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17 Bay Area Hiking Places

The Bay Area is filled with endless hiking trails, in this blog, I have compiled a list of 17 Bay Area Hiking Places that you can check out. These locations are located in different counties in the Bay Area and are great for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. I hope you find these 17 locations as a motivator to get outdoors and explore more.

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Windy Hill Preserve

17 Bay Area Hiking Places

There are a total of 9 counties in the Bay Area, and each region has its own unique hiking locations. In this list of 17 Bay Area Hiking Places, you will get an idea of new places to take a hike, and although there are plenty of popular hiking trails in the area, the list I have compiled in this blog lets you explore less-known trails in the Bay Area, some may be familiar and others may not.

1. Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

Reinhardt Redwood is located in the Oakland Hills and is home to the largest remaining natural stand of coast redwoods found in the East Bay region. There are several trails throughout the park, but if you want to get the best views of the park and see the amazing redwood trees, hike the Stream, Mill, and French Trail. Here is the brochure of the park and a map to see this trail location.

Stream, Mill, and French Trail

  • Distance: 4.3 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 931 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

2. Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve

Rancho San Antonio covers over 25 miles of trail throughout the open space preserve. This location is near the Cupertino area and offers diverse habitats. What I like about this preserve is that it offers stunning views of the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountains. Another unique aspect of this location is the Deer Hollow Farm located within the preserve – it is a historic farmstead that serves as an educational center so it’s a great place to stop along the way if you are hiking with kids.

High Meadow and Lower Meadow Trail Loop

  • Distance: 5.9 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 836 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Rancho San Antonio

3. Indian Tree Open Space Preserve

Indian Tree Open Space Preserve is a relatively lesser-known location tucked away in Novato. This preserve is quiet throughout the year, making it great for those who prefer to hike less traveled hiking trails in the Bay Area. This open space is known for its redwood groves, horseback riding, and hiking. Even though the trail is mainly exposed, the quietness of this location is what makes it a rare and beautiful sight to see.

Big Trees and Upper Meadow Trail Loop

  • Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 649 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Indian Tree Open Space Preserve

4. Land of Medicine Buddha

The Land of Medicine Buddha is a serene and spiritual retreat center that also offers hiking trails that provide a unique and tranquil outdoor experience. Nestled in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, this hiking location goes through forests, meadows, and creeks. The Medicine Buddha Loop is the most popular hiking trail, which offers a peaceful and meditative atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for those seeking both physical and mental rejuvenation.

Land of Medicine Buddha Loop Trail

  • Distance: 6 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 984 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link

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Land of Medicine Buddah

5. Windy Hill Open Space

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is part of the Santa Cruz Mountains range. This location is known for its vistas and diverse landscapes, and you can see panoramic views of San Francisco Bay, Stanford University, and the surrounding hills. It’s best to visit on cooler days since this place is mainly exposed and gets really hot in warmer conditions. The trail passes through oak woodlands and forests, offering a different range of wildlife and beauty from nature throughout the hike.

Windy Hill Loop

  • Distance: 6.5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 1,404 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Windy Hill

6. Lake Chabot Regional Park

Lake Chabot Regional Park, located in Castro Valley, is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts. This place is surrounded by hills and lush vegetation, as you hike along, you’ll get to enjoy the lake, which gives you plenty of spots along the trail to take in the views, have a picnic, or relax by the water. There are many hiking trails, so you can choose how far you’d like to hike, the trail begins on a paved path, but soon after it turns into a hiking trail.

Lake Chabot via East Shore Trail

  • Distance: 8.7 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 823 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Lake Chabot

7. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Don Edwards is a refuge that offers a unique opportunity to experience and appreciate the diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and natural beauty of the east region of the Bay Area. This location is based in Fremont, and the hiking trails in the area are great for birdwatchers because this area is known to have over 280 species of them – it is a major migratory bird destination. These trails at Don Edwards provide scenic views of the bay, marshes, and wildlife habitats. It is an excellent location for a light stroll, jogging, or an enjoyable brief hike.

Newark Slough Trail

  • Distance: 6 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 118 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Guide: Link

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Don Edwards Park

8. Huckleberry Botanic Preserve

Located in the Oakland Hills is the Huckleberry Botanic Preserve. This area is known for its unique plant communities and offers several well-maintained hiking trails. The Huckleberry Loop Trail is a popular trail for a leisurely hike, while the other hiking trails allow for longer treks taking you to another nearby preserve called Sibley Volcani Regional Preserve. Huckleberry Preserve is a serene location all season long, but I recommend visiting during autumn.

Lower and Upper Huckleberry Loop Trail

  • Distance: 2.5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 423 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Huckleberry Botanical Preserve

9. Bedwell Bayfront Park

Bedwell Bayfront Park is a beautiful urban park located in Menlo Park. This place is found along the shores of the San Francisco Bay, and its most popular feature is the views of the Dumbarton Bridge. The shoreline offers vistas of the bay’s waters, marshlands, and the East Bay hills from a distance – the trails are flat, paved pathways for walking, hiking, and jogging. This is a great place to connect with nature and enjoy some bay views, and the park also offers signs and displays about the importance of preserving the ecosystem in the area.

Bedwell Bayfront Trail

  • Distance: 3.3 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 203 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Guide: Link
Bedwell Park

10. Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is an extinct volcano nestled in the Oakland Hills that offers a variety of hiking trails that wind through the park’s volcanic terrain and offer a moderately challenging hike with panoramic views of the bay and surrounding hills. While you are there, look for the labyrinths in the area, there are several throughout the trails, and they are lovely to come across.

Round Top, Volcanic, and Skyline Loop

  • Distance: 5.3 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 554 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Guide: Link
Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

11. Coyote Hills Regional Park

Coyote Hills Regional Park is situated in the city of Fremont. The park has rolling hills, salt marshes, and serene bayshore habitats offering various hiking trails with picturesque bay views. I recommend going during sunset because this place is a sight to see around that time. The park also has a Visitor Center to learn about the Ohlone people who inhabited the region for thousands of years. Next to the Visitor Center is a butterfly garden worth checking out, especially in the springtime.

Tuibun, Red Hill, Bayview, and Chochenyo Trail Loop

  • Distance: 5.4 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 410 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Coyote Hills Regional Park

12. Ed R. Levin County Park

Ed R. Levin County Park is tucked away in the eastern foothills of Milpitas. This park offers diverse landscapes, including hills, grassy meadows, and wooded areas. There are many trails to explore here for hikers of all levels. I highly recommend visiting during spring because the park bursts into color with vibrant wildflowers, and it looks extra beautiful! This park provides lots of opportunities to explore nature and hiking. This park is usually quiet and less traveled, so it is excellent for those wanting to avoid crowds.

Agua Caliente Trail and Calera Creek Trail

  • Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 715 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Ed Levin Park

13. Garin Regional Park

Garin Regional Park in Hayward has several hiking trails; the most popular ones are Garin Dry Creek and Garin Peak. On clear days, you can see beautiful views of the Bay Area’s surrounding landscapes. This location mixes nature, history, and beautiful views, and the hikes range from easy to moderate. Overall, this location is excellent for families and for short adventures.

Garin Peak

  • Distance: 3.5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 603 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Garin Regional Park

14. Sanborn County Park

Sanborn County Park is located near the Santa Cruz Mountains in the city of Saratoga. One of the most amazing things about this park is its dense redwood forests, creeks, and lush green meadows. There are many hiking trails to explore in the area, and you can find redwood groves all around. It is one of the most rejuvenating places in the southern part of the Bay Area, and being among the trees makes hiking here so special.

John Nicholas Trail

  • Distance: 4 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 1,082 ft.
  • Route Type: Point to Point
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trail Guide: Link
Sanborn

15. Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve

Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve is in the southern part of the Bay Area in the city of San Jose. This preserve offers visitors diverse hiking trails with beautiful landscapes, green hills, and lush grasslands. Some of the preserve’s trails lead to panoramic vistas, offering stunning views of the Santa Clara Valley, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and even Monterey Bay on clear days.

Boccardo Loop Trail

  • Distance: 5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 994 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Guide: Link
Sierra Vista

16. Mount Tamalpais Watershed

If you want to take a longer route to Mount Tamalpais State Park to see Mt. Tam, you can go through the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. The watershed is in the heart of Marin County, just north of San Francisco. This watershed provides visitors with breathtaking vistas; on days filled with dense fog, the views look spectacular, which is typical for this region. This longer hike to Mt. Tam is beautiful, and I recommend doing this trail on cooler days. 

Matt Davis and Railroad Grade Trail

  • Distance: 5.3 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 1,568 ft.
  • Route Type: Out and Back
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trail Guide: Link
Mt Tam Watershed

17. Las Trampas Wilderness Regional Preserve

Las Trampas Wilderness Regional Preserve is a pristine preserve in the East Bay, San Ramon Valley. This rugged place offers a range of landscapes, steep canyons, and hills. There are several hiking trails for various hikers, but this location has more challenging hikes since there is a lot of incline. Many of the trails lead to panoramic views of the San Ramon Valley, the Diablo Range, and Mount Diablo. This location is a hidden gem of this region worth visiting.

Las Trampas Ridge, and Corduroy Hills Loop

  • Distance: 8.5 miles, roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 2,034 ft.
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Trail Guide: Link
Las Trampas

Your Thoughts: Which of these trails do you want to see?

This post was all about 17 Bay Area Hiking Places. The Bay Area offers many hiking places, with nine regions to see and many places to cover. I hope you found this list of 17 Bay Area Hiking Places helpful for your next adventure here in Northern California.

Hiking Locations with Redwood Trees

The Bay Area and surrounding areas offer many hiking trails where you can get a glimpse of these epic redwood trees that many people from afar come to see. If you would like a list of these locations, read 15 Best Redwood Hikes in Northern California, there are numerous locations.

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