Spring into Summer with our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy the Parks

Yay! California ‘opens up’ June 15, with the removal of capacity limits and physical distancing requirements which means – fingers crossed! – summer will be a lot of fun with long overdue catchups with friends and family alike. With the exception of Pescadero Creek County Park which remains closed due to lingering unsafe conditions from last summer’s wildfire, all SMC Parks are open. Here are our top 10 ways for you to enjoy the parks this summer.

  1. Cool off among the redwoods at newly reopened Memorial Park

Enjoy freshened up picnic areas, brand new restrooms, and of course long walks beneath towering redwoods. When the summer gets hot, the redwoods stay cool. We also highly recommend a visit to Loma Mar Store and Kitchen just down the road for some delicious food, pastries and coffee. A real treat!

Towering redwoods

  1. Take a day off mid-week and lay on the beach below Mirada Surf

Check for low tide, and then come and lay out and watch the surfers at Surfer’s Beach. Or, walk along the California Coastal Trail on the bluff above, snag a table or bench and watch the sunset.

Mirada Surf looking south

  1. Go for a walk or run along Sawyer Camp Trail AND pick up litter – aka plogging

That’s right: plogging, a Swedish invention that combines jogging with plocka upp, Swedish for “to pick up”. Over the last year, it is hard not to notice the increase in litter along trails. Sawyer Camp Trail, with the scenic Crystal Springs Reservoir as your backdrop, is a brilliant spot for a walk with friends. You can increase your feel good vibes with picking up litter along the way- just make sure to bring gloves and a garbage bag.

People at SCT

  1. Dust off your bike or rollerblades and check out Bicycle Sunday

Because it’s back! A 3.8-mile stretch along Cañada Road gets closed to cars and opened up to human-powered mobility each Sunday from 9am-3pm. This can be a great way to let off steam AND break a sweat!

Bicycle Sunday

  1. Pull up a chair and admire the boats at the Coyote Point Marina

Take a walk along the Shoreline Trail and enjoy the birds and boats. Then walk up to CuriOdyssey and admire the marina from a different view, as well as views to San Francisco as airplanes land at SFO. Make an afternoon of it at Coyote Point and grab a drop-in picnic site and catch-up with family and friends.

Coyote Point marina

  1. Take out-of-town guests to the south entrance of Devil’s Slide

Here you will be rewarded with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and a nicely paved trail that was once part of Highway 1. Whether your guests love history, geology, birds or simply the fresh ocean breeze on their skin, they won’t be disappointed with Devil’s Slide Trail.

Devils Slide south parking lot

  1. Point out San Francisco landmarks from San Bruno Mountain

Read up on this park’s unique history first from San Bruno Mountain Watch and then walk Saddle Loop Trail and marvel at the great views of San Francisco and the bay. We are lucky this special place was protected as it contains a diversity of micro-environments including 14 species of rare or endangered plants, as well as four endangered or threatened butterflies.

San Bruno Mountain

  1. Take the kids to the coolest slide with the best view in San Mateo County at Junipero Serra Park

Higher up in Junipero Serra Park is Meadow View Playground which features spectacular 54-foot-long double slides offering a bird’s eye view of landings and take-offs at San Francisco International Airport. As one Yelp reviewer stated, “The big slide is the best rush you can get without having to go to an amusement park.”

junipero serra park double slide

  1. Get in an early morning run along Skyline Trail between Huddart and Wunderlich parks

Really stretch those legs and enjoy a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail connecting two San Mateo County Parks as well as El Corte de Madera Creek and Purisima Creek Redwoods open space preserves, two Midpen properties. The distance between the parks is about 6 miles.

Skyline Trail

  1. Get in a good climb and access Montara Mountain via San Pedro Valley

Park at San Pedro Valley and hike up Brooks Creek Trail and then head southwest on Montara Mountain Trail into McNee Ranch State Park. Continue southeast along the North Peak Access Road. If it’s not foggy, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the coastline and more. If it is, you’ll be thankful for the cool air, but you may break through the fog at the top for a view east to Mt. Diablo.

view from Montara Mtn

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