Demonstration State Forest Reopens Following a Year of Restoration

After closing more than a year ago due to damage from seasonal winter storms, Soquel Demonstration State Forest has reopened, welcoming recreational visitors to over 2,500 acres and 32 miles of trails. The forest closed due to downed trees, mudslides and blocked roads and hiking trails. Since then, maintenance crews have been clearing debris and employing trail stewardship efforts to restore the park for visitors. 

Popular with equestrians and hikers, “Demonstration Forest” as it is commonly known is the prime location in the Bay Area for intermediate and advanced mountain bikers due to trails with long climbs and challenging technical descents – including a 15-mile single-track downhill ride. Most of the trails here cover at least 10 miles and climb over 2,000 feet; the climb out of any single-track trail is three to four miles uphill. This mid-county location, nestled inland from Aptos features coastal redwoods, Douglas-fir, mixed hardwood, chaparral, and riparian ecosystems along the East Branch of Soquel Creek and Amaya Creek. Several natural springs and small marshes are featured, and its location adjacent to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park offers expanded opportunities for recreation. The forest is geologically active, with the San Andreas and Zayante Faults passing through the property and the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake located approximately two miles south of Demonstration Forest.