Distance: 3.5 miles out-and-back
Elevation gain: 800 ft
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Season: All year (but spring is great!)
Getting there: From Highway 84, turn north on to Sears Ranch Road and follow it to the parking area just past La Honda Elementary School.
Parking lot address: Click here
Hike Description: Let’s face it. Hiking with kids isn’t easy. My wife would tell you that I often complain about it feeling like too much work – and sometimes it is. I mean, do you feel like carrying a 35-pound toddler on your back for a few miles? Yeah, no. I don’t either.
But then we have experiences where everything goes right, it’s not too much work and it isn’t painful — it’s just pure fun! It’s times like these that remind you just how worthwhile family outings can be.
We recently had a hike like this at POST-protected La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve, and I wanted to share the experience with you so you too can enjoy some time on the trail with kids.
One of my favorite aspects of this preserve is that there’s still an active cattle operation on this land. It was a blast for the kids to watch enormous cows trot across the trail, and we spent a healthy amount of time watching the herd. Here’s more information on hiking with cattle if you’re curious before you leave.
The trail meanders gently through open grasslands and has terrific views of the surrounding ridgelines. It’s also perfect for a stroller. The trail is actually on an old ranch road that’s mostly flat and has been well maintained. It’s so easy to push a stroller that I plan to bring our gigantic double stroller for our next trip!
Spring is probably the best time of year to visit this preserve. It was brilliantly green when we visited just a few weeks back. And, with little shade, I imagine it gets hot on this trail in the summer months – so plan accordingly!
When you’re finished with this hike, take the kids for a burger at Alice’s Restaurant at the junction of Highways 84 and 35. The food hits the spot, and there’s outdoor seating and a grassy area for the kids to run around.
Want some other suggestions on great hikes in our open spaces? Try our hikes page. Or, for dog-friendly hikes, visit this page.
The La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve is over 6,100 acres, of which POST has contributed approximately 5,200 acres.
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 86,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more