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Wild Recovery
San Jose, California
March 21, 2015
Soquel Demonstation Forest
Santa Cruz County
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Soquel Demonstration Forest
March 21, 2015
Host: Mary & Kent


The Place

Demonstration State Forests (DSF) are parcels of timberlands purchased by the State of California and administered by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). These forests are used primarily for the demonstration of sustained-yield timber management, education, research and recreation. The DSF are healthy, active, living forests providing a variety of benefits. The forests’ multiple uses conserve and protect wildlife, fisheries, vegetation, soil, watershed and aesthetic values. Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF), dedicated in 1990, is the first state forest to be added to the system since 1949. The Forest is located along the East Branch of Soquel Creek and includes portions of Amaya Creek and Fern Gulch Creek. It contains nearly 2700 acres of redwood, mixed hardwoods, riparian and chaparral ecosystems. The State Forest is geologically active; the San Andreas and Zayante Faults pass through the property. The epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake is approximately 2 miles south of the Forest, in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.


Associated with the Forest’s geologic activity are some natural springs found in closed depressions, known as sag ponds. The SDSF is unique because it is the only State Forest located close to large urban areas (the metropolitan centers of San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas). Its proximity to these larger population centers provides excellent opportunities for “hands on” forestry education and outdoor recreation. It also demonstrates a “working forest” to the public.


• Restore & enhance the natural resources within the Forest, including watershed protection

• Provide public recreation uses that are consistent with protection of SDSF

• Develop a forestry education program for the public, schools and interested organizations

• Demonstrate sustained-yield timber harvesting sufficient to cover forest operations and management costs

• Protect old-growth redwood trees

• Research the benefits and risks of forest operations close to urban areas


Walking the Walk

Level: 2 - Miles: 4.5 - Elevation: 770'

This is an out and back hike. We will take Hihn’s Mill Road Trail to the junction with Sulpher Springs Road. We will have our meeting close to the junction. We will return the way we came.

The SDSF covers rugged terrain, in a fairly inaccessible area. Please be safety-conscious at all times. Travel with others whenever possible and let someone know of your plans. CAUTION: Poison oak and ticks are common throughout the forest.


Know Before You Go

There is no developed water source in the Forest so please bring your own water with you. Bring something to spread out and sit on (such as a tarp) as we will have our meeting in a wooded area where poison oak and ticks may be plentiful.

We will be having our business meeting after this short and fairly strenuous hike.

Hike start time promptly at 10am



Take Highway 17 South. Exit Summit Road and go left. Drive approximately 4 miles on Summit Road, at which point Summit Road turns into Highland Way; continue on Highland Way. At the junction with Mount Bache turn right and then quickly left at Spanish Ranch Road to remain on Highland. Continue on Highland about another 4.3 miles, the park will be signed and on your right. Drive over the bridge and into the parking lot where we will meet at the trail head.

Drive time: 50 minutes - Parking Free - Dogs Allowed on a leash to protect wildlife

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