Experiencing the lush hills, breathtaking views and crisp air, only a few minutes away makes the hiking trail in Silicon Valley and the rest of the Bay Area a favorite destination for a quick weekend getaway.
Finding Your Hiking Trail
Sure, a name like The Association of Bay Area Governments doesn't immediately strike most people as a veritable cornucopia of fun, but they publish their impressive guided photo tours of Bay Area waterfront trails, previewing some of the most amazing views of Silicon Valley and the surrounding areas for you.
This map from their San Francisco Bay Trail Guide Photo Tours site shows exactly how complete their coverage is and how close you can be to that outdoor escape you've been hoping for.
Another complete site for people looking to take in some sunshine is the San Francisco Bay Area Hiker page which guides anyone from weekend walkers to distance trekkers on where the Bay Area's favorite trails are.
They also have photo tours but also a wide-array of detailed nature and wildlife pictures that demonstrate a lot of the wonder of some of the natives you could run into.
I have a couple favorite trails. When I'm at the Mariners Point driving range (one of my top picks) in Foster City, I like to head up to the San Mateo Bridge, watching the windsurfers along the way. It's an easy walk usually with a brisk but comfortable wind and the path is completely paved for bikers. I say bikers because I've rollerbladed the trail a few times and, on eight wheels glued to your feet, you begin to think that the pavement is actually the surface of the moon.
My other favorite is way up in the Palo Alto Hills at Skyline Ridge. The picture doesn't do it justice. You take Page Mill road all the way up a video game-like two-lane road winding up the mountain side. There are a few hairpin curves that would make the best Formula 1 racers think twice. Up the hill you catch glimpses of the entire Silicon Valley from the domes at Moffett Field to the Stanford tower if you've got your eagle eyes on that day.
On the trail, take the San Andreas Trail and have a look at the fence that sits on the fault line. The four foot break in the fence shows plate tectonics in action.