Explore Short Loop - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Short Loop Map
mountain biking
1 month ago

A little challenging for beginners like me but I had a blast. It really is a nice trail.

Beautiful trail, but could be better marked. Fortunately, I passed just enough people on a late Sunday afternoon to assure me I was going the right way!

We used the direction tab from this apps instead of reading an instruction on how to get there, we ended up with hiking about 1-1.5 miles ( I forgot to track the exact miles) extra each way unintentionally. The direction from the apps took as to Mesa Grande Rd which ends at the entrance of the Nisene Marks park. Took a trail on the right side near that entrance. Follow the direction to Apto creek road to get to the trail head. It’s an easy stroll until about a mile to the fall and it becomes moderate hike along the creek. Not much water at this time for Maple fall.

Even with an average waterfall, amazing hike. TH easy to find. First 2 miles flat, wide & well maintained trail. Also a lot of runners first few miles. Next few miles trail got muddy in places, was pretty narrow but no one else around. At 3.5 miles you start crossing the stream multiples times and a few more obstacles including a short tree you walk across and also having to pull yourself up on the trail (pictures included) but not to bad the last.5 miles. The last 2 miles in a ton of mountain bikers but still peaceful. Get there early - very little parking when I left

Great trail! Beautiful the whole time. Not easy but moderate :)

This approach to West Ridge Trail through LOTMB is a slight deviation from the normal loop. I had never seen it before, and I hike this park all the time. It starts the same, but the trail forks when the normal loop starts to head up and away from the creek (I had to use my GPS to spot it, as LOTMB doesn’t have great signage anyway, and there are lots of diverging footpaths along the creekside), and this trail crosses the creek and heads up the same ridge in a different way. It meets back up with the original trail before the loop heads back down the ridge or continues on into Nisene Marks, but in a strange way—it just sort of ended and left me scratching my head, and then I emerged back onto the original trail through some brush, startling some other hikers in the process! It seems like it is an old spur that has fallen into disuse, as it is extremely narrow, with lots of washed out sections. There are some really steep spots, which makes sense, as the part of the loop this trail diverges from is all switchbacks, and this trail has basically none. I was also hiking after some light rain, and some of these parts of the trail were so muddy I had to pull myself up by holding onto exposed roots or whatever I could find that was sturdy. It’s just as beautiful as the rest of LOTMB, but I would just stick to the normal loop. It is neither faster to West Ridge Trail, easier, nor more beautiful than the rest of the loop, and in parts, it seems like you shouldn’t be on it at all.

What an amazing hike! We didn’t quite make it to Maple Falls, due to time, but what a great excuse to come back. The gate is closed to the Porter Family Picnic area, so you can choose free parking right before the entrance or pay the $8 to park at the first parking/picnic area. It’s about a mile extra onto your hike to Maple Falls, so plan time accordingly. Get there before 10am, after parking is scarce. We parked with ease at about 9am on a Sunday. I loved seeing so many others biking, running, and waking the trail. From Porter Family Picnic area to Loma Preita Grade is kid friendly and an easy walk. After, as you continue on to Bridge Creek Trail towards Maple Creek there are a few iffy spots for younger kids. Overall a great day spent in Nisene.

Awesome place for a run and/or hike. I actually did an extra loop to make it over 12 miles. Make sure to go all the way to the end for the 2nd waterfall

Land of the Medicine Buddha gets Five stars. My experience today would get zero.

Nisene Marks and LOTMB are beautiful and serene. I have no negative comments about the park / retreat center itself.

I took my seven month old Labrador Retriever to Land of the Medicine Buddha today for the first time (his first time not mine) today. I thought it would be a nice serene place to take my dog as it’s a retreat area and surrounded by beautiful nature and Buddhist blessings.

Unfortunately an off leash dog attacked my dog. It pinned him on his back to the ground and bit has face chest and legs. I am going to have to take him to the vet as he has bled a lot and has open wounds.

Please people, if you bring your dog be responsible. We all want to enjoy the space in peace. Safety of others and your own is paramount. It was heartbreaking to hear his cries and see all the blood. My dog was leashed but I felt helpless at being able to get the dog off mine and because he was leashed he could not run away from the other dog. There are leash laws for a reason so please abide by them.

There are a number of loop trails here. All are good. Along the trail there are various monuments, statues and places of worship which makes the trail interesting.

Beautiful, serene trail. About 6 miles and very green. Mainly level with about 2 miles of gradual inclines. On private retreat property so please respect the closures. Dogs on leash are allowed, but no bikes.

3 months ago

Nice little 45 min loop. Good if you’re looking for something quick, easy to navigate and free. Free parking in small lot across from golf course club house. Access upper redwood trail through gate near blue gas tank. There was a wider, flatter loop lower down that looked good for running. Not quite sure where the best way to access that would be.

Beautiful area, but the Graham Hill part of the trail is actually along the road. The paved trail along the park is dog friendly. I think it is called Pinehill road. Beautiful park and camp ground.

Really great trail, and I finished in around 4.5 hours. It was raining and misty so if you want to go in November I recommend it.

This is my favorite trail that we've done. Not great for small kids as there is quite a bit of scrambling and climbing over obstacles required. Bridge Creek Trail has a bad bridge so it's closed. Just walk down the main road to Buddha Bridge and pick the trail up there. This place was beautiful. Not extremely challenging until you get to the river where you have to pick your steps carefully. You'll cross the rive about 17 times until you reach the falls. It was a long hike, but totally worth it.

This moderate trail was beautiful!

If you have dogs the only option is to follow the pathed path the entire trail- it's not allowed to cross over to other trails. There's a few steep hills for a good viewpoint at "overlook bench". For the $10 day use fee it was modest

The majority of Bridge Creek Trail is currently closed since there is a work crew clearing downed trees and repairing trails that were damaged in last winter's storms. The trail crew is scheduled to be done mid-October. It's possible to get to Maple Falls via Loma Prieta Grade and Hoffman's Historic Site, an elevation gain and drop back to the creek, then turning left at Bridge Creek Historic Site, which puts you on the last part of the Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls. There's still a lot of hopscotching the rocks on numerous creek crossings, but that's part of the fun. And for those who think the waterfall is dry, sorry to say, but you didn't get to Maple Falls. It's still flowing, and in fact it's year-round; was flowing last fall after years of drought. While not as impressive as Big Basin's Berry Creek Falls, it's a lovely destination with few crowds.

For the person who couldn't find the trailhead, walk up the Aptos Creek Fire Road about .2 miles past the Porter Family Picnic Area parking, which is the furthest you can drive May-October. The Loma Prieta Grade will be on your left, but the signage is about 25' off the Fire Rd, so it can be easy to miss. Keep looking left and you'll see a bike rack and sign for Loma Prieta Grade, Porter House Site, and Bridge Creek Trail.

trail running
6 months ago

There are three levels of trails and all of them run parallel (lower, middle, and upper). They are easy to follow, but this AllTrails map is really hard to follow because not all of the trails are marked. The trails are in pretty good condition for running. We were able to run 5 miles. The lower redwood loop is pretty. Lots of shade on all the trails. I took one star off because there were many dogs off leash. It's nerve wracking to run around a corner and be face to face with an unleashed dog. Leash your dogs!

Terrible marked trail. Very hard to find the beginning with the Buddha center having some of the roads closed. This trail was marked as 8 verses when we saw a trail marking at all.

Lots of mosquito's and poison oak. Narrow trails with tons of roots. Lots to trip over. It's a beautiful first part through the redwoods along a creek. Once you get to the top it's not as nice.
Suppose to be no mountain bikes but they are there. Very narrow trail. So be careful.

Entire family (including dog) enjoyed our day here. Lots of change in terrain kept it interesting. Walk down to creek for light snacks was beautiful, and moments of single trail hiking made it feel intimate. Highly recommend!

Really pretty hike! At the top the path gets super narrow and there is a TON of poison oak. The hike isn't too difficult, but your blood certainly gets flowing. Would certainly do again, but would wear long pants to protect against the plants.

I went on 7/25/17 it's 10.5 miles hike ... bt unfortunately the water fall was dried up ... bt over all it's a very nice trail

I just did the Upper Delaveaga Loop. I'd say about 70% of the trail was in Redwood forest and the rest was more of a mixed oak woodland. Park in the small parking lot that is adjacent to the golf course clubhouse (there are no signs). The trail access is on the northeast side of the parking lot through a small gate in the chainlink fence next to a blue gas tank. I only saw 2 other people the entire time I was on the trail so this is a pretty peaceful and isolated hike for being so close to town. You can hear road and highway noise throughout much of the hike but the views make up for that. You'll also need to be aware of poison oak because there is a lot of it growing along the trail and sometimes it's overgrown onto the trail. The trail is mostly level but has quite a few sections with moderate to moderately steep inclines making for a nice workout hike. The upper loop can be done in about 45 minutes which is perfect for a lunch break hike.

FYI- it's closed on Saturdays. We just drove 3 hours to find this out. We will be back, been on my list to experience (:

This hike was pretty easy for my kids and I to complete. Mild elevation changes and beautiful scenery. Multiple surprise Buddha shrines hidden within the majestic forest trees. Definitely a family friendly hike!

off road driving
8 months ago

The entrance of the trail cannot be found . At the end of the road you will enter into a private road where is one lane only and some construction.

Very peaceful and enchanting hike. It took me about 3 hours to finish. This trail felt fairly Easy for me. It's rated Moderate. I've done moderate trails that have felt much harder.

8 months ago

Entrance at parking across of club house, a little bit difficult to find due to not sign . Good shade during sunny day . Easy to get lost if not watching sign carefully. Can hear highway noise . Good for 1 hour walk.

Load More