Less than half an hour from Silicon Valley, the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is a pawsome site where you and your canine BFF can take a break from city life. Covering 1,335 acres in southwest Portola Valley, Windy Hill features open grassland ridges, lush coniferous and hardwood forests, and a windy grass-covered hilltop for which it is named.
Hit the trails with your furry pal to explore the expansive preserve! With the exception of the Lost and Razorback Trails, all paths are open to four-legged visitors as long as they remain on a 6-foot leash. Don't furget to bring mutt mitts for cleaning up after your pup, too—moving waste off the trails is prohibited, and all trash must be bagged and packed out. Also be sure to bring water for your thirsty pup.
One route that you can take with Fido is the loop around Sausal Pond. Spanning 1.6 miles, this easy hike begins in the Portola Road parking lot and follows the Spring Ridge and Betsy Crowder Trails. You and your pooch will be strolling past the pond, which is a nice spot to eat a packed lunch, and climbing through oaks and grassland. For a hike with a view, hit the Anniversary Trail in the northwest portion of the preserve. Starting in the Skyline Boulevard parking lot, this 0.6-mile path will lead you and your dog to the top of Windy Hill, where you can look out onto the bay and surrounding valley. Note that some of the trails are also used by cyclists and equestrians, so make sure your hiking partner has good leash manners!
For a woofderful nature day trip in the Bay Area, look no further than the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve! Head out early as the parking lots fill up quickly.