Novato, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Novato, California, offer top outdoor adventures. The Indian Tree Preserve is a must-visit for hikers, renowned for its scenic views and diverse vegetation. This 6.5-mile loop trail is moderately difficult, with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The trail features a stunning array of native plants and wildlife, with a creek crossing adding to its allure. For those interested in bird watching, the Rush Creek Open Space Preserve is a prime location. The flat terrain and wetlands attract a variety of bird species. The Stafford Lake Park, set against the backdrop of Mount Burdell, offers fishing, picnicking, and disc golf. For rock climbing, Ring Mountain is the place to be, known for its unique rock formations and panoramic views of the bay. These attractions make Novato a top spot for outdoor activities.

Top Spots in and near Novato

  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Goat Yoga at Lemos Farm

    5.0
    This is a great way to destress and have fun!  Goat yoga is like normal yoga, but with goats.  Goats tend to like higher ground and flat surfaces.  So, when you are in table top position, they are highly likely to jump onto your back!  These goats are still young, and so do not weigh as much as f...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Camp at Francis Beach Campground

    4.0
    If you love to log as much water time as possible, this little gem is the campsite for you. Half Moon Bay State Beach is actually four smaller beaches, with a total of two miles of sandy shore, but you'll be camping right at Kelly Ave., one of Half Moon Bay's most consistent surf spots. Keep in m...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Hike Along the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail

    4.6
    5 mi / 104 ft gain
    Start at the visitor center along Kelly Avenue. Take note that the day parking fee is $10 in 2016 for each vehicle. You will then be able to enjoy both the Coastside Trail and Francis Beach (plus other beaches) with access to the amenities such as coin-operated showers and a semi-private beach.Th...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike the Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve Loop

    3.7
    5.5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Getting there: exit Highway 280 at Edgewood Road, travel .75 miles east, turn left on Crestview Drive, then immediately left again on Edmonds Road.Once parked, there are several different path options through the park. All of them connect in a large loop, and return to the parking lot. The Cordil...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve

    4.0
    4.2 mi / 600 ft gain
    Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve rests in San Mateo County, California. The sweeping hillsides exemplify the true native flora of California, as the foundation of rock and soil is poor in nutrients. Only a few specialized native plants are adapted to live here--don't miss the unique wildflower ...
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  • Livermore, California

    Condor, Volvan, Stone Corral, Coyote Loop

    4.5
    4.38 mi / 620 ft gain
    This regional preserve is perfect for day hikes. There are also designated campsites and even a backpack campsite. Horses and dogs are welcome in the preserve. There are many different clearly marked trails that one can choose from. A good 4.5 mile loop is to start at the Park Residence entrance...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail

    3.64 mi / 322 ft gain
    Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see local wildlife located near Half Moon Bay, California.
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike Whittemore Gulch at Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP

    4.0
    9.3 mi / 2109 ft gain
    This trail starts out going downhill towards the ocean for the first half, which makes for a tough end to the hike as you trek back up the ridge.  However, there are nice ocean and hilltop views that are worth the climb. On this trail, you'll pass 60+ banana slugs if conditions are right. They ar...
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  • Napa, California

    Hike To Zim Zim Falls

    5.0
    8 mi / 500 ft gain
    This 8 mile (out and back) hike begins at the trail head off of Knoxville Road, just before mile marker 24. The first 3 miles are relatively flat, though you will cross the creek about 9 times. Right before you reach the waterfall, you will come to a fork in the trail marked by a pink boulder. St...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Hike Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP

    4.6
    7 mi
    There are two places to park for this specific loop- the main parking area on Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) and a smaller parking lot on the western end of the park. I would recommend parking at whichever is closest. Find directions to both on Openspace.org. From the main parking lot, the trail ...
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  • Redwood City, California

    Mountain Bike at Purisima Creek

    This beautiful mountain bike ride can be started at the Purisima Creek Road Trailhead or on Skyline Boulevard. There are many trails in the Purisisma Creek Redwoods, but Whittemore Gulch is by far the most beautiful and fun single track to descend on. If you are starting from Skyline Boulevard, i...
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  • Pleasanton, California

    Courdet Trail and Schuhart Trail

    5.24 mi / 1122 ft gain
    This is a 5+ mile out and back trail through the hills in the South Bay. The beginning of the hike has a steeper incline and then becomes more gradual later on. There is a beautiful views of the South Bay that are enjoyable in the day, but are fantastic in the evening. Some areas of the trail hav...
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  • Cazadero, California

    Bouldering at Fort Ross

    3.0
    The main boulder is right there on the water. You literally have to watch out for the waves coming up on the shore otherwise they might wipe out your camp. But it's an awesome spot with even more awesome routes. There's also a traverse along the back wall if you're looking for something a little ...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Purisima Creek Trail and Craig Britton Trail Loop

    4.0
    6.95 mi / 1411 ft gain
    This hike is perfect for any time of year, always staying cool because it is near the coast, and there are multiple creeks that flow year-round. Even on foggy days, the fog condenses on trees to make it seem like it is "raining." Be warned that this hike has a lot of elevation change and is stre...
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  • Cowell Ranch Beach Access, California

    Picnic at Cowell Ranch Beach

    5.0
    Hike half a mile to this beautiful, secluded beach.  There are high cliffs with a steep staircase down to the beach.  The beach has wonderful rock formations on one side.  It is a great place to watch the sunset or bring a picnic.  A great place for a beach day if you are looking for something le...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Bike the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail

    4.0
    This trail begins at the Cowell State Beach parking lot and is only open on the weekends. From the lot, take the short Cowell Ranch Access trail to a scenic overlook. There are steps down to the secluded pocket beach just above the main trail. The trail playfully meanders along the cliffside with...
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