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.
A dog walk from the end of the Aptos Road parking area. Sadly the app does not do a good job of identifying the connecting trails that are NOT dog friendly. The Aptos Road is very nice but busy. Once again we came to signs at all other trials that dogs were not permitted. We went rogue again and uses the West Ridge Trail which was awesome. No complaints from the few hikers we saw and the few bikers were nothing but gracious. I'm sure we were risking a significant fine but it was worth it! West Ridge is highly recommended!
Great little gem of a trail not at all far from the heart of Soquel village. I do it on days when I want a beautiful hike but I also have to work. Starts by following a creek with pretty level but interesting terrain, then climbs up, though never too steeply, to a young, enchanting pine forest. Dogs are allowed on leash, and though I don't normally pass more than one or two other people, I follow that rule and the one that asks trail users keep the noise level to a minimum, as the trail is located on the property of a Buddhist temple. There is parking available just outside the dual entrance to Land of Medicine Buddha and Tara Redwood School, and the trailhead is just up the driveway on the left side of the road. the trail is only open to the public Sunday afternoons and week days. Trail can get a little confusing toward the end, it isn't very well marked.