In recent years, the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area has become known as the hub of high tech, but the area stretching from South San Francisco to Santa Cruz has thousands of acres of protected open space, with habitats ranging from ocean cliffs to redwood forests, and from oak woodlands to serpentine grasslands. Oak Valley Press has just released the ninth edition of Tom Taber’s Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book. Guiding readers through the parks and trails of the mountains of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and western Santa Clara counties, Taber offers relevant information on how to best explore each park. Wilderness Press in Berkeley has been publishing local trail guidebooks for 35 years; this year it has issued updated versions of both South Bay Trails (Rusmore et al.) and Monterey Bay Trails (David Weintraub). With driving directions, park information, readable maps, trail distances, and ratings for each trip, you’ll have no excuse not to get outside and explore the natural world so close to home.
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The California Coastal Trail runs west of Highway 1 along this scenic stretch of the San Mateo coast.