Downsizing can be quite delightful. Take tucked-away Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area, on the northern edge of San Pablo Reservoir. Once part of the 17,754-acre Rancho San Pablo, Kennedy is now a 222-acre park with hiking trails, excellent views of the reservoir, and open space fragrant with eucalyptus trees.
Hike a 1.75-mile loop taking you to the top of the highest peak within the park, an overlook with a beautiful view of the reservoir. It’s a steady climb from the Laurel Loop Trail to Kennedy Creek Trail to the vantage point high above the reservoir on the Upper Sea Foam Trail. Follow the Lower Sea Foam Trail to the reservoir side to keep the spectacular view on your way back.
BONUS: Bring food. There are 14 picnic areas around the lawn at Kennedy Grove.
Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area is located off San Pablo Dam Rd. on the northernmost edge of San Pablo Reservoir. Parking is available on site for $5. Dog-friendly ($2 per dog; guide/service dogs free). A map of the park is available near the entrance gate to the parking lot.
NOTE: On Kennedy Grove’s official website it states that the Lower Sea Foam Trail is currently closed due to downed trees blocking the trail. At the time of our research just a few weeks ago, the trail was clear (and the portion of trail in question was not part of the hike we are recommending in this story). Following the route that’s close to the reservoir on Lower Sea Foam trail, no obstacles were encountered. If in doubt, after reaching the viewpoint, return the way you originally came.