Winter seems to have ended: there's no rain in the forecast for February, the trees are blossoming, and the air is warm. This means that right now is the prime time to get out there and hike. As any native knows, the green we currently see is fleeting and will turn to yellow in the blink of an eye, likely by March with this heat. You can hike any time of year in our ideal climate, but it's most beautiful to hike when it's warm and green—which means now. Below is my list of Greatest Hikes that are close to home. Enjoy the great green outdoors, and use the comments to let us know where you went and what you thought about it.
- FREMONT OLDER. In the Saratoga/Cupertino foothills, right next to the Saratoga Country Club. Mountain bikers frequent these trails that connect up with Garrod Farms and Stevens Creek Reservoir. The views and wildflowers are beautiful. Click here for the Simply SV guide.
- RANCHO SAN ANTONIO. On the Mountain View-Los Altos border, just off of 280. Expansive open space preserve. There is an animal farm, you can walk through and visit pigs, chickens, goats, and more. Click here for the Simply SV guide.
- WILDER RANCH. On the cliffs in Santa Cruz, don't fall off! Click here for the Simply SV guide.
- CASTLE ROCK. Prehistoric rock formations from when the ocean used to come all the way up to Skyline Boulevard—can you imagine?! The hike to Goat Rock is really fun, and you can watch rock climbers in action. There's even a substantial waterfall. Click here for the Simply SV guide.
- VILLA MONTALVO. A stone's throw from Saratoga Village. Our local castle with exquisite gardens and sculptures; the trail is less than one mile, takes you through redwoods, and rewards you with a view all the way to the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (on a clear day). Click here for the Simply SV guide.
- LONG RIDGE. Off of Skyline Boulevard, you can see all the way to the ocean. It feels like you're in The Sound of Music. There are benches along the trail so you can stop and take in the views; you'll feel like you're in a painting. Pictured below. Click here for the Simply SV guide.