Mindego Hill from Russian Ridge OSP

Bay Area Hiking

McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park


Heritage Grove, Sam McDonald County Park

I never used to hike much. At most, I was more of a stroller than a hiker. However, when my doctor told me to get more exercise, I started hiking more after work and on weekends at nearby parks and open space preserves. I soon discovered what a wonderful place the Bay Area is for hiking. The Santa Cruz and Diablo mountain ranges that rim the Bay and the Bay itself provide thousands of acres of public land and hundreds of miles of trails. Much of these are within easy access of the Bay Area cities, providing quick escapes for city-dwellers looking for exercise, great views, or peace and solitude. I wrote an essay about these open spaces. These areas are particularly beautiful after the winter rains start to green up the hills. I wrote about the green hills on another page. So far, I've mostly hiked around the South Bay and southern Peninsula. Eventually, I hope to explore the East Bay more, particularly the Mount Diablo area. Marin County has some particularly spectacular trails, especially around Mount Tamalpais and Point Reyes, so I hope to visit them on weekend trips. So here are some places for hiking and strolling in the Bay Area. I'll list these for now, and add details as I get to them.


Ridge Trail, Castle Rock State Park

Santa Clara County Parks and City Parks (with a major focus on Almaden Quicksilver and Santa Teresa County Parks)

State Parks

San Mateo County Parks

Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District Preserves

National Parks and Monuments

East Bay Parks

Two Great Programs for Bay Area Hiking

Other Hiking Links

Here are some of my personal ratings among the parks I've been to:

You can E-mail me with your own opinions, and I may publish them here.

Click here to read my essay on open space.
Click here to return to my Bay Area Back Pages Home Page

If you have comments, questions, tips, or suggestions, email me at RHORII@prodigy.net

Ron Horii, San Jose
Created 10/8/97. Last update: 8/1/98, migrated & repaired 7/29/11