Loma Prieta Grade

Aptos, California 95001

Loma Prieta Grade

Loma Prieta Grade Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The trees within the Forest of Nisene Marks are so thick and the environment seems so pristine that it’s hard to fathom the rail-trail upon which you tread was once part of an extensive logging operation in the Aptos Creek Canyon. The rail trail is relatively steep, and completing the entire loop will take most of a day.

In the Forest of Nisene Marks, nature proves that it can renew itself. The original redwoods and Douglas firs that grew here, thriving on moisture from the nearby Pacific Ocean, were extensively logged in the early 1900s, but you’d never know it now. The evergreens, along with oaks, madrones, and bays, have grown back with a vengeance, creating a jungle that envelops park trails in a translucent green light. This benevolent light even shines on the trail that runs along the grade of the railroad that was used to haul the ancestor trees down and out of the canyon."

More Loma Prieta Grade Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking the Redwood Coast (Falcon Guides)
Dan Brett
View more trails from this guide book
"This hike follows the course of a logging railroad that ran during the heyday of logging in the valley, from 1883 to 1923.The tracks are long since gone and the scars of logging are healing nicely, but many reminders of the past still remain. Railroad ties and historic ruins can be seen in several spots along the way, as the trail climbs gently through second-growth redwood forests before dropping to lush Bridge Creek for the return loop. Tucked away as it is behind the little town of Aptos,the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is not one that tourists and passersby stumble on by chance.There is little in the way of signage announcing the park’s presence until you arrive at the entrance gate, some 1.6 miles up a narrow winding road. It may be that the close proximity of so many other state parks and beaches distracts from Nisene Marks’ 10,000-odd acres of convoluted topography and 40 miles of trails, but it may just as well be the case that the local outdoorsy types simply want to keep this little gem to themselves." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
Best tackled when dry, between the months of May and October

Activity Feed

Dec 2018