Photo of the Week: Forest of Nisene Marks

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park has some good dirt roads for long rides.

I haven’t ridden on Aptos Creek Fire Road, located in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park near Aptos since 2003, so I decided to check it out.

I rode from home and stopped to see the Highland Way slide repair on my way. It doesn’t look like it will last through the next winter.

Highland Way slide repair in 2011. It's almost an annual occurrence here.

As I entered Buzzard Lagoon Road at the crest of Highland Way where it becomes Eureka Canyon Road I reflected on past Jobst Rides. We affectionately called this the “Forest of Obscene Remarks” ride. And rightly so. Originally the name could be attached to the challenge of riding bikes through Aptos Creek. Later it became infamous for crashes. I was hit head-on in 1995 and Brian Cox was mangled in a crash in the early 2000s.

At my advanced age I wisely took the mountain bike. The section at the start of Aptos Creek Fire Road before the park gate is extremely rocky. Over the past 30 years riding here I’ve seen erosion take its toll on the road. It’s still doable on a road bike in this section for the young and strong, with difficulty.

The rest of the descent to the unsigned Hinckley Basin Fire Road at the Sand Point Overlook (park benches and a clearing) went well and looks to be in good shape. I headed down Hinckley Fire Road. It takes forever but eventually you’ll ford Olive Springs, Hinckley Creek, and finally the mighty Soquel Creek.

I had forgotten this part of the ride, last done in 1995 after my head-on. I managed to ride across Olive Springs, but had to do the rock walk routine to cross the other creeks. Soquel is deep and it’s a good thing there was a rock walkway here.

Back on Olive Springs Road, I headed downhill for a mile to San Jose Soquel Road and then back home up the long grind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: