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Enjoy this park's dense redwood forest, clear creeks, deep canyons and spectacular waterfall.
Fossilized seashells can be found in the exposed creekbeds of Aptos and Bridge creeks, a reminder that 3 to 5 millions of years ago this area was covered by an inland sea.
The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is named for Nisene Marks, the mother of a farming family from Salinas who purchased 9,700 acres in the hopes of finding oil below the ground. Their efforts to find oil a failure, the family donated the land to the state of California in 1963. California State Parks eventually expanded the area to its current 10,063 acre size.
Most of the land that the park occupies was once clear cut for logging, and as you walk through the park, you can still see evidence of logging operations, mills, and trestles. The Loma Prieta earthquake that shook the Bay Area on October 17, 1989 was centered here. A hike to the location of the epicenter is one of the most popular trails within the park.