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4 of the Best Bay Area Hiking Trails

July 1st, 2015 by Mill Rose Inn

bay area hiking trails

Photo Credit: btwashburn / Flickr

The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its scenic splendor, which undoubtedly contributed to its being settled by Spanish explorers in 1776. Europeans then spread throughout the entire area, some chasing land to live off of, and others business opportunities in a new booming American city.

Now one of the most populous region in the entire country, it continues to be recognized for its stunning beauty and preservation of public lands where both locals and visitors can appreciate the natural beauty on one of the many Bay Area hiking trails. Whether you’re on a family vacation and need a trail that is amenable to all ages, or are an avid hiker and want a strenuous way to spend a whole day, you’ll find it among the hills, mountains and bluffs of the Bay Area.

Here Are 4 Great Bay Area Hiking Trails to Check Out While in the Area

  1. Devil’s Slide Trail
    Locate on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Devil’s Slide Trail is a multiuse paved path for hikers and bikers alike in Half Moon Bay. Stretching just 1.3 miles, it is an out and back trail that is a segment of the California Coastal Trail. It is spotted with convenient amenities like bike racks, drinking fountains, and restrooms.
  2. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
    This park in Santa Cruz County is south of Half Moon Bay and is known or an easy 4.7-mile loop through redwoods with about 700 feet in elevation change. It is a mostly shaded trail and takes the average hiker about 2-and-a-half hours to complete.
  3. The Waterfall Loop at Big Basin State Park
    Also in Santa Cruz County is the coveted Big Basin State Park which is home to this epic 11-mile waterfall loop that is known as much for its stunning views and numerous waterfalls, as well as its difficulty. The elevation changes throughout this mountainous hike add up to about 200 feet, and the average hiking time is about 6 hours. Be sure to pack plenty of supplies for this day in the redwoods.
  4. Memorial Park
    Located in San Mateo County alongside the more well known Pescadero Creek Park, Memorial park is home to a beautiful 5-mile loop trail. This well-graded dirt track is a great place for beginners and although it gains about 800 total feet in elevation, there are no steep climbs. The entire loop should take about two-and-a-half hours and is abounding in beautiful views of both the valley and the ocean below as it is perched on the mountains in their midst.

This handful of Bay Area hiking trails barely scratches the surface of all the wooded and coastal areas to be explored in this Northern California haven for natural wonders. Visitors should definitely opt for seeing the gargantuan redwoods while here, as well as taking in the coastal cliffs so emblematic of the romantic setting in the small towns like Half Moon Bay plotted up and down the seaboard. If you are looking for other activities to enjoy while in the area check out this free vacation guide full of ideas.