San Mateo County

Phleger Estate offers trails through a lovely younger redwood forest like this one.

Phleger Estate

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Serene woodlands evoking a bygone era. Robust second-growth redwood forest and old mill sites provide a fascinating if somewhat bittersweet perspective on the history of the San Francisco Peninsula.

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Trail Above the Clouds, photo by au ears, Flickr CC

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve

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One of the San Francisco Peninsula’s most distinctive landmarks, a beautiful undeveloped 1,355-acre preserve that provides excellent views of the Bay Area.

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El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve

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2,817-acre preserve offers excellent hiking, equestrian and bicycling opportunities within a short drive of mid-San Mateo Peninsula. Mixed coniferous forests include numerous ancient redwoods. Wonderful examples of rare tafoni sandstone formations. San Gregorio Creek provides critical habitat for imperiled coho salmon and steelhead trout.

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Huddart Park

Huddart Park

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900 acres of deep forest, chaparral and oak savanna, short drive from San Francisco and the Peninsula. Large, second-growth redwood groves conjoined with ground-hugging redwood sorrel and sword fern. Elsewhere, mixed coniferous forest, savannas and grasslands create a rich and diverse ecosystems abundant in wildlife.

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Photo by Franco Folini, Flickr Creative Commons

Pescadero Creek County Park Complex

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Santa Cruz cypress, Monterey pine. Marbled murrelets, steelhead trout, coho salmon. Along with adjoining Memorial and Sam McDonald, part of a county-park complex with 74 linked miles of trails and dirt roads.

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Photo by Eugene Kim, Flickr Creative Commons

Wunderlich Park

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West of Woodside, a rural park with meadows, creek. Historic Folger Stable, once part of the Folger Coffee Estate. Equestrian museum.

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Butano

Butano State Park

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South of San Francisco, halfway between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, Butano State Park surprises almost every first-time visitor. A short drive from beaches along Highway 1, you’ll find yourself awed by mossy Douglas-firs, bigleaf maples, sword ferns and, through April, blooming calypso orchids. The redwoods are mostly second growth, but careful explorers can find some ancient ones, too.

Find out what to see and do at Butano.

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Portola redwoods

Portola Redwoods State Park

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Just 5 miles north of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Portola Redwoods State Park offers visitors solitude and some of the tallest, most majestic redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The park centers on two creeks, Peters and Pescadero. Save the Redwoods League has helped win protection for 800 of the park’s 2,800 acres.

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Photo by Miguel Vieira, Flickr Creative Commons

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

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On the western slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this 3,360-acre preserve has tall redwoods and a lively creek, as well as ferns, berry bushes and wildflowers.

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