Explore the Forest of Nisene Marks

The trails within The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park show little signs of the redwood forest’s turbulent natural and human history. For centuries, the jagged terrain of these 10,000 acres saved the original trees from loggers and settlers. Today the second- and third-growth forest canopy in earthquake country shades a recreational oasis with 30 miles of maintained trails and roads for hiking, biking, and running.

In the cool and quiet semi-wilderness of the park, tall trees shelter creeks and canyons. Park elevation ranges from sea level to more than 2,600 feet. The park contains grassland, scrub, chaparral, woodland, and forest riparian communities.

In addition to the diverse plant life, the Forest of Nisene Marks supports many species of wildlife including raccoons, mountain lions, deer, yellow-legged frogs, and banana slugs.

Keep reading to discover our in-person programs at Nisene Marks.

In-Person Program: Redwood Tour

Come listen to the language of the forest while walking among giant coast redwood trees in The Forest of Nisene Marks. Discover what makes redwood trees such great survivors. Be on the lookout for a slimy yellow animal (banana slug) that calls this forest home. Also, we will discuss why there are marine fossils in the middle of the forest. This field trip is suitable for K-12 students.

Register for an In-Person Field Trip!


This is a Kids2Parks Participating Park! 

Kids2Park LogoKids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips. The program, a partnership between California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, increases the number of students who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access. The program offers transportation funding for field trips to select Title 1 schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, and to apply, please visit www.thatsmypark.org/visit/k2p.