now the scars grow fainter with each passing year. The Forest of Nisene marks is a monument to forest regeneration and the future - it is a forest in the state of becoming. Dogs are allowed only along the entrance road and in the picnic areas and must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times. Park open Sunrise to Sunset.
The trail started out pretty easy and quickly becomes more technical. The trails are marked pretty good, make sure to get a map when you enter the park. The redwood forest is dense and the trail runs narrow along canyons with some river crossings and rock hopping. The hike gets a bit more difficult towards the end but push on to the waterfall, it is amazing and definitely worth the hike. Water levels were low after a long summer but the river and the waterfall were still flowing. Will come back again for sure in the winter. Very exciting hike, We all loved it :)
Yoshie M. on The Buddha Loop Trail
It is a beautiful trail. At the end of the day, you will feel good and satisfied. FYI, the trail starts and ends at this beautiful Buddhist facility (private property), and they are closed to the public on Saturdays whole day, and Sunday AM. So hikers need to be there during the weekdays or Sunday afternoon...
Alex H. on The Buddha Loop Trail
We enjoyed this peaceful trail amid redwoods. Hikers should know the trail exists on private property called Land of Medicine Buddha. We thought it was part of the Forest of Nisene Marks SP and went there first. Lovely hike!
This hike has great views along the Aptos Trail, not so much when you're on Aptos Creek Fire Rd. If you haven't tried this trail while its raining, I suggest you do. Not for the feint of heart though as going either direction on the Aptos Trail will be hard without hiking sticks.
We did the hike to the Historic Bridge Site. It's a loop which works out to be about 7.4 mile. Much of it is a narrow footpath high above the forest floor but you also go down and hike along the creek for part of the last leg of the hike. Nice combination of up and down. I would rate it as moderate, as there are a few tricky places that are quite steep. Really beautiful!