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Best of Nisene

Intermediate
 4.1 (21) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A close to town loop offering new options to your Sand Point climb or just a way to have fun in town.


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Map Key

18.6

Miles

30.0

KM

15%

Singletrack

1,621' 494 m

High

76' 23 m

Low

1,951' 595 m

Up

1,945' 593 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Family Friendly Access to and from would probably be best from Epicenter Cycling in Aptos. However, this ride offers fun short loops with not much climbing and the best part is it's actually open to bikes!

No entering into Old Growth Loop, Oakridge or other hiking trails below Terrace Trail and off of Aptos Rancho Trail.

Overview

Great ride right from town and provides good elevation gain over a long distance. Even though Aptos Creek Road is a fire road, it feels more like singletrack as it has narrowed down from mainly bike use. Enjoy the beautiful old growth redwoods as you pedal your way to Sand Point lookout.

Need to Know

Bring proper gear for changing a tire flat because this loop totals over 14 miles. Also, make sure to bring a good amount of water and food. You'll have amazing views from the overlook on a clear day.

Description

Depending on where you start, you'll head N. on Soquel Avenue until you reach Vienna Drive. Head up Vienna Dr. all the way until you reach Wilshire Ave., take a left and where the roads end into a private drive you'll see signage for Vienna Woods Trail. Drop into Nisene Marks State Park from here.

You'll descend for a little less than a mile before you reach Terrace Trail and Vienna Woods Trail intersection. From here, you have options, even though on the State Park map the trail dead ends at the creek, crossings are possible from all trail locations at this time. Anyhow, I prefer to continue on Vienna Woods by taking a left. Almost immediately, Vienna Woods Trail will fork again at which you'll stay LEFT and continue down to the creek where there is an actual Bridge Crossing.

After crossing the creek, you'll be on Aptos Rancho Trail and can either continue up to Georges Picnic Area and Sand Point Overlook or you can head right and back down Aptos Rancho Trail into town for a shorter ride. All of these options are going to be easy aerobically with no technical riding except for a few redwood roots crossing the trail.

History & Background

Old logging road used back in the 19th century for hauling out California coastal redwood.

Contacts

Shared By:

Garritt Cusack with improvements by Eric Fischer and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 21 votes

#867

Overall
  4.1 from 21 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
48%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#133

in California

#867

Overall
105 Views Last Month
19,552 Since Sep 30, 2015
Intermediate

9%
5%
73%
5%
5%
5%

Photos

Sand point benches ocean view.
Apr 6, 2022 near Day Valley, CA
About 1 mile into the trail. Just got off the paved road and now this is the fire-road. Harder singletrack running parallel.
Sep 23, 2016 near Aptos, CA
Big redwood trees in the Forest of Nisene Marks
Jul 1, 2015 near Aptos, CA
Sand Point Overlook
Jul 1, 2015 near Day Valley, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 37 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jan 9, 2022
Jeremy Yamashiro
A little muddy at the bottom but beautiful! 20mi — 2h 53m
Jul 5, 2021
Brandon Fitzgerald
Black for Steepness, Green for terrain. The main fire road is a brutal climbing workout, but isn't the most fun for descending on a full squisher. 24mi — 5h 30m
May 26, 2020
Tessa Ramsay
Amazing uphill leg killer but worth the view and the down! 17mi
May 17, 2020
James Reavis
Amazing ride even in the rain. Got covered in mud! 16.8mi — 2h 11m
Sep 26, 2019
Marlena Sobel
From ranger station. Not including breaks. 16.3mi — 2h 40m
Jul 29, 2019
Jip Voshol
18.4mi
Jun 30, 2019
Vince Espo
Jun 30, 2019
Matthias Ikeda