Walk with majestic redwoods and take in views of the Pacific and Half Moon Bay on this quintessential northern California hike in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. A former logging site in the 19th century, the preserve land was purchased by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve in 1984. The former logging roads, connected with newly built footpaths, now serve as excellent hiking trails to explore the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the towering redwoods that call it home.
This trail is the first official section of Ridge Trail! Dedicated in 1989, along with trail in Wunderlich County Park, the trail was the first step to making a vision of a continuous a 550-mile trail around the Bay a reality. 30 years later, the Ridge Trail is now 380 miles and growing with countless opportunities for exploration and adventure-but this hike will always hold a special spot in our hearts.
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
County: San Mateo
Distance: 5.8 miles one-way/10.7 miles loop
Directions: Starting from the Purisima Creek southern trail ahead along Skyline Blvd, follow the Purisima Creek trail 4.2 miles to the western edge of the preserve. Next, connect to the Harkins Ridge trail a follow it 3.3 miles to the northern trail head. If you have two cars and want to go point-to-point, park a car at the Northern and Southern trailheads, and when you reach your destination it’s only a short drive down Skyline Blvd back to your starting point.
Make it a loop:
Starting from the Purisima Creek southern trail ahead along Skyline Blvd, follow the Purisima Creek trail 4.2 miles to the western edge of the preserve. Next, connect to the Harkins Ridge Trail and 2.1 miles north to the Craig Britton trail. Follow the Craig Britton trail 2.6 miles to loop back to the Purisima Creek trail to return back to the southern trailhead.
Looking for more curated adventures? Check out the Official Guide Book to the Bay Area Ridge Trail – it’s packed full of useful information for planning hikes, backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trips with maps, detailed trail descriptions, curated trips and more.