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#21 of 90 state parks in California

Best trails in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

2172 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, California? AllTrails has 30 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 16 moderate trails in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park ranging from 1.7 to 19.9 miles and from 114 to 2,604 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Situated just east of Santa Cruz, centered around the Aptos Creek Canyon, the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is a semi-wilderness with miles of trails for hiking, biking, and nature viewing. Rising all the way from sea level to 2,600 feet, visitors find lush forests covering steep coastal mountains. There is an $8 parking fee.

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Map of trails in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Park information
Acreage:
10223 acres
Park hours
Monday
dawn - dusk
Tuesday
dawn - dusk
Wednesday
dawn - dusk
Thursday
dawn - dusk
Friday
dawn - dusk
Saturday
dawn - dusk
Sunday
dawn - dusk
Contact
831-763-7063
Helpful links
Top trails (30)
#1 - Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(539)
Length: 7.7 mi • Est. 3 h 39 m
Off the beaten path, The Forest of Nisene Marks is a refreshing retreat from the busy towns and beaches along Highway 1 near Santa Cruz. Its dense second- and third-growth redwood forest rises from neShow more
#2 - Aptos Rancho Trail, Loma Prieta Grade and Bridge Creek Loop
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(111)
Length: 10.7 mi • Est. 4 h 19 m
NOTE: Although the The Forest of Nisene Marks is open for recreation, the park is temporarily closed to vehicular access and visitors are not allowed to drive or park in the area due to COVID-19 conceShow more
#3 - Loma Prieta Grade Small Loop
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(177)
Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 2 h 34 m
The Forest of Nisene Marks SP boasts an old Lumber Railroad Grade. An introductory walk into the lower reaches of Nisene Marks. This trail is highly popular with the locals for an afternoon break. ItShow more
#4 - Aptos Creek and West Ridge Trail Loop to Top of the Incline and Sand Point Overlook
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(139)
Length: 14.9 mi • Est. 7 h 26 m
A beautiful and longer hike that goes to the Sand Point overlook.Show more
#5 - Epicenter to Five Finger Falls
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(45)
Length: 14.9 mi • Est. 7 h 33 m
There are views of waterfalls along Aptos Creek.Show more
#6 - West Ridge, Ridge Connector, and Loma Prieta Grade Loop
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(80)
Length: 9 mi • Est. 4 h 31 m
Dogs are allowed on the Aptos Creek fire road at the start of this loop, but not the rest of the trail. A quick hike. Climb up the West Ridge Trail, whose grade is very gentle and pleasant. Then downShow more
#7 - Terrace Trail
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(66)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 20 m
The Terrace Trail is a short walk that follows Aptos Creek. Enjoy the beautiful redwood grovesShow more
#8 - Soquel Demonstration Forest Braille Trail
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(50)
Length: 11.2 mi
A beautiful mountain biking and hiking option that begins in the Soquel Demonstration Forest. Bike past old growth redwoods.Show more
#9 - Vienna Woods Trail
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(143)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 32 m
Vienna Woods Trail is a 1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aptos, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number Show more
#10 - Loma Prieta Grade to Bridge Creek and West Ridge Loop
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(41)
Length: 8.7 mi • Est. 4 h 28 m
Loma Prieta Grade to Bridge Creek and West Ridge Loop is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Aptos, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The tShow more
Showing results 1 - 10 of 30