Loma Prieta Loop

Aptos, California

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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.

Loma Prieta Loop Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Aptos
Distance: 7.8
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4 - 5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 300 feet
Top Elevation: 710 feet
Local Contacts: The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Local Maps: USGS Laurel

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Jun 2018