New Zealand’s South Island is a hiker’s paradise and this blog shows you the top 10 most amazing day hikes on the South Island of New Zealand if you are an outdoor enthusiast. This is California, after all. You’ll pass near a number of exquisite hillside homes and catch some awesome views of the East Bay below. This trail is 3.4 miles one way—so enjoy the whole thing or turn around before you get too tired. It is a great place to escape the summer heat and get in a cool hike. 10 Best Hikes in Mammoth Lakes, California, 11 Best Hikes Near San Francisco, California, 11 Best Hikes Near Santa Cruz, California, 14 Best Hikes at Point Reyes National Seashore. This route is a couple of miles longer, but it is far less traveled and easier on the knees. Wildflowers, wild animals, and incredible views — this state park has it all. The nine-mile Purisima Creek & Whittemore Gulch Hike, with a 1,600 feet elevation, is not for the fainthearted. “This loop is regarded as one of the most beautiful hikes in the Bay Area,” says Stephen Herbert at The Outbound. Diablo is a bit more than that. (Courtesy of Tracey Myers) "McNee Ranch's Gray Whale Cove Trail has the best the Bay Area has to offer. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was his first backpacking foray, and he hasn’t stopped crushing miles since. Over the hills on the Bayview Trail, you’ll find ducks, geese and much more swimming in the shallow waters of the south end of the San Francisco Bay. Buy Best Easy Day Hikes South Bay L.A. (Best Easy Day Hikes Series): Read Kindle Store Reviews - Amazon.com A long, flat walk with endless scenery, the Alviso Slough Trail in Alviso Marina County Park is a peaceful getaway that’s only minutes from downtown San Jose and all of Silicon Valley. This walk will be around 2.5 hours, depending on how busy it … It has plenty of options to stop for a swim, a snack, or a refreshing beverage if the mood takes you. Sign up for our free email to join thousands of readers getting epic travel, hiking, camping and gear ideas every week. I've decided to compile a selection of the best day hikes that I've done. The route is graced on occasion by interpretive signage highlighting the historic mining operations which once took place in these hills, but the vast majority of the trek serves to remove you from civilization as you delve deeper into the forest. The inland marsh is home to a plethora of bird species, everything from migrating waterfowl to colorful orioles and hovering kites. So, without more suspense, here are, in our humble opinion, New Zealand's South Island best day hikes: 1. Montara Mountain’s North Peak summit is a fantastic sea to summit hike with Pacific Ocean views. One of the great things about living in the Bay Area is that we have a variety of microclimates nearby to escape to. It’s as simple as that. Prior to the shelter in place, the attraction of this preserve is certainly the Deer Hollow Farm, a working farm where visitors can come the farm animals such as goats, sheep, and cows. A simple walk around a peaceful lake can, at times, be the most soothing activity in the world. The hike winds through both the Muir Woods National Monument and Mount Tamalpais State Park. Elevation Gain: 2135 feet. Longer weekend hikes into the Bay Area’s cradling hillscapes can revitalize both body and mind with their natural settings and stellar views. See our, Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. If there was ever a time to get into hiking, this summer is it. But don’t worry, I’m not talking about intense rock climbing or backpacking out in the wild for hours. If you’re planning a trip to the South Bay from out of town, be sure to check out the best Airbnbs in San Jose. Enjoy views of San Francisco and beyond as you hike one of the four loops at San Bruno. There is also a beach to relax on during warm, sunny days. Fantastic Bay Area views and more trail options are your rewards for reaching the top of this hike. Territory Supply is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. While the farm is closed during this time, multiple wildlife like mountain lions, turkeys, and deers reportedly can still be spotted at Rancho. On clear days, you can catch spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and downtown San Francisco. With cooler temperatures and little threat of rain, hiking with your best friend offers a peaceful respite away from the hustle and bustle of the valley. The Seven Springs Loop Trail passes through a variety of terrains and ecosystems as it winds around elaborate estates and small wineries. We’ve laid out the best hikes near San Jose below. Located in the heart of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the Sequoia Trail is a trek underneath some of the tallest trees on Earth and features a lovely waterfall. Additional Information: Mission Peak East Bay Parks. City-dwellers need to escape the fast-paced hustle and bustle of the workweek every once in a while, and Silicon Valley programmers are no exception. I unfortunately do not make it out to the East Bay often, and I am also very guilty of not documenting many redwood trails that I have hiked in the past. Cowell Ranch State Beach Explore a beautiful section of the California Coastal Trail just minutes from downtown Half Moon Bay. The trail has areas of flat path as well as steep climbing near the peak. Bark Bay to Torrent Bay. The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is one of the 10 Great Walks of New Zealand, and meanders its way through the iconic Abel Tasman National Park. This 4,700-acre preserve with its towering redwoods is guaranteed to make you feel small — in a good way. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, 9 Best Airbnbs & Cabin Rentals Near Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, Trail Guide: Waterton Canyon Trail, Colorado, 6 Best Trail-Ready Hiking Sandals for Women, 6 Best Hiking Trails in Wind River Range, Wyoming, 8 Easy Day Hikes in Olympic National Park, Washington, 17 Stunningly Secluded Cabin Rentals in California, 10 Stunning Hikes in Death Valley National Park. Visitors will hike along the creek, around a few percolation ponds which teem with wildlife, and past the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in Berryessa Park. Spoiler alert: This hike, if you choose, may end at a winery. Tam) is too big and beautiful to include one hike on the list. The gently-graded trail is paved for most of its route and provides many opportunities for bird watching and bench sitting. This trail actually starts in the heart of Queenstown and … Unfortunately, the winery is closed for onsite wine tasting for the time being. From up above, it’s easy to see how small the rest of the world is. Seen in: California, California Hiking, Hike, Pacific Northwest. Join 80,000+ adventurers getting epic travel, camping and hiking ideas every week. Territory Supply is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. A quaint little gem that doesn’t see a ton of foot traffic, Coyote Hills Regional Park is an awesome marshland experience. Rising above southern San Jose in the Santa Teresa Hills, the highlights of this county park are the upland prairies which provide excellent views of downtown San Jose as well as the Almaden and Santa Clara Valleys. See our editorial process to learn more. This open space preserve was originally the grounds of an old winery and farm. Now, if that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will. July 11, 2017 Updated: May 1, 2019 12:53 p.m. Facebook Twitter Email. Sparkling emerald waters surround this … Easy walks and gentle jogs along the South Bay’s shoreline serve as great brain breaks in the middle of the workday. A perpetual train of hikers can be spotted, looking like a line of marching ants, scaling the mountain’s steep switchbacks on a daily basis. You’ll cross over a number of flowing streams, many with the aid of short footbridges until you climb to where the terrain becomes more rugged and the ascent steepens. Starting from the town of Montara on Highway 1 south of Pacifica, you’ll climb the steep, shadeless dirt North Peak Access Road as it winds its way … An abundance of rolling hills defines the landscape of Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Whether it be in the mountains, on the beach, or along the city streets — he believes walking is the best way to experience the world. You’ll find plenty of wildlife amid the low grass including ground squirrels, snakes, and tarantulas. Ask for the water taxi to drop you off at Bark Bay and walk back down south to Torrent Bay. Sanborn County Park, Santa Clara, South Bay. Why you should go: This paved trail is accessible to everyone and has an abundance of wildlife to see. Solitude, too, will likely be found. This open space preserve boasts over 3,000 acres of gorgeous green hills that are sprawling with wildflowers in the spring. Wildlife sanctuaries, open space preserves, and state parks adorn the city’s surrounding landscapes. The Sequoia Trail is on the lighter side of moderate difficulty, making it one of the easier trails in the park. Packed dirt rises above the shallow waters of the South Bay where an array of wildlife calls home. What I love about Fremont Older is that it has something for everyone — the mountain bikers, the dog owners, the casual hikers, and even the equestrians. Best hike for lazy people: Hong Kong Country Club to South Bay. The route passes by plenty of sites of historical interest, including a historic battery that was constructed … Peninsula/South Bay Hikes: Alamitos Creek Trail: Almaden Quicksilver County Park: Año Nuevo State Reserve: Año Nuevo State Reserve, Cascade Ranch Unit : Arastradero Preserve: ... Go to South Bay Hikes page The hour-plus drive from the Valley to Rancho del Oso, 30 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1, is not to be taken lightly. Customized hike recommendations. A serene, meandering walk along the Penitencia Creek, this trail will make for a lovely stroll with the kids and grandparents. If you ever feel like singing aloud, “The hills are aaliiiveee,” Russian Ridge’s the place for you. The popular Eagle Rock hike is well-regarded for its impeccably maintained trails and stunning Bay Area views. I actually did this hike. It was nice! Your search for a South Bay forested escape has come to an end. 9 miles, 800 ft elevation. From treks that can last anything between 30 minutes, 3 days, to even 3 months! Dipsea, Steep Ravine, Matt Davis Loop Mt. Wild turkeys abound, and you’re likely to spot some deer or snakes during your hike as well. September 14, 2012 at 11:00 am. Other notable redwood hikes in or near the Bay Area. It also features numerous benches and restrooms along its length. Emerald Point Trail: Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. Best overall, in any season. When it comes to easy hiking trails in Lake Tahoe, you’re spoiled for choice. Though arid conditions result in brown grasslands and dusty trails for most of the year, don’t let that disparage your intent to hike this trail. The Bay Area’s 10 best-of-the-best hikes, split into categories for easy, moderate or challenging, plus other great ones for each category, and other … Passing by creeks, swaths of forest, thick understory, and interesting rock protrusions, you’ll be well intrigued on your journey toward the peak. Fall in the Bay Area is the perfect time of year to go for a hike with your dog. For those who want a less steep ascent, park at nearby Ohlone College where a different trail climbs to the peak from its northern flank. They are still open for to-go wine sales, however, so nothing’s stopping you from supporting a small business and purchasing a bottle of wine for your dinner after? Drew Costley, SFGATE. Arthur loves to walk. South Lake Tahoe hikes takes you around the shores of the cobalt-blue lake and bring you to tall mountain peaks, surrounded by pine trees and meadows dotted with wildflowers. “There are expansive views of the populated Bay Area on one side, and unpopulated, pristine, natural scenery on the other side,” says Joan Pendleton on Hiking Project. We’ve narrowed down five of our favorites. There is a ton of wildlife to see here as it is one of the last wetland refuges amidst the urban sprawl that is the Bay Area. The mild Bay Area climate keeps these hiking locations accessible year-round, and many act as starting points for delving into large wilderness areas with longer trails to explore. Why you should go: Diverse hillside landscapes and rural estates make this an interesting hike that’s flush with eye-candy. Numerous redwood groves and breathtaking waterfalls grace this long trek. Take your bff (best furry friend) to one of these dog friendly hiking trails! Find your own spot away from the crowd and soak in the sweeping views before you. Find seclusion high on the hills where few people decide to roam among the grazing cattle. This trail is located within the Fremont Older Preserve, a section of land that is woven between large swaths of private property. Check out some of the best hikes and nature walks in the Bay Area. “A wonderful place to go for a flat walk with unusual perspective of the ridgelines surrounding the south Bay Area,” says Sue Kelso on Trailhiker. Why you should go: Walk creekside through a suburban neighborhood on paved pathways. This trail is well-shaded and the waterfalls provide coolings mists, making this an incredible respite from the hot California sun. Why not change the scenery and drive down to one of the 26 open space preserves in South Bay? From rolling hills to grass-filled pastures and dense coniferous forests, there’s quite a lot to see along the trail. Abel Tasman Coastal Track day hikes. But even when the flowers aren’t blooming, the open space preserve is still worth a visit. Amazing. The feeling is awe-inspiring. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. Tam in one 6.4-mile hike. Best Easy Lake Tahoe Hikes. The diversity of terrain and views makes this an interesting hike across its entire length. The workout that this hike provides combines with a serenity brought on by the sky-high views, supplanting your inner anxieties with newfound confidence. Down low near the parking area, the trail passes by the historic Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch and the lovely Santa Teresa Spring which is among the largest springs in all of the Bay Area. One of the most popular hikes in the area, and also one of the most difficult, the trudge up to Mission Peak is a steep ascent that rewards stubborn hikers with what may be the best view of the San Francisco Bay. The 360-degree sights are world-class. For those of you who plan on visiting the South Island I have designed a complete New Zealand Travel Guide featuring multiple road trip itineraries, hikes, photo locations and tips. Distance: 5.8 miles. This fully-paved path features a newly-constructed bridge over Los Alamitos Creek that completes the loop. The wide, swooping North Rim Trail leaves from the Eagle Rock parking area and slowly works its way uphill toward the ridge. Escape San Francisco for a day to explore the stunning North Bay and these great hikes. Even in a state as popular (and populus) as California, there are a number of private and secluded cabin rentals that can make your stay feel remote, even if they're only a few minutes from town. Filed Under: Activities, Almaden Quicksilver Park, Alum Rock Park, Dogs, Ed Levin County Park, Eye On The Bay… North Bay: Angel Island State Park. Those who undertake the journey will find many beautiful, Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. Sign up for The Bold Italic newsletter to get the best of the Bay Area in your inbox every week. The North Bay has some of the best hikes near San Francisco. Emerald Bay is a South Lake Tahoe icon and it offers some of the best hikes in Lake Tahoe. Why you should go: A trail with a variety of terrain and vistas of San Jose and the neighboring valleys. Lake Chabot Loop, Castro Valley, East Bay. For the beginner hikers, the one-mile Hunter’s Point loop, which ends at a 900-foot hilltop with views of the Santa Clara Valley, is the one for you. To the west, the entire Bay Area and its 10 million residents lie below. Visitors will likely spot plenty of waterfowl and other lake-loving creatures. A classic South Bay hike, Rancho San Antonio is certainly a popular hiking spot. Escape the workday grind of Silicon Valley by taking a hike to Black Mountain’s peak. Point Reyes National Seashore: Palomarin to Alamere Falls. 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