Hoffman's Historic Site


Aptos Creek Fire Road to Loma Prieta Grade to Aptos Creek Fire Road
3.8 miles, 1.5 hours RT from Porter Picnic Area (closed to cars in winter); 6 miles, 2.5 hours RT from George's Picnic Area (open year-round)

History buffs will enjoy this modestly graded in-and-out trail, which follows the old railway bed into China Camp (now called Hoffman’s Historic Site), once the lodging place for some 100 loggers and mill workers. The cooks were Chinese—hence the original name—and there is rumored to have been a brothel there as well. (Hm, loggers, mill workers, prostitutes? Nah.)

Whether this is a simple jaunt or a mini-trek requiring an energy bar depends in part on the season. If the winter gate at the steel bridge is closed, then the closest you can park is George's Picnic Area (just before the steel bridge). During the dry season, you can park at the Porter Picnic Area, about a mile closer to the trailhead. The Loma Prieta Grade Trail peels off from the Aptos Creek Fire Road .4 miles from the Porter Picnic Area. Follow it off to the left and up the incline; 1.5 miles later you'll find your destination. Return the same way.

—Maria Grusauskas

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