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Porter Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Aptos, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 334 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers


no dogs

UPDATE (May 1, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this park is open to local residents, they must abide by the following guidelines: Stay Local: Walk or bike into the park. Do not drive to the park. Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails. Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people at the park or on trails to allow for the required physical distance. Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Statewide, many parks and beaches are temporarily closed or have very limited access to ensure Californians are abiding and practicing physical distancing. The goals are to make sure people are safe and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. To view the list of closures and what they mean to the public, please visit Hike to the Porter Family picnic area via this trail. Walk past beautiful redwood trees and Aptos Creek

2 months ago

A good portion of this so-called “trail” is a paved road with lots of cars whizzing by. Definitely not a tranquil hike.

4 months ago

10 months ago

Easy trail for the kids but got cut short because I was stung by a wasp...wasn’t aware of the wasp nests so close to the trail, so I wanted to warn those with kids and/or allergic reactions to bee stings!

Fri Aug 03 2018

Some downed trees and 2 notices of active bee-yellow jacket nests. 2 easy stream crossings. Weeds encroaching on trail. Check for ticks!

Mon Jul 03 2017

Not very well maintained as of 7/1/17 and very overgrown with poison oak. Otherwise a cool trail. Only 1.5 miles per Nisene Marks map.

13 days ago

3 months ago

Sat Sep 22 2018

Sat Jun 16 2018

Mon Jan 02 2017

Sat May 19 2012