4 Short Trails for Hiking, Biking + Running in Silicon Valley
(Courtesy of alltrails.com)

4 Short Trails for Hiking, Biking + Running in Silicon Valley


Disrupt San Francisco summer with a day trip to Silicon Valley, where even the whales are jumping with joy because the sun is somewhat out. The tech bubble, as it happens, is also a terrific hack for hikers, bikers, and runners seeking warmth and roads less traveled. Lace up your shoes and pack a few snacks for these four easy day trails in the South Bay.

Alpine Pond is hot spot for bird watching.(Courtesy of openspace.org)

Alpine Pond at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (3.5 miles), Los Altos

Just off Highway 35, otherwise known as Skyline Boulevard, this open space preserve is considered to be one of the most scenic area around. Level and well-cleared, the 3.5 mile hike from Alpine Pond to Horseshoe Lake is perfect for anyone looking to bypass the steeper paths in the nearby Santa Cruz mountains. But don't be fooled: The reward to effort ratio is high—you'll find some of the best wildlife-watching around. (There's even a facility dedicated to such spying located on the lake.) Go early in the morning or just before sundown to see the lake bathed in warm huwa. You'll want to leave the pup at home for this one. // Skyline Ridge Open Preserve (Los Altos), everytrail.com

The trail remains a favorite amongst bikers and trail runners.(Courtesy of blogspot.com)

Guadalupe River Park (21.4 Miles), San Jose

If San Jose doesn't sound like the prettiest spot to set out on a mind-calming walk, hold your judgment—it's the gateway to a surprisingly scenic getaway. Begin your journey at the Children's Discovery Museum (which is where you should also park), and keep things chill on a 2.5 mile paved walk, run, or ride along the greenbelt. There's more stuff to do should you wish to break it up: Stop to smell the many roses at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden; take the tykes to the museum; and pay tribute at the Veterans Memorial along Park Avenue. You'll be enchanted by the healthy population of local butterflies, and Fido can come too (just bring a leash). The Guadalupe River Trail runs over 20 miles out and back along the river all the way to the southern tip of SF Bay, but heads up—the walk past the San Jose airport is noisy. // Guadalupe River Park (San Jose), everytrail.com

Come late spring and early summer, Stile Ranch Trail is lined with wildflowers.(Courtesy of stpfriends.com)

Stile Ranch Trail + Fortini Loop (2.5 Miles), San Jose

Because of its naturally snaking and undulating path, this steep, dog-friendly trail in south San Jose is a bit more difficult than the others on the list, but it's completely hikeable, especially on a dry, sunny day (Stile Ranch can be muddy after the rains). The loop blooms with California poppies and patches of green so deep in hue that you'd be hard-pressed to find a worthy Instagram filter. Park off San Vincent Avenue. // Santa Teresa County Park (San Jose), everytrail.com

Cue Drake's "Views" on loop.(Photo courtesy of stpfriends.com)

Coyote Peak + Ridge Trail Loop (3.7 Miles), San Jose

Coyote Peak offers the best scenic outlook in Silicon Valley, hands down. But this, in addition to its accessibility for locals, usually guarantees a crowd. And mountain bikers. The popular four-mile trail in Santa Teresa County Park is moderate and has ample paid parking at the Pueblo Day Use Area. Trek to the top for a comfortable seat on a sun-warmed bench and views of the Diablo Range and Santa Cruz Mountains. Speaking of sun, there's not much shade here. Bring sunscreen, as well as a leash for your BFF. // Santa Teresa County Park (San Jose), everytrail.com

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