Happy Trails: Hiking in the Bay Area

by on April 9, 2014


by Rhonda Press
Guest Author, Rhonda Press, is an Adult Program Coordinator at the PJCC and an avid Hiker.

I happen to love hiking.  Being out in nature restores my soul.  Living in San Mateo County, we are lucky to have many miles of hiking trails.  There are hikes that are more like city hikes and others that will take you deep into the redwood forests.  I’ll share 3 of my favorite hikes plus one that is brand new.

Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve is located in Redwood City and is right off Edgewood Road between Alameda and Highway 280.  There is a formal park entrance with a parking lot but you can also park just immediately west of the 280 overpass at Edgewood

Road and begin your hike from there. Once inside the park you can look at the trail maps at the kiosk and decide on your hike.  I love this park because it has a combination of shaded forest trails and open trails in the meadow.  I like the Franciscan Trail that turns into the Ridgeview Loop to the Serpentine Loop Trail.  This whole loop is about 2.5 miles.  Along the Franciscan Loop Trail, you’ll find a bench that overlooks the meadow.  In the spring time, expect to see a wide array of wildflowers.  Bring your binoculars to check out the stunning Western Blue Bird.  For their free docent led wildflower and bird walks, go to friendsofedgewood.org/events for details.

Another special hike that I enjoy is at the Cowell Ranch Beach in Half Moon Bay.  Take Highway 92 to Highway 1.  Turn south on Highway 1 and in 3.2 miles, you’ll see the parking lot for the beach on the right.  Hike in about .3 miles and you will come to a long staircase that takes you down to a lovely beach.  Often times, we are the only people there when we go.  Maybe it’s the long staircase!  When you come up the stairs, be sure to walk to the south end of the bluff and look for the many seals sleeping on the rocks. On the weekends, you can also take the hike from the bluff  through privately owned farm land.  It is about 3 miles long to reach the end and then you’d need to hike back 3 miles but well worth it!

Recently, I rediscovered Huddart Park. It is located at 1100 Kings Mountain Road in Woodside. You do have to pay $6 to enter this park but you have many hikes to choose from and picnicking areas too. I took the Crystal Springs Trail to the Dean Trail and hiked this 5 mile loop.  There is definitely some uphill climb but it was a very pleasant hike filled with redwoods, firs, oaks, madrones, and laurel trees.  The trees provide nice shade on hot days.

Finally, on March 28, 2014 the brand new Devil’s Slide Trail opened using the abandoned part of Highway 1.  This trail was created since the opening of the Tom Lantos Tunnels at Devil’s Slide.  The trail boasts spectacular views of the ocean.  It is 1.3 miles long and is a multi-use trail for hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.  There is limited parking at the northern and southern end of the trail on Highway 1.  The trail has numerous benches, 3 lookout points and 10 interpretive panels placed at key points along the trail to provide visitors with information.  What a great place to take out of town visitors!

Happy trails!  Hope you enjoy these hikes!

Interested in more hikes? The PJCC offers a special hiking series called “Outside These Walls” where you can benefit from the expertise of Deborah Newbrun, Bay Area Regional Director of Hazon and a noted Jewish environmental educator for nature hikes at local parks. — Spring 2014


One thought on “Happy Trails: Hiking in the Bay Area

  1. Kimberly

    Thanks for these great tips Rhonda. I haven’t been on any of these hikes, but you make me want to try them all.


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