Recent rains and warm days have brought a burst of wildflowers to the Peninsula’s Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. Each spring this park is a tapestry of colors. For a moderate 5-miler that pairs wildflowers with amazing views, start on the Ridge Trail. Within the first mile, yellow Johnny jump-ups leap into view and blue-eyed grass weaves all across the ridge. From 2,500 feet, Half Moon Bay beckons and Silicon Valley and the Bay shine beneath a series of cascading hills. Descend the ridge by making a left onto Hawk Trail where a native blackberry bush brims with white blossoms. Soon you’ll be winding through a furry green grove of knotty and twisted oak trees—some with branches so thick they make good seats for taking a break. On the ascent back to the ridge, milkmaids, hound’s tongue and miner’s lettuce sprinkle the trail. Good Russia color!
TIP: Join the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District on a volunteer-led wildflower hike at Russian Ridge. Visit the district’s calendar of activities to learn more.
The Russian Ridge parking lot is at the intersection of Hwy. 35 and Alpine Rd. Pick up a map at the kiosk and follow the Ridge Trail about 2 miles until you reach Hawk Trail. Turn left and take the Hawk Trail and follow signs toward the Ancient Oaks Trail. Take the Ancient Oaks Trail. After .5 mile you can turn left to go back up to the Ridge Trail, or continue on the Ancient Oaks Trail. Either way will take you back to the parking lot. No dogs.