Although the homes of the redwood-studded enclave of Kings Mountain are spread out, residents say the community is very tight-knit.
"There's a feeling of espirt de corps in the neighborhood," says Carol Forster, a resident since 1966.
The higher altitude on Kings Mountain can lead to more severe weather than in other parts of the region, but life in the well-appointed community among the redwoods attracts a wide range of residents.
"We were cautioned about the weather patterns and do get more rain and wind than San Mateo does, but the atmosphere, views and greenery more than make up for it," Mrs. Forster says. "Some people have simply wonderful views of the Peninsula and the ocean."
The neighborhood attracts hikers and Sierra Club enthusiasts who "are quite invested in nature," she says. Nonetheless, residents don't sacrifice community investment to live in the low-density community. Among community organizations are the Kings Mountain Association, a monthly newspaper called The Echo, and a resident-run volunteer fire brigade that protects Kings Mountain.
A Yahoo group keeps the community connected, where residents can post neighborhood updates or ask for help with issues. Whether a tree has fallen, a resident has welcomed a new baby or a resident has put out the word about something up for sale, Kings Mountain residents keep informed, Mrs. Forster says.
Sheena Mawson, former president of the Kings Mountain Association, also praises the Yahoo group. "Recently someone needed a ride to the airport and in less than 30 minutes they had a ride arranged, just by asking for help on the board," she says. "I love knowing that if there were ever a crisis, the community would come together and get through it together."
According to Ms. Mawson, cell reception, Internet connections and reliable cable were sometimes difficult to find on the Mountain in the past, but service access has improved. Power outages can still be a problem, Mrs. Forster notes.
What the area lacks in reliable cell reception residents make up for with community events, they said. The Mawsons say the Kings Mountain Association hosts five major events each year: a Halloween Party, a holiday party featuring Santa, spring brunch, an annual dinner, and a summer barbeque, which kicks off the Kings Mountain Art Fair.
The Art Fair is hosted in Kings Mountain over the Labor Day weekend to benefit the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade, the award-winning elementary school in Cabrillo School District and the Kings Mountain Association, Mrs. Forster says. The all-volunteer event features paintings, jewelry and ceramics from a variety of artists who are selected by an art fair jury.
Between the natural beauty of the area and the array of community activities and cooperation, residents of Kings Mountain say they love where they live.
"We're all very proud of where we live," Mrs. Forster says.
-- Kelly Jones
CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOLS: Kings Mountain Children's Center at Kings Mountain School, 211 Swett Road, Woodside
FIRE STATION: CDF Skylonda Station, 17290 Skyline Blvd., Woodside; Kings Mountain Fire Brigade, 13889 Skyline Blvd., Woodside
LOCATION: surrounding Skyline Boulevard and Kings Mountain Road around Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Kings Mountain Association, Sheena Mawson, president, 650-346-9993
PARK: Huddart County Park, 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside; Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, Skyline Boulevard, Half Moon Bay
Cabrillo Unified School District -- Kings Mtn. Elementary School, 211 Swett Road, Woodside; Cunha Intermediate School, Kelly Avenue and Church Street, Half Moon Bay; Half Moon Bay High School, Half Moon Bay
Woodside Elementary School District -- Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside
Sequoia Union High School District -- Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside
SHOPPING: Crystal Springs Shopping Center, Half Moon Bay shopping district, Woodside
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $695,000 ($460,000-$1,326,000)