Located along the east branch of Soquel Creek and including portions of Amaya Creek and Fern Gulch Creek, the Forest contains redwood, mixed hardwoods, and riparian ecosystems.
Soquel is geologically active, with the San Andreas and Zayante Faults passing through the property.
There are several natural springs and small marshes found in closed depressions, known as sag ponds.
Visitors enjoy hiking, bicycling, picnicking and horseback riding.
There are no restrooms and no developed water sources in the forest so please bring your own drinking water.
Hours for use are dawn to dusk; day use only.
Horses and mountain bikes need to stay on trails or roads.
Pets are welcome but must be on a leash.
No smoking or fires of any kind are allowed in the forest.
No firearms or motorized vehicles are allowed in the forest.
There are two main access methods on your bike:
You can either climb up Highland Way (the long route), or start across the bridge through the
If you climb up Highland Way, continue on the road for approx 2 miles until the first gravel fireoad off to the right. Continue the climb into the Forest of Nisene Marks. At the sign, take the fireroad
down to the left and do a little more climbing until you see a singletrack trail to the right.
You can take the singletrack up through the woods (relatively easy climbing, with one short steep uphill) but the fireroad will join up at the end of the singletrack run. Go left on the fireroad for yet more climbing. Take another left onto Aptos Creek Rd and cross over the gate for yes, still more climbing. You will eventually get to a clearing where you can take a right onto the Ridge trail and take a glimpse at the trail map.
Off of the ridge trail, you have a few options for getting back downhill: Sawpit, Tractor, Braille, Sulphur Springs trails.
Tractor trail is a fun long singletrack downhill, well worth the climb. A little bumpy at first,
but smooths out so you can go top speed. When you spit out on the fireroad, head right for a gradual climb back out towards the bridge where you parked. Though there is a lot of climbing in the Demo Forest, it is mostly on fireroad and in the shade. You will be glad you did it because the downhill really pays off!