The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is located in Aptos, California and contains over 40 miles of hiking trails and fire roads through approximately 10,000 acres of variable terrain. The park was named for Nisene Marks, a passionate nature lover and the mother of a Salinas farming family that purchased the land from lumber companies (and others), in the hopes of finding oil. The park is on land that was clear-cut during a forty-year period of logging (1883-1923) by the Loma Prieta Lumber Company.
Visitors can still find evidence of logging operations, mill sites and trestles in the park. The park offers rugged semi-wilderness, rising from sea level to steep coastal mountains of more than 2,600 feet (790 m). Today the park is a popular spot for running, hiking and horseback riding. Mountain biking is restricted to the fire road as of 2004 because of deed restrictions regarding the state park. Picnic tables and barbecue pits are available. A trail camp is located six miles (10 km) from the nearest parking lot. 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. Camping (backpacking) is also available with advance registration.
Nisene Marks is a great state park. It offers something for everyone, with great hiking and biking trails, along with a fire road that goes deep into the forest up something called “The Incline” (which is every bit as maddening as it sounds). You’ll encounter streams, trees, and lots of epic sights. It’s a Mecca for mountain bikers as well. All in all, a great Park. You can park your car at the shops at the bottom and walk in to avoid fees. Otherwise, pay a little money and support the parks system.
Things To Do:
- Horseback riding
- Hike or Bike Campsites
- Nature Trails
- Family Campsites
- Hiking Trails
- Horseback Trails
- Campers (Max. Length)
- Picnic Areas
- Reservations Recommended
Sunrise to Sunset
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
Aptos Creek Road
Phone Park for More Information: 831-763-7062
The park is four miles north of Aptos on Aptos Creek Road.