The Peninsula’s Skyline Boulevard lives up to its name: The maples and sycamores at the northern end of the ridge-straddling, two-lane highway are painted with brilliant fall colors through the next few weeks. For the best colors, head south from Skeggs Point, where the big leaf maple trees lay an amber-colored blanket on the road (map). Four miles down is Alice’s Restaurant (a renowned motorcycle pit stop that’s equally friendly to non-bikers), and 7 miles after that a sharp left turn leads to Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. For a moderate and varied 3-mile hike, take the Stevens Creek Nature Trail, a loop that begins at a high point with brilliant views of rolling hills, then descends to Stevens Creek for the best fall display in the park: The poison oak is bright red (just don’t touch it!) and the buckeyes, big leaf maples, and black oaks show lime green, orange and gold. You may have companions along the way; red-tailed hawks and bobcats frequent this little-used open space.
Skyline Blvd. is also known as Hwy 35. To reach Monte Bello Open Space Preserve: From Alice’s Restaurant, travel south on Skyline Blvd. 7 miles to Page Mill Rd. Make a left (east) and go 1 mile to the parking lot. Pick up a map at the kiosk. Follow the Stevens Creek Nature Trail and Canyon Trail to make a counterclockwise loop. No dogs.