What’s better than a long, challenging hike through a beautiful landscape?

An easy one! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tough hike. But one of my favorite things about hiking is enjoying our open spaces with my friends and family, and easy hikes are perfect for a wide range of abilities.

But, you know, an easy hike isn’t just about starting on the right trail. It’s also about bringing the right things and making sure you’re comfortable along the way. How you pack your backpack, for example, can really make or break your hike. Want to see what I’m talking about?

This short video shows how to pack your backpack like a total pro:


Over the years, I’ve had the chance to explore a lot of our open spaces and I think I’ve found the five best trails for people looking for easy hikes in this extraordinary place we call home. I thought you might want to check them out too!

So, here they are. Five of my most favorite easy hikes on the Peninsula and in the South Bay:

Easy Hikes - POST


1. Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

The trails at this preserve meander through ancient oaks and pockets of broadleaf evergreen forest. It’s a favorite among dog-walkers.

Cowell Purisima Trail - POST


2. Cowell-Purisima Trail 

Explore a beautiful section of the California Coastal Trail just minutes from downtown Half Moon Bay. This trail is 3.4 miles one way — so enjoy the whole thing or turn around before you get too tired.


3. Bair Island 

Discover the largest island in the South Bay and a part of the largest urban wildlife refuge in the country. If you like birdwatching, this is the hike for you.

Pillar Point Bluffs - POST


4. Pillar Point Bluff 

During large winter swells, the massive waves of Mavericks can be seen along this trail. This is another favorite among coastside dog walkers.

Sanborn County Park - POST


5. Sanborn County Park

Stretch your legs on this section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. This hike is almost entirely in the shade, making it perfect for those hot days in summer.

Looking for more great hikes?

Check out our hiking map featuring must-see destinations in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties! (If you’re looking for easy hikes in particular, note that you can filter the results by difficulty.)

Looking for hiking buddies?

Join one of our fun-filled community hikes or our Facebook group and put the word out—they’re full of other friendly outdoor enthusiasts!


About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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