In Northern California and in the Santa Cruz County, I am surrounded by some of California’s utmost beauties. Perfect weather, with a beach breeze, I try to take full advantage of this Central Coast’s nature by going on bike rides, beach runs, and hikes!
On sunday, I along with some family members decided to try a new hike…we came across, Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks, one of the largest state parks in Central California, and also, a few miles away from home. 2,3,4 mile hike? Ok! We decided to give it a shot.
We arrived at the park around 11am, paid a parking fee of $8, gathered our hiking gear and off we went. Boy, were we in for a hike! Surrounded by trees, dirt, green, hikers, we were all in for an adventure…first hike we came across, West Ridge Trail, a six-mile hike. We all agreed we’d give it a shot, if we got too tired we’d easily,go back!
We continued with our hike for another hour before we decided it was time to finish the hike….when we wanted to complete it, we realized that we’d completed the six-mile hike but no exit was nearby. We came across a fellow hiker, he said, “keep going, you’re almost there…3 miles more”. We all agreed and continued. I am not sure if we were given inaccurate estimations or if we simply, missed the exit, got lost? But we finally came to the end of the hike at around 4:30pm. Coming across a sign listing the different trails, we estimated our hike to be more than 8 miles long.
I’m sure the others would agree when I say, it was one of the longest and most exhausting hikes I’d ever completed.
In the end, it was also one of the most rewarding. I loved the scenery! We came across it all, banana slugs, poison oak, a swarm of bees :p I recommend the park to anyone interested in taking a hike, whether it be a mile long or eight miles, it’s a great place to get a workout in! My next goal is to try mountain biking!
Anyone interested in visiting the park, visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=666
They describe the parks as the following:
With over 30 miles of trails, hiking, jogging and biking are some of the activities to be enjoyed here. Picnic tables and barbecue pits are available. A trail camp is located six miles from the nearest parking lot.