On a bit of a whim, I explored Big Canyon and Eaton parks today, in San Carlos. Wow! These little hidden treasures definitely rank towards the top of my list of favorites. They have relatively interesting terrain, AMAZING views (especially Eaton), and allow dogs. I say they are hidden treasures, because if you just drive by the trailheads, they look like regular city parks (small grassy area, eta). However, they really are hiking trails. I parked on Brittan Ave in San Carlos, and I started with Big Canyon. NOTE: there is only street parking available, although it was plentiful; check parking restrictions.
The prized location within these parks is the Loma Road entrance area. This, in my opinion, truly is one of the best views of the Bay Area from anywhere I've been. The only view I can think of which tops it is the view from Mountain Winery in Saratoga. From here, you can literally see the entire Bay, all the way from the San Francisco skyline all the way down to the southern tip and beyond, with great views of the East Bay (Oakland, and Mt Diablo) and the Peninsula. Better yet, the view is continuous and almost fully unobstructed. There are two large trees in the area, but you can easy walk to the other side of them if you want to take a panorama or what not. I took 12 continue pictures, from north to south, and stitched them together to come up with a great panorama. To get here, take the Eaton trail from either Brittan Ave or Eaton Ave until the 4-way intersection, then follow the sign to "Loma Road Entrance". Oddly, this is in the opposite direction of the sign directing you to a "view".