Five miles northeast of Santa Cruz, a dense and lush second-growth redwood forest has been regenerating ever since logging ceased almost 100 years ago. Spanning several ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Forest of Nisene Marks offers over 30 miles of trails on its 10,000 acres. Hike 1.5 miles to the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or take a longer hike to a waterfall or view site. There are also picnic areas, old mill sites and other remnants of logging from before the land was protected, and for those who want to spend more than just a day in the forest, a primitive backpacking campground located six miles from the nearest parking lot. (Mountain bikes, horses, and dogs are welcome, but restrictions apply.)
Call the park at (831) 763-7062 for recorded information.