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  • San Mateo County
  • San Mateo County, California

    San Mateo County, California, is home to some of the best trails and outdoor activities. A must-visit is the Sawyer Camp Trail, a scenic 6-mile path that winds along the Crystal Springs Reservoir. It's a top spot for walking, jogging, and cycling, with views of the sparkling water and unique rock formations. Another notable trail is the Devil's Slide Trail, a 1.3-mile path with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. For those who enjoy bird-watching, the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve is a must-visit. Here, you'll find a variety of bird species and a network of trails that meander through the marsh. These outdoor adventures in San Mateo County offer a unique and scenic way to enjoy the great outdoors.

    Top Spots in and near San Mateo County

    • Felton, California

      Hike Fall Creek at Henry Cowell SP

      5.0
      9.7 mi / 2191 ft gain
      This quiet 10 mile hike features a winding creek and tall redwoods throughout the trail.  The parking at the Fall Creek Trailhead is limited, so it is best to get there before 10am.  There are redwoods very close to the trail and a good portion is alongside the creek.  Most of the trail is dirt, ...
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    • Pacifica, California

      Surf at Pacifica State Beach

      4.5
      If you're looking for a place to surf and Ocean Beach isn't quite your speed or Santa Cruz is too far, head to Pacifica, specifically Linda Mar. Linda Mar is usually more wind protected and user-friendly than ocean beach. Break out your longboard or hybrid board and head to this beach. There is e...
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    • San Bruno, California

      Sweeney Ridge via Sneath Lane

      4.5
      3.88 mi / 646 ft gain
      Starting from the parking lot on Sneath Lane Trail, you’ll head through the gate and continue on the path up Sweeney Ridge. This is a 5.7 mile out-and-back trek. There is a 600 ft. elevation gain, which comes mainly in the first 1.5 miles of the trail. Your legs and lungs may hurt a bit, but if t...
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    • Davenport, California

      Beach Picnic at Shark Fin Cove

      4.3
      Shark Fin Cove is a large rock formation in an inlet off Highway 1 in Northern California. It is located 1 mile south of Davenport and 10 miles north of Santa Cruz. There is a sizable parking lot located on the side of Highway 1 to park in. Walk down the path left of the parking lot and cross the...
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    • Pacifica, California

      Rockaway Beach

      5.0
      Rockaway is a dark sandy beach located in the south of Pacifica, CA.  It has numerous hiking trails around it, most notably Mori Point.  The Mori Point trail will take you through the hills and overlooks Rockaway Beach. There are paths to come down to the beach.   There are biking paths and park...
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    • Pacifica, California

      Mori Point Loop

      4.8
      2.54 mi / 276 ft gain
      Start at the parking lots close to the pier, where bathrooms are also available. Walk along the pier to watch the sunset as it begins. Next, walk along Sharp Park Beach to discover the plethora of wild flowers and friendly locals always ready to guide you on your walk. Take the stairs up to the...
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    • Felton, California

      Tree Climb Mount Hermon

      5.0
      Climbing an aerial obstacle course through the redwoods of Mount Hermon is a great way to experience the thrill of climbing and being in the trees.  See what it's like to scurry through the trees like a squirrel.  This unique vantage point offers amazing views of the redwoods. There are many aeri...
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    • Felton, California

      Redwood Grove Loop

      4.0
      0.93 mi / 144 ft gain
      Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located just a few miles north of the city of Santa Cruz, along Highway 9. The park is home to an array of hiking and biking trails, but the crown jewel of the park is the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, which is only a 1/4 mile in from the park's entrance. Many peo...
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    • Felton, California

      Observation Deck Loop in Henry Cowell Redwoods SP

      4.3
      5.3 mi / 869 ft gain
      The trail starts at the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park Visitors Center. Grab a map in the center, as your hike has you turning onto a few different trails to get to the observation deck.  Starting at the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, follow the trail until it connects with the Pipeline Road Trail ...
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    • Santa Cruz, California

      Explore Panther Beach

      4.5
      Panther Beach's white sand, clear water, and interesting rock formations make it one of the most stunning beaches along this stretch of CA1. But this is a hidden gem for a reason - there are no signs along CA1 for Panther Beach. You need to keep you eyes peeled for cars parked along the side of t...
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    • Santa Cruz, California

      Photographing the Sunset at Panther Beach

      5.0
      Probably my favorite beach in the Santa Cruz area. Panther Beach lies just south of Davenport along the beautiful Hwy 1. Park at a large dirt pull out on the left hand side if your heading north from Santa Cruz. The trail down to the beach is steep and not that well maintained so watch your step....
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    • Pacifica, California

      Milagra Overlook Trail

      5.0
      2.51 mi / 558 ft gain
      Found this hike with some friends after spending some time googling in my car when we were in the area looking for a quick hike with a view!   Dog friendly Free parking (but quite limited) Ocean views Known to have gorgeous wildflower blooms (we were not there during this)Porta-potty type toilet...
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    • Pacifica, California

      Picnic at Sharp Park Beach

      4.0
      A medium size beach with darker sand with big rocks and a paved path for walkers and joggers.  The beach is a great place to bring a picnic and watch the sunset.  It is located next to Pacifica Pier, which is popular for fishing.
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    • Pacifica, California

      Fish at Pacifica Pier

      5.0
      This is a great place for fishing or just taking a walk to watch the sunset.  It's a great place to walk or jog, or even bring a pup!  There are lot of people fishing throughout the pier.   A short walk away is Sharp Park Beach, where you can relax and bring a picnic to watch the sunset.
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    • San Jose, California

      Hike the Quicksilver Trail

      4.3
      5.1 mi / 915 ft gain
      The trails are well maintained and offer good visibility. The trail can be muddy after it rains, and does not have much shade (so bring extra water in the summer).  Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on leash. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife - this trail is frequently used for bir...
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    • Fremont, California

      Lake Elizabeth Loop

      3.0
      2.1 mi / 69 ft gain
      Lake Elizabeth is located in central Fremont.  It offers a nice break from the city streets and can be enjoyed by walkers, joggers, and bikers alike.  It is a park for all ages.   Other attractions include volleyball nets, multiple playgrounds, and aqua adventure park, geese, and peddle boats. ...
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