Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, Aptos

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The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is a state park of California, USA, protecting a tract of secondary forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is located outside Aptos, California and contains over 40mi of hiking trails and fire roads through 10223acre 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. After drilling efforts failed to find any oil, Marks' children donated the original 9700acre of land in her memory to the state of California (with the help of the Nature Conservancy) in 1963.The California State Parks department, with additional help from the Save the Redwoods League, expanded the park to 10036acre. The park is on land that was clearcut 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 2600ft. 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 6mi 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. Backpack camping is also available.
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Forest of Nisene Marks State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • Even on weekends, you can find quiet hikes and plenty of fresh air in this parks. Fun to look for banana slugs and the old car in "Marcel's forest".  more »
  • Great State Park with beautiful hiking trails at any time of the year. The restroom inside the park is an outhouse and the state park needs more money for maintenance so be prepared for that. A beauti...  more »
  • Lots of great trails to hike. There were folks biking too. Hike to the epicenter of 1989 earthquake. Look for banana slugs while you hike. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the beauty of the redwoods!  more »
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