forest

views

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

wild flowers

trail running

no dogs

wildlife

kid friendly

mountain biking

dogs on leash

river

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.

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.

epic fun trail

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.

2 months ago

Short trail, don't waste your time.

Fun hike, this is where most of the people go. Not a lot of elevation gain but the river is cool.

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.

Dogs only allowed on paved roads and in picnic areas

This is a beautiful park. Within minutes of the main parking you can stroll into redwoods and have the kids play in the creek. As you wind your way into the forest along the creek you can cross it many times rock hopping. Longer hikes can be had here going for maple falls which we did once. I love this place.

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!

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.

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