The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Life in the great outdoors: Fun Bay Area hikes

Patricia Nguyen

Lakes and Trails

The Los Creek Trail sign welcomes all as they pass through the main gates into the parking lot, Sunday, May 12.

Spring weather got you in the mood for something a little outdoorsy? Take a hike! Literally.

Living in the valley means there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails all over the Bay Area, some that are close by and some that are worth the drive.

Yet no matter where you go, it’s a memorable and inexpensive way to spend your day.

Here’s a list of some great places to try out whether you’re a beginner hiker or if you want more of a challenge.

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Things you need:

– comfortable walking shoes

– lightweight clothing

– sunscreen / sun block

– water and snacks

– map of the trails you’ll be going on (usually provided by the site)

1) Fremont Older Open Space

2898 Prospect Road


Parking: Free but limited spaces

Good for: Hiking, biking, dogs, horeseback riding

Hiker difficulty: Easy to moderate

Trail length: 1.5 miles to 6 miles (depending on trail)

You can go clear your head with a quick hike at one of the closest sites to De Anza College, which is three miles away from campus.

The trails are easy to navigate and the views are refreshing.

The site is perfect for all levels of hikers.

The trail splits up and multiplies into different trails throughout the mountain. Refer to your map and set out for adventure.

The most popular trail from Fremont Older is the 2.5 mile Steven’s Creek Trail that leads you to a reservoir.

2) Los Gatos Creek Trail

1250 Dell Ave

Campbell, CA 95008

Parking: $6

Good for: Hiking, biking, dogs, fishing, picnics

Hiker difficulty: Easy to moderate

Trail length: 9.7 miles

For those of you who would prefer to stay around the city but still would like an outdoor workout, this is the trail for you.

The multiple areas along the trail that you can start from are Vasona Park, Highway 9 or Meridian Avenue.

The trail is popular during the weekends,  but the nature is worth the hassle.

Passing along many lakes and rivers, hikers can see wildlife and take in fresh air.

A plus to this trail are clean bathroom facilities and picnic tables which makes the location perfect for any type of gathering.

3) Heintz Open Space

Regent Drive,

Los Gatos

Parking: Free

Good for: Hiking, biking, dogs

Hiker difficulty: Easy

Trail Length: 0.3 to 0.6

Looking for a beginning hike that has views where you don’t have to head into the mountains?

Heintz Open Space is a quick trek for those twho don’t want to go for a half-day adventure.

Even though the trails are short, going back down is a bit steep.

With fantastic views of the South Bay and downtown San Jose, Heintz is great for any hiker.

4) Alum Rock Exploration

16240 Penitencia Creek Road

San Jose

Parking: $6

Good for: Hiking, biking, dogs, horseback riding, picnics

Hiker difficulty: Easy to moderate

Trail length: 6 miles

Alum Rock Exploration in East San Jose has a great 6-mile trail that is sure to get your blood flowing.

The trails are always maintained and they have facilities as well as picnic areas for families.

While climbing up the mountain, you’ll be greeted with another fantastic view of the valley. Along the way, you could also be greeted with plenty of wildlife such as neighboring cows, lurking deers or even mountain lions. Either way, it’s an experience to remember.

5) Berry Creek Falls Trail

21600 Big Basin Way

Boulder Creek

Parking: $10

Good for: Hiking, biking, camping

Hiker difficulty: Moderate to hard

Trail length: 12 miles

If you felt that the first four hikes  weren’t up to your level, this hike is yout best bet.

Nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Berry Creek Falls does not cease to amaze.

Spring and early summer are the best times to try out this trail since that’s when the water flow is at its strongest.

The hike entails numerous hills and steep downhills, but it all pays off when you encounter the creeks and water falls.

Surrounded completely by nature, the hike pulls you away from reality and dazzles you with its natural beauty.

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