Bay Area Hiking
San Mateo County Parks
This 467-acre county park is located in the lower eastern foothills
of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Redwood City. It's at the southeast corner
of Edgewood Road and I-280. Pulgas Ridge OSP is just to the north across
Edgewood Road. Edgewood County Park's serpentine grasslands have some of
the best springtime wildflower displays in the Bay Area. 8 miles of trails
run through the park, reaching a high point of 872 feet. The trails lead
through shady fern-covered canyons, open grasslands, and the central forested
ridge. Here is some information about the wildflowers
and birds at Edgewood.
Huddart County Park is located on the eastern slopes of the
Santa Cruz Mountains above the town of Woodside. Its main entrance is on
King's Mountain Road, just above Woodside Road. It is near Wunderlich County
Park, but is much more developed. It has picnic areas, a playground, playing
fields, an amphitheatre, an archery range, a nature trail, and a group
campground. It is a popular recreation area. The developed areas can get
crowded on weekends. However, miles of trails lead into the shady canyons
and forests, with fewer crowds the higher you go. The trails go all the
way to Skyline Blvd.
Here are some Huddart
County Park trails.
Creek County Park
This 6,486-acre park is the largest of the 3 county parks that make
up the Pescadero Creek Complex. It's even twice as largest as adjacent
Portola State Park. There are 40 miles of trails here, many of which connect
to other nearby parks. It has 2 trail camps for backpackers making long
hikes through the area. This is a diverse area consisting of oak woodlands,
grassy meadows, and shady second-growth redwood forests.
- Sam McDonald
Sam McDonald county park is part of the Pescadero Creek Complex. It
was named after Sam McDonald, a popular employee at Stanford University
who once owned the land. It's a 1003-acre park along La Honda, Pescadero,
and Alpine roads. It's a shady park, mostly covered by second-growth redwood
forests. A number of giant old-growth redwoods are also preserved here,
particularly in the Heritage Grove along cool, shady Alpine Creek next
to Alpine Road. Trails lead through the forests and connect with adjacent
parks, allowing long hiking trips. A hiker's hut, set up by the Sierra
Club, is on a ridge on the Towne Trail at the south end of the park.
Giant redwoods along Heritage Grove Trail, Sam McDonald County Park
Here is a QTVR
of the Heritage Grove Trail. Here is another.
- San Mateo
County Memorial Park
This is one of several contiguous parks in the Pescadero
Creek Watershed. The others are Sam McDonald, Pescadero, and Portola. Memorial
Park is one of the best places to go camping. It's located alongside Pescadero
Creek. The creek is dammed up in a couple of places forming summer swimming
and wading areas. The park is shaded by redwoods, with a few large old-growth
trees. The park can be reached by taking Woodside Road to La Honda Road
past the famous little mountain town of La Honda, then to Pescadero Creek
Road. It can also be reached by a less winding route from the coastline
by taking Hwy 1 to Pescadero Creek Road past the little towns of Pescadero
and Loma Mar. Memorial Park has some of the best campgrounds in the
area, including 2 large group camps. Trails lead down along Pescadero Creek
and up to Mt. Ellen. Large second-growth redwoods and a few huge old growth
redwoods shade the trails.
Pedro Valley County Park
This 1300-acre park is located in the coastal town of Pacifica, south
of San Francisco. The park extends up into the western slopes of the Santa
Cruz Mountains. It's mostly covered with coastal scrub and chaparral, with
some grassy areas and creekside trees. San Pedro Creek flows through the
park and provides spawning areas for steelhead trout. Brooks Falls flows
in the wet months and drops 175 feet. The park has a visitor's center,
with display on the human and natural history of the area. Trails, some
steep, lead up into the mountains.
This popular paved, multi-access trail runs along the eastern edge
of Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir and San Andreas Lake. There are beautiful
views along this trail of the lakes and Santa Cruz Mountains, but access
to the lakeshores is prevented by a fence.
Wunderlich County Park is located above the town of Woodside,
just off Woodside Road. It is on land that was an estate owned by an heir
to the Folger's coffee fortune. The park is on steep hillsides that run
up the eastern slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains. These were once covered
with redwoods, but were logged heavily a century ago. The redwoods have
grown back, providing deep shade to many of the trails. See Wunderlich
County Park trails.
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Ron Horii, San Jose
Created 10/8/97. Last update: 7/12/98