Historic Loop Trail

The Forest Of Nisene Marks State Park

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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Historic Loop Trail


  • Welcome to The Forest Of Nisene Marks State Park.- Historic Loop Trail
  • The Aptos Fire Road and Historic Loop Trailhead.- Historic Loop Trail
  • Easy start to the hike.- Historic Loop Trail
  • Hiking the Aptos Fire Road.- Historic Loop Trail
  • A bench along the Aptos Fire Road.- Historic Loop Trail
  • A tenacious tree clings to a rock face on the Historic Loop Trail.- Historic Loop Trail
  • Majestic coastal redwoods.- Historic Loop Trail
  • The Historic Loop Trail narrows in sections.- Historic Loop Trail
  • The forest reclaims a man-made structure.- Historic Loop Trail
  • Aptos Creek.- Historic Loop Trail
  • A narrow path through eucalyptus.- Historic Loop Trail
  • A boardwalk section along the Historic Loop Trail.- Historic Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Scenic hike through coastal redwoods.
No water at the trailhead.
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
525.00 ft (160.02 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
125.00 ft (38.10 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


The Historic Loop is a 4-mile hike with an optional 2-mile there-and-back side hike to see Maple Falls. The hiking trail is a strenuous up and down hike through coastal redwoods in The Forest Of Nisene Marks State Park.  Following Aptos Creek, the trail cuts through the area leading to many informational signs telling of the area's historic significance. The trail starts off on a fire road that makes for easy hiking, but the route quickly changes to steeper grades and root-heavy walkways. The trails are marked fairly well, but you may need to consult your map to make sure you are on the right path.

The Maple Falls extension crosses a creek and ends up at a 50-foot waterfall. The Forest Of Nisene Marks State Park can be a bit muggy during the summer months, so kicking your shoes off and dipping your feet in the water can be quite nice. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you, as there is no place to fill your water at the trailhead. Note that dogs are not allowed past the fire road.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(120 within a 30 mile radius)

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