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Thanksgiving Holiday Hikes

SFGate‘s Tom Stienstra shares his recommendations for a Bay Area Thanksgiving hike. He has some good suggestions, and this is a beautiful time of year for hiking. (A hike also has the benefit of working off some of those Thanksgiving dinner calories!) Unfortunately, in an unusual overisght, he doesn’t include any South Bay hikes. Here are few of my suggestions:

***Almaden Quicksilver County Park
– If you follow this blog much you know that I hike a lot at this park. Several trailheads are accessible from Almaden Expressway in south San Jose. Several easy and popular routes start at the MacAbee Road entrance including a loop that climbs past the old Senador Mine to arrive at Guadalupe Reservoir. Further south on old Almaden Road (turn right off of the expressway) is the Mockingbird Hill entrance. One of my favorite hikes here travels through more intimate terrain of small valleys on the New Almaden Trail. Many people travel further down old Almaden through the town of New Almaden to the Hacienda entrance, where one can climb the Mine Hill Trail or (my favorite) the Deep Gulch trail to arrive at the top of the ridge where views of most of the Bay Area may be seen.

***Calero County Park
– This park is further south, completely beyond the urban areas of south San Jose. It is very popular with equistrians, but there are great hiking opportunities. You will likely see fewer people at this park. I enjoy a hike that loops out on the Javelina trail, though other interesting variations are possible and some new trails have recently opened that expand the opportunities for longer hikes.

***Sanborn Park
– Above Saratoga, this park provides access to a great trail that climbs all the way to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains, passing through a redwood grove along the way. A great hike goes from Sanborn all the way up to Castle Rock State Park. Adventurous hikers can make a very long hike but then heading out on the trails at Castle Rock before retracing their steps back to Sanborn.

***Mission Peak
– It isn’t really in the South Bay (more of an East Bay hike) but it is easily accessible from there and it is a great hike. A climb of more than 2000′ will let you work off a pretty good portion of your Thanksgiving dinner, and the views from the summit are spectacular. On a clear day you can just make out the snowcapped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

(You can see photos from all of these parks by clicking the appropriate links in the sidebar.)

There is a good chance that I’ll be on one or more of these hikes during the holiday weekend.
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November 24, 2005 - Posted by | Trails

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