Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) is situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains along California’s central coast (see maps below). The Forest is located along the East Branch of Soquel Creek and includes portions of Amaya Creek and Fern Gulch Creek. It contains nearly 2,700 acres of redwood, mixed hardwoods, riparian and chaparral ecosystems.
SDSF is one of eight Demonstration State Forests managed by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). These eight State Forests cover a total of 71,000 acres in California and are used primarily for forestry education, research, recreation and the demonstration of sustained-yield timber management. Revenue from the sale of the timber funds the management of the State Forests.
Soquel Forest is geologically active, with the San Andreas and Zayante Faults passing through the property. Associated with the Forest’s geologic activity are several natural springs and small marshes found in closed depressions, known as sag ponds.
SDSF is unique because it is the only State Forest located near large urban areas. Its proximity to the metropolitan centers of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area provide excellent opportunities for “hands-on” forestry education and outdoor recreation while demonstrating a “working forest” to the public.
Recreational visitors enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. There is only one portable restroom just inside the yellow gate at the main entrance off of Highland Way and there is no developed potable water source in the Forest so please bring your own drinking water. Hours for use are dawn to dusk; day use only. Mountain bikes and horses need to stay on mapped trails or roads. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash. No smoking or fires of any kind are allowed in the Forest. No firearms or motorized vehicles are allowed in the Forest. Electric bicycles (including all classes) are not allowed.
Photo: Bruce Dorman
Conduct research in forestry and natural resource management, including the benefits and risks of forest operations in watersheds close to urban areas. Serve as a laboratory for in-house projects and encourage research by other agencies, interest groups, and educational institutions.
Disseminate information obtained from the State Forest to appropriate individuals in an effective and timely manner.
It is a great way to connect with this special state forest that’s in your neighborhood and to learn about sustainable forest management.
We hope to see you there!
Soquel Demonstration State Forest Highland Parking Area 29400 Highland Way Los Gatos, CA 95033