For a more curated experience check out trail guides from our partner publishers.
Best Easy Day Hikes: San Jose
by Tracy Salcedo-Chourre (Falcon Guides)
This broad walk-and-talk trail is perfect for family outings and hikes with friends. Tracing the shoreline of Stevens Creek Reservoir, the route affords views of boaters and the wooded peaks of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Stevens Creek Reservoir is the primary draw of this county park, and the route described here skirts the shoreline for most of its length. No motorized boats are allowed on the water, so even on the busiest weekends, hikers and other recreationalists aren’t bothered by the drone of engines. Instead, a walk along the shoreline treats visitors to vistas of birds and anglers playing on or along the serene lake. The lakeside trail is broad, allowing families and friends to walk side by side to a little loop overlooking the boat ramp. It is perfect for a weekend outing with the kids, or for an afternoon jog with your best pal (canine or otherwise).
Peninsula Trail: Hiking & Biking Trails on the San Francisco Peninsula
by Jean Rusmore, Betsy Crowder, Frances Spangle, & Sue LaTourrette (Wilderness Press)
The park encompasses a foothill canyon surrounding a reservoir fed by year-round streams. In an early description of this rugged area, Padre Pedro Font, a cartographer who accompanied Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza to California in 1776, wrote, “This place of San José de Cupertino has good water and much fire- wood, but nothing suitable for settlement because it is among the hills very near the range of the cedars ...and lacks level land ” (the “cedars ” were what we know today as the redwoods). Hike to the Reservoir and Climb the Hills Above, Lookout Trail, Creek Trail, To a Southern Ridgetop on Mulit-Use Trails.
San Francisco Peninsula Bike Trails
by Conrad Boisvert (Penngrove Publications)
The Stevens Creek and Upper Stevens Creek County Parks ,and Monte Bello Open Space Preserve all offer outdoor recreation for a wide variety of interests. Hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians share the trails in those parks and preserves nestled below and in Stevens Canyon. Fishermen enjoy the delights provided by the Stevens Creek Reservoir, fed by Stevens Creek which comes down through the canyon. A challenging option popular with cyclists who follow this route regularly is to climb up Montebello Road, located at the 3.4 mile mark in the ride directions. This road climbs about 2,000 feet in about 5 miles. The steepest parts are in the beginning and at the end. The views at the top make the climb one to remember.
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