TrailfinderYour Guide to Bay Area Parks & Trails

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Wildlife Sightings

by iNaturalist


Heron's Head Park

by 1buglady

A nice easy out-and-back, great for birds, kids, and leashed dogs. White-crowned sparrows go crazy in the bushes while, in winter, the Bay fills up with migratory waterbirds. The small restored marsh supports nesting American avocets and black oystercatchers, while whimbrels, grebes, terns, cormorants, and egrets are common.

Panorama Drive to Lafayette Ridge Trail


If you’re looking for a rigorous hike with sweeping views, this is the trail for you. I’m not sure if this entrance to Briones Regional Park can really be considered a trailhead. Panorama Drive leads almost to the beginning of the trail, but is gated off by a house near the top of the hill. […]

Coastal Half Moon Bay Hike

by Bay Nature

This hike is an easy walk along the cliffs overlooking Mavericks surf spot, famous for its (often deadly) surf competitions. You will have nice views of the water below from the cliffs with very little elevation change after the first small climb.If you are up for it, you can continue along the harbor towards the […]

Lands End Loop

by Bay Nature Staff

A morning outing to Lands End provides about as much wilderness as can be found in San Francisco; the beauty is so stunning, it’s easy to miss the ghosts. But walk a few minutes under the thick mantle of Monterey cypress and they’ll appear. Prop yourself against the crumbling walls of a concrete pillbox on […]

Alum Rock Park

by YerbaQuercus

I took public transit to Alum Rock Park. I had to walk 15 mins along Penitencia Creek in order to get into Alum Rock Park.  The weather was perfect for hiking. I started walking along the creek bed. There I saw many California native plants like: California Buckeye, California Bay Laurel, sticky monkeyflower, miner's lettuce […]

Marshall Beach Walk

by Jules Evens

  An easy to moderate walk on a gravel road, 2.8 miles round-trip. The approach to Marshall Beach is rather steep and may be slippery in the rainy season. The trailhead to the Marshall Beach begins after driving a couple of miles along the L Ranch Rd.,  out through the northern edge of the bishop […]

Point Reyes Light House Walk

by Jules Evens

The Outer Point Reyes Peninsula is a Mecca for both birds and birdwatchers during autumn migration. The month of September is the peak of songbird passage and when conditions are right—lack of strong northwest winds, night sky obscured by high overcast—migrant landbirds “fall out” on the outer point. The islands of Monterey cypresses that were […]

Earthquake Epicenter Hike, Forest of Nisene Marks

by Daniel McGlynn

If you're craving an adventure close to home, Forest of Nisene Marks State Park should be high on your list. Spanning a handful of ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the park boasts 30 miles of trails on 10,000 acres. But bring your map. The trail system–a mix of fire roads, old logging roads, and […]

Tarwater Trail Loop, Pescadero Creek County Park

by Bay Nature Staff

This is not your average county park: It sprawls over 8,020 acres, encompassing the Pescadero Creek watershed, a major steelhead spawning stream that drains into Pescadero Marsh. The park–composed of the Sam McDonald, Memorial, and Heritage Grove units–has more than 26 miles of trails and sits beside Portola Redwoods State Park. The half-mile Heritage Grove […]

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