The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of California, located in the Anderson Valley region of Mendocino County. It was named after Nisene Marks, a pioneer woman who accompanied her husband and children into the wilderness to establish an agricultural colony there. The park contains many coast redwood trees, some of which are over 1000 years old. There are more than 200 species of birds that can be observed within this park. Because it is surrounded by private property with no public access, the park is closed off from the general public except for special events such as music festivals and tree plantings. However, visitors can drive onto the grounds and walk around during these times. In total, The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park encompasses 3,936 acres (1,593ha).
On November 7, 2016, a fire started on Tubbs Lane, east of Leggett Creek Road in Mendocino County. This resulted in damage to much of the forest including the main campground area. A second fire starting on December 6 burned through most of the rest of the forest destroying 18 homes and killing two people. Investigators determined that both fires were set intentionally by a group of four men. One man was arrested for arson while another was charged with murder. The fourth person fled to Canada where he remains at large.
As a result of the destruction caused by the fires, the remaining campsites at The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park will remain closed until further notice. Those interested in camping out in the open field/grass area south of Highway 1 may use one of several alternative camping sites in the nearby town of Mendocino. These include the Yew Campground, Big River Group Camping Area, or the non-camping Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
Visitors needing transport to and from these locations must have their own vehicle since the only means of getting to them is via road blocked by the highway 1 bridge toll plaza. Additionally, due to dangerous conditions, swimming in Lake Mendocino is not permitted.No hunting is allowed in the park.
Other activities include:
- horseback riding
- cross-country skiing
- wildlife viewing
- limited environmental education programs
- black-tailed deer
- gray foxes
- harbor seals
- mountain lions