The holiday season is filled with guilty pleasures: Spiked eggnog, check. Buying yourself a gift, check. Climbing to a panoramic high point via a short mountain bike ride or hike, check and check! You’ll be practically stealing the sweeping view at Hunter’s Point in Cupertino’s Fremont Older Preserve, but that’s okay: This adventure is great for those who are crunched for time but still want to take the family out to stretch their legs and gain a good perspective. It’s a short 1.6 miles (round-trip) to enjoy the 900-foot hilltop, but the scenery makes a big impact.
Take the Cora Older Trail and climb through oak cover before breaking out to exposed grasslands. Following Hayfield Trail you’re surrounded by rolling hills. A final gradual climb and you’re at Hunter’s Point, marked by a bench and fantastic views of the Santa Clara Valley backed by the Diablo mountain range.
If you’re biking, it’s a fast blast all the way down to the trailhead (the dirt tail is smooth, so you’re not dodging rocks and tree roots). Hikers can savor the winter sun, low and lean across the landscape.
TIP: Add a mile to your ride or walk by connecting to Ranch Road from Hayfield Trail on your way back. Ranch Road connects to Seven Springs Loop Trail, which takes you back to Cora Older Trail.
Exit Hwy. 85 at De Anza Blvd. Travel on De Anza Blvd. (towards the mountains) about 0.5 mile. Turn right on Prospect Rd. At the first stop sign, turn left and cross the railroad tracks to remain on Prospect Rd. Follow Prospect for 1.3 miles, turning left after the Saratoga Country Club, until you reach the preserve parking lot. Parking is free. Take the Cora Older Trail to Hayfield Trail, which leads to Hunter’s Point. Dog-friendly!