Delightful Starter Park — Perfect for young, active family!

Guest authored by Doug Silverstein

jsp_2Charming starter park in a lovely hillside setting! – Close to SF and mid-Peninsula, 8 delightful dens, 5 bathrooms, 103-acre lot, bay views, gentle slopes, grand entrance, 2 side doors, and tree covered parking. Perfect for a young, active family.

Backyard bonus includes 2 playgrounds, double 54-foot-long slide, plenty of shade and dozens of BBQs. Open house Sunday-Saturday 8am-sundown, 365 days a year.

At a mere 103-acres, Junipero Serra Park is one of the smaller San Mateo County Parks. Registering 22 total locations, the County’s jewels include 2 historic sites, 2 paved trails, 1 reserve, 1 preserve and 1 beach.

Now, with 2 completed outings in the inaugural 2019 SMC Hike-a-Palooza for Environmental Leaders – 10 Treks, 20 Weeks, 1 Great Community, we’ve tackled the second largest (Hike #1 – San Bruno Mountain, blog) and now it’s neighbor to the south (Hike #2 – Junipero Serra Park).

For junior hikers and those with range anxiety, Junipero Serra Park is an ideal destination.

By my count, the park boasts 8 trails and 1 babbling brook. And on the sunny afternoon of Wednesday March 13, a jovial group of environmental sustainability enthusiasts traced all 9. Traversing picnic areas and playgrounds, as well as bay views and barbecues, we covered 4 miles in just about 2 hours.


Highlights included a wide-open view from 400 feet above SFO on Meadow Vista Trail. And tunneled passages with magical foot paths on Quail Loop. At a half mile total, the interpretive Live Oak Nature Trail might be the perfect starter hike for the new neighbors with a flock of future naturalists.

True to its goal, the Hike-a-Palooza, every other Wednesday from Feb 27 to July 3 (2-page flyer), is compelling Peninsula environmental leaders and enthusiasts to get social, enjoy nature, and broaden networks.

On this hike, and over fresh craft beer at South San Francisco’s 47 Hills Brewing Co. after the trek, we discussed the virtues of consumption- versus production-based greenhouse gas inventory measures.

Personally, I favor consumption, following highly admired UC Berkeley’s Cool Climate Network publications. Further discourse covered youth climate movements and sustainable food.

Maybe too early to critique the entire network, I’m already intrigued by San Mateo County Parks’ geographic coverage and diversity. Northwest to southeast, 7 sites straddle the 101-280 corridor from Daly City to Menlo Park and San Francisco to Santa Clara county.

Dipping south through the Santa Cruz mountains 3 parks hide deep in the redwoods and well off commonly traveled roads. Then darting north towards Woodside, 3 sit just west of the foothills. The rest hug the coast from Half Moon Bay to Pacifica. Wow, what a set of 22 treasures right in our backyard.

Thank you, San Mateo County Parks Department, for preserving this open space, managing their natural resources, and unwrapping greenbelt access to residents and visitors alike. And to the Parks Commission’s five members who advise the Board of Supervisors on the management and operation of these natural preserves, trails, and recreational areas.


Doug Silverstein is a 23-year San Mateo County resident and local sustainability leader. As a volunteer for Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame, Citizens Climate Lobby, Sustainable San Mateo County and others, Doug has used his decades of technology sales and marketing skills to champion local clean energy and transportation justice causes.

Join San Mateo County Parks Foundation and other San Mateo County sustainability leaders on one or more of these hikes. San Mateo County Parks Foundation inspires people to care for, learn about and enjoy San Mateo County Parks.


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