First place, first to market, first in line. Firsts are good! And that includes hiking in Santa Clara County’s first park: Stevens Creek County Park. It’s an ideal choice for a South Bay hike featuring all kinds of scenery—a calm reservoir, sycamore trees, sweeping city and mountain views. For a moderate nearly 6-mile loop hike, follow the Tony Look Trail, a mostly shaded, meandering trail along the east side of the Stevens Creek Reservoir, a boating and stand-up paddling haven. Connect to Coyote Ridge Trail just past the northern end of the reservoir and cross over into the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve for a brief bit.
The Coyote Ridge Trail is wider but steeper, with some exposed stretches that can be wearisome in warm weather. Views of the entire Silicon Valley unfold, along with the Diablo and Santa Cruz mountain ranges. Lording icons Mount Hamilton and Mount Umunhum are both seen on this hike. Take a very short detour when you see the sign for Maisie’s Peak, an even better viewpoint, before descending on the Vista Loop to Lookout Trail.
To reach the trailhead from the park’s southern entrance, take Saratoga Sunnyvale Rd., go west onto Pierce Rd., right onto Mt. Eden Rd., and finally right onto Stevens Canyon Rd. Drive just past the Madrone parking lot, and you will see an entrance gate and free street parking. Dog-friendly!