» Official Brochure: Official Trail Map with details of both Forest of Nisene Marks and Soquel Demonstration Forest. The area close to Entrance Station in Forest of Nisene Marks is shown enlarged. Trail lengths are missing in this map.
» PeasePress Map: Trails of Santa Cruz: Excellent quality map showing various parks in the Santa Cruz area.
To Maple Falls (3.9 miles): From George's Picnic Area, follow Aptos Creek Fire Road (1.3 miles) → left on Loma Prieta Grade (0.6 miles) → right on Bridge Creek Trail (1.3 miles) to Bridge Creek Historic Site. Continue along an unnamed trail leading to Maple Falls (0.7 miles).
To Sand Point Overlook (5.1 miles): From Maple Falls, retrace your steps along the unnamed trail (0.7 miles) to return to Bridge Creek Historic Site. Turn right onto Loma Prieta Grade (1.4 miles) → right on Ridge Connection Trail (0.5 miles) → right on Big Stump Gap Trail (0.4 miles) → right on West Ridge Trail (1.6 miles) → right on Hinckley Basin Fire Road (0.5 miles) to junction with Aptos Creek Fire Road. Continue along Aptos Creek Fire Road. Within a short distance, Sand Point Overlook is on the left.
To Five Finger Falls (4.1 miles): From Sand Point Overlook, continue going east along Aptos Creek Fire Road (1.0 miles) → turn left on White's Lagoon Road / Big Slide Trail (2.2 miles) → left on Aptos Creek Trail (0.9 miles) to Five Finger Falls.
To George's Picnic Area (6.5 miles): From Five Finger Falls, retrace your steps along Aptos Creek Trail (0.9 miles) to junction with Big Slide Trail. Continue along Aptos Creek Trail (3.0 miles) to 'Bottom of the Incline'. Turn left on Aptos Creek Fire Road and follow the road all the way to George's Picnic Area. Sequence of junctions along Aptos Creek Fire Road: (0.8 miles) Mill Pond Trail → (0.2 miles) Loma Prieta Mill Site → (0.3 miles) Loma Prieta Trail → (0.2 miles) Porter Trail on left → (0.5 miles) Porter Trail on left → George's Picnic Area (0.6 miles).
- A short section of Aptos Creek Fire Road may be replaced by Porter Trail, which is a gorgeous single track hiking trail through forest (see trail map for its location). Porter Trail requires a couple of creek crossings without bridges. Going north, the first crossing is very close to Aptos Creek Fire Road. If it looks challenging, you may retrace your steps back to Aptos Creek Fire Road and walk along the fire road, bypassing Porter Trail (see trail map for details).
- Bridge Creek Trail is absolutely gorgeous in winters, after rains. It is lush green with vegetation.
- The trail that meanders along Bridge Creek to reach Maple Falls has no bridges. It switches banks about 10 to 12 times, making it a fun hike when the creek is flowing with water! You are bound to get wet. At some of the crossings, we had to use our hands to cross the creek. The water level was never over 12 inches in January 2011.
- Aptos Creek Fire Road is wide fire road, shaded throughout. Even though this is a fire road, the abundance of tall trees all along make it no less pleasant than single track trails.
- In December 2009, Big Slide Trail and Aptos Creek Trail were clear but looked unmaintained. We felt we were in wilderness.