Hiking among the Redwoods in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park near Aptos

Forest of Nicene

Today marked the official start of the Adventurers Thanksgiving break jaunt. First stop was a hike in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park in the hills above Aptos. Both of them had heard of the park but had never visited. According to Wikipedia, 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 9,700 acres (3,900 ha) of land in her memory to the state of California (with the help of the Nature Conservancy) in 1963.”

More recently the park gained wider recognition, thanks to being the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. (For the record, L was at Candlestick Park waiting for the World Series to start when the quake hit; D was in Stockton.)

Given that it was a Sunday, they were hardly alone. The main trail at the park follows an old rail line, so it’s wide enough to accommodate both hikers and cyclists. It’s a pretty – and dense – Redwood forest, one that they vowed to return to with the Mag in tow. Without her, they followed narrow “no dogs” trail that took them along Aptos Creek. That meant there were bridges to cross.

Working up an appetite, D remembered Pixie Deli was just across Hwy 1 on the beach. Old surfer memories come in handy…

Hike/moderate/5 miles

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