Palo Alto Online Database last updated: Monday, May 6, 2013.|
Ano Nuevo State Preserve
Hwy. 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, Elephant seal rookery, tour with guides in winter; walk is 3 miles over sandy, uneven terrain. Reservations always recommended, required from Dec. 15-March 31. Viewing available 8 a.m.-sunset. Call 800-444-4445 for reservations, 650-879-2025 for park office; 650-879-0227 for recorded information.
Bay Area Orienteering Club
Sport of navigation with map and compass, coupled with walking or running. Usually meets Sundays from 9 a.m.-noon at various parks around Bay Area. Fees range. Families welcome. Instruction provided for beginners.
Bedwell Bayfront Park
Intersection of Marsh Road and Bayfront Expressway, Menlo Park. Large open space for biking, walking, hiking, birdwatching and home of the Annual Kite Day. Open daily 7 a.m.-dusk. Call 650-330-2223.
Shoreline Blvd. between Crittenden Lane and North Road, Mtn. View. This 27-acre site has 3/4 mile of trails leading to a panoramic view of Stevens Creek, Moffett Field and parts of Mountain View. Site contains native grasses and gravel paths. No dogs allowed. size: 27 acres. Call 650-903-6326.
Edgewood County Park and Preserve
Edgewood and Old Stage roads, Redwood City. The 467 acres of woodlands and grasslands of Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve are famous for their magnificent displays of wildflowers each spring. Five trails, meadow area, amphitheater, three drop-in family picnic areas, restrooms. No dogs, bikes or smoking. Open year round 8 a.m. to sunset; closing time varies by time of year. Reservations can be made online, phone or in person. size: 467 acres. Call 650-368-6283; for reservation desk, 650-363-4021.
86 Canada Road, Woodside. Property includes 654-acres, 36,000-square-foot country house and 16-acre English Renaissance garden and a cafˇ. Hours are Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (last entry 2:30 p.m.) Sun 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tours $15/adults, $12/seniors, $5/student, children under 5 free. Self-guided tours and guided tours (by reservation). size: 654 acres. Call 650-364-8300.
Hiking San Francisco
A community site for Bay Area hiking, with information on hikes and hiking groups in the South Bay, East Bay, North Bay and San Francisco. Also on the site are links to hiking blogs, hiking gear, articles about Northern California nature and wildlife, national parks, trails and hikes.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
330 Distel Circle, Los Altos. A regional greenbelt system in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is comprised of more than 60,000 acres of land in 26 open-space preserves protected for public enjoyment, making a preserve system of diverse and unparalleled beauty in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Preserves are free to explore from dawn to dusk. Call 650-691-1200.
Palo Alto Baylands Preserve
2775 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. Bounded by Mountain View and East Palo Alto, the 1,940-acre Baylands Preserve is one of the largest tract of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Fifteen miles of multi-use trails provide access to a mixture of tidal and freshwater habitats. Considered one of the best bird-watching areas on the West Coast. Open 8 a.m. to sunset. Call 650-329-2506.
Pescadero Creek Park Complex
9500 Pescadero Creek Road, Loma Mar. This vast parkland of 8,020 acres is comprised of Sam McDonald, Memorial and Heritage Grove parks. This is a diverse area consisting of oak woodlands, grassy meadows and shady second-growth redwood forests. Trail camps, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding allowed on designated trails. Fishing, hunting and pets are not allowed. Park open 8 a.m. to sunset. size: 8,020 acres. Call 650-879-0238.
Pescadero State Beach and National Preserve
14.5 miles south of Half Moon Bay on State Hwy. 1. Free guided tours of beach, bluffs and inland waterways by the coast, with California Park System docents. Sandy coves, rocky cliffs, tide pools, fishing spots and picnic facilities. Birdwatching at preserve. Dogs, beach fires and fireworks are prohibited. Part of a string of beach parks along San Mateo County Coast, from Ano Nuevo to Montara. Call 650-879-2170.
Santa Clara County Parks
Santa Clara County offers many opportunities for the hiker who loves a rugged trail, as well as for those who prefer smoother, paved roads and paths.
Sawyer Camp Trail
San Mateo through Millbrae. The trail is one of the most popular trails in the San Mateo Country Parks department. Enter off Skyline Boulevard at Crystal Springs Road, San Mateo (along Crystal Springs Reservoir, north of Hwy. 92). Six-mile linear asphalt walkway for hiking, jogging, bicycling and equestrians; mileage marked every half-mile. Dogs are not permitted in San Mateo County Parks. Smoking is not permitted on the trail. Water available at the North (Hillcrest) entrance and at the 3-mile mark. Call 650-589-4294.
SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge
1 Marshlands Road, Fremont. Offers free, interpretive walks and programs on natural history of the San Francisco Baylands at the Fremont Visitor Center or the Alviso Environmental Educational Center (weekends 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) Park open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Trails, fishing and bird hunting. size: 30,000 acres. Call 510-792-0222; 408-262-5513 (center).
Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter
3921 E. Bayshore Road Ste. 204, Palo Alto. The chapter has 18,000 members in three counties. Variety of hiking and outdoor experiences, including backpacking, singles groups, whitewater paddling. Three regional groups and 12 activities sections plan hiking, day trips, social activities. Operates Hiker's Hut in Sam MacDonald County Park, La Honda, which accommodates up to 14 per night by reservation only. Call 650-390-8411.
Stanford Avenue & Junipero Serra Boulevard, A network of paths in and around the Stanford foothills west of Junipero Serra Boulevard offers opportunities for hillside trail runs and hikes. The most popular route is a 3.5-mile loop up to the giant radio telescope known as the Dish, with entrance at Stanford Avenue. Access to foothills limited to daylight hours. No pets. Call 650-926-0275.
Stevens Creek Trail
Mtn. View. This 4.8-mile, paved, all-weather pathway runs from Shoreline Park to El Camino. Provides users with woodlands, tidal marshes and city neighborhood parks. The trail has easy connections to major bus routes and Caltrain. Open from dawn to dusk. Dogs are allowed on leash from El Camino to Crittenden Trail head; none are allowed beyond it. Call 408-255-5780.
Permanente Creek and Amphitheater Parkway, Mtn. View. This 65-acre site is part of Shoreline at Mountain View. The 1.5 miles of trails lead to one of Mountain View's most spectacular viewing areas of the South Bay that includes Stanford's Hoover Tower, nearby marshes, Shoreline Golf Links and, on clear days, the San Francisco skyline. Parking is available across Amphitheatre Parkway at Charleston Park or in Shoreline at Mountain View. No dogs are allowed on Vista Slope. size: 65 acres. Call 650-903-6392.
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
12 miles of trails. Starts on Portola Road, .8 miles from intersection of Alpine and Portola roads. (See also Open Space Areas.) Free docent-led activities. Interactive map available on website. size: 1,335 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Wunderlich County Park
4040 Woodside Road, Woodside. Southwest of the town of Woodside. This historic 900-acre park offers miles of trails through redwood forests and madrone-covered hillsides for both hiking and horseback riding. Lots of equestrian traffic. Dogs are not permitted in San Mateo County Parks. Park opens at 8 a.m. and closes prior to sunset. size: 942 acres. Call 650-851-1210.