The Soquel Demonstration State Forest is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, after a lengthy closure due to winter storms. Since the closure, road repairs have been completed and roadways have been cleared of fallen trees and debris.
Work is ongoing, so visitors will see trucks and heavy equipment in various locations in the forest. CAL FIRE requests that visitors not block fire lanes or gates and maintain posted speed limits.
Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) is situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains north of Soquel and the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The property was originally part of an 1844 Mexican land grant addition to Rancho Soquel. The property was logged regularly until the State took ownership in 1988. Today, the forest allows for public access and is managed for sustainable timber production, research, educational activities, public recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.
Located along Soquel Creek and including portions of Amaya Creek and Fern Gulch Creek, the forest contains coast redwoods, Douglas fir, mixed hardwoods, and chaparral. Several natural springs and small marshes are found in closed depressions in the park known as sag ponds.
It is anticipated that mornings will be the least crowded times to visit.
Information for Mountain Bicyclists
Any trail ride from the parking area covers at least 10 miles and over 2,000 feet of climbing.
Give yourself plenty of time to get out before dusk.
Riders can be ticketed for being in the forest after dark.
The climb out from the end of any single-track trail is 3 to 4 miles uphill along Hihn’s Mill Road to the parking area.
Bring plenty of water and snacks.
There is no drinking water at SDSF.
Be attentive and ride within your limits to avoid injuries.
SDSF is very remote and help can take a long time to arrive if you have difficulties.
It’s always a good idea to ride with others.
Make sure your equipment is in good repair and carry tools and parts you might need.
Pack your trash, bury your waste, and leave no trace.
Know and follow all the SDSF rules or you may be cited.
No fires of any kind, including campfires, barbeques, or portable gas stoves.
No electric bikes, pedal-assist bikes, motorcycles, or segways are allowed.
Soquel Demonstration Forest
29400 Highland Way, Los Gatos, CA 95033
Photo courtesy of CAL FIRE