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Wildflower Hikes in the Bay Area

Mar 26, 2020    |   Local News & Resources

Many are probably feeling cabin fever from being stuck inside the past few weeks. If you are looking for a way to get some fresh air, you might enjoy taking time to treat yourself to a wildflower walk — the best time to see flowers in full bloom is late March to mid-April. If you do go out for a walk, please be safe and practice social distancing to keep yourself and others around you safe. You also should be sure to keep up with local health updates to ensure that it is safe to be outside and double check that trails are open before heading out, as some trails or trail parking areas could be closed.

Below, you will find trail suggestions from Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) with walks in the Bay Area that will have some of the best displays of wildflower blooms. Click here to visit the POST website and find a free wildflower field guide with more detailed information about individual flowers.

Tips to Prepare for a Successful Hike

Are you new to hiking? Or maybe you don’t hike often, and are still not sure about how to prepare. Use the tips and resources below from POST to help you get started, and prepare for your first hike.

  • What to Bring: A small, not-too-heavy backpack to carry water and a few other essentials should be enough to carry everything you need. If the weather is cooler, bring an extra jacket or some warm layers in case you get chilly. If you’re unsure what kind of things you might need for your hike, check out this video to help you decide what to bring and how to best pack it.

  • Wear comfy shoes: Avoid sandals or open-toed shoes. It is best to wear a sturdy shoe that isn’t smooth on the bottom. Having shoes that can grip the ground will help you maintain good footing, even if you’re on a dirt trail.

  • Know before you go: To ensure that you stay safe, you might want to read up on what poison oak looks like and how to avoid ticks. These are important things to familiarize yourself with before you hit the trail.

Trails to Explore

Edgewood County Park in Redwood City

Follow the Clarkia Trail to the Sunset, Serpentine and Edgewood Trails to complete a loop around the entire preserve. Then follow the Clarkia Trail back to the trailhead. The Serpentine soil in Edgewood Park make it ideal for wildflowers. This loop hike takes you through the center of the park and is one of the best ways to see the colorful show.

Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto

The rolling hills in this preserve create a range of habitat types offering refuge for a great diversity of wildflowers. You’ll find the biggest patches of wildflowers along the sunny, southern-facing slopes. The Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is easily accessible from Highway 280, and this hike provides stunning views of the surrounding open space.

While you’re on your hike, watch out for yellow fiddlenecks, wild roses, tangled blackberry, quail, redwing blackbirds and cottontail rabbits.

Calero County Park in San Jose

Follow the Los Cerritos Trail, turning left on the Peña Trail to the junction with the Serpentine Loop Trail. Follow this loop trail around a large outcropping of serpentine soil before retracing your steps to the parking area.

Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve in Redwood City

Follow the Blue Oaks Trail to the Hassler Loop Trail where there is a large off-leash dog area.  Wildflowers abound throughout this preserve and this loop trail take you right through the center of it all. This preserve also has an easy access trail suitable for wheelchairs (see the trail map for more information).

Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve in Morgan Hill

Follow the Arrowhead Loop Trail around the perimeter of the preserve. If a shorter hike is desired, walking out and back to the southern vista area will also take you through wildflower territory.

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