Good things come in small packages! The peninsula’s Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, quietly located off Highway 280, makes an easygoing 2.3-mile loop through oaks and up to big canyon views. It’s also dog-friendly with an off-leash area for dogs to explore. Take the Blue Oak Trail’s gentle switchbacks up through namesake oaks, as well as bays and madrones.
In 0.4 mile you’ll get onto the paved and exposed Hassler Loop Trail, continuing uphill to big views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Follow signs to Polly Geraci Trail, where the scenery becomes more chapparal and shrub but the views continue across the peninsula and mountain range.
Descend through more oaks following the signs for Cordilleras Trail, which flattens out for a leisurely finish to the loop.
From I-280, exit Edgewood Rd. Travel 0.75 mile northeast on Edgewood Rd. toward Redwood City. Turn left (north) on Crestview Dr., then immediately turn left on Edmonds Rd. Follow Edmonds Rd. to the preserve entrance on the right. Dog-friendly! (dog photo by Phil King)