Nestled in the foothills above Saratoga, Villa Montalvo is a puptastic spot to go hiking with Fido in Santa Clara County. Previously owned by Senator James Phelan, the former estate is now a public park that draws thousands of visitors each year with its miles of hiking trails, formal and informal gardens, and the Montalvo Arts Center.
While canine visitors are welcome to explore the trails above the historic villa on this 170-acre property, they are not permitted in the gardens and grounds. If you'd like to go on a tour of the villa, check out the exotic and native plants in the gardens, or watch a summer concert in the amphitheater, you'll have to leave your pooch at home. Otherwise, it's straight to the upper trails for your pawty if Fido's tagging along! Just be sure to keep your furry pal on a 6-foot leash at all times and bring bags to pick up after them.
The unpaved trails, which are managed by Santa Clara County Parks, meander through woodland composed mostly of redwood, coast live oak, and California bay. These paths connect with one another, allowing for various loop opportunities, and will lead you and your dog up the hillside to Lookout Point, the park's highest reachable point. With minor elevation changes, the hike up is easy to moderate—nothing that a healthy pup can't handle. Though the park is mostly shaded, bringing enough water for you and your four-legged hiking buddy is still a must. Also, keep an eye out for poison oak along the trails. At the top, you and Fido will find yourselves looking out over Silicon Valley, and there's even a bench where you can sit and really enjoy the pawmazing view. Have water on hand for your thirsty pup.
For a fun, dog-friendly hike in the South Bay, you can't go wrong with bringing your best friend to Villa Montalvo!