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  • Van Eck Tree

    Van Eck Tree

  • Lichen on Branches – Aptos Rancho Trail

    Lichen on Branches - Aptos Rancho Trail

  • Terrace Connector Trail

    Terrace Connector Trail

  • Terrace Trail Giant

    Terrace Trail Giant

  • Twisted Grove

    Twisted Grove

  • Big Leaved Maple

    Big Leaved Maple

Upcoming Events

Forest News

Flower of the Week

Flower of the Week

Flowers are mostly dormant this time of year. Their berries are forming to get ready for next season. You can also look under Park Info tab, Flora and Fauna in Nisene to see and learn more about our amazing native forest flowers.

Hike, bike, run and enjoy!

Animals in the Forest!

Animals in the Forest!

Animals of the Forest: Have a hoot of a time
by Melanie Dominguez

When you think about the animals in Nisene Marks, forest owls may not come up to mind right away. Bobcats, mountain lions, racoons, and such usually get all the glory. But we cannot forget our avian friends. Owls have been quite active lately since it is mating time for them. It always seems like such a treat to see an owl for we know them to be mainly nocturnal (most species we have), very cryptic, an illusive. Nisene has several owls to see and the best timing is early morning just after sunrise and at dusk before sunset (I say that for park hours are sunrise to sunset and I should not tell you to go at other times). I have seen 3 different species in the past 6 weeks in the park: the Great Horned Owl, Western Screech Owl, and the adorable Northern Saw Whet Owl (my favorite bird).

While strolling around the forest don’t forget to look up and around in the trees for a silhouette of an owl in the trees. Keep your eyes and ears open especially near sunrise and sunset for hoots or screeching sounds. It will be a rare treat, one you will not forget. Barn owls and Great Horned owls can be seen in the dirt lot near the entrance to Nisene Marks near sunset and at dusk so take the time to look. Also have a hoot and don’t pollute while you venture into the forest. Enjoy the birds.



Porter House. Those of you who have wandered up the Loma Prieta Grade Trail recently have no doubt seen the interpretive panel at Porter House Site. If you're a long time county resident or even a recent arrival to the area, you may recognize the Porter family in the place names of Santa Cruz County – Porter Gulch Road near Cabrillo College, Porter Street and the Porter Memorial Library in Soquel, Porter College at UCSC and the Porter House Site in the Forest of Nisene Marks.  Read More.

Image and Video Gallery

Fall Scenes
Photos of Fall
Porter House
Advocates Volunteers
Photos of Spring
Images of the Forest
Park’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
Images of the Past