The San Francisco Bay Area is full of scenic views and spoils us with amazing places to refuel our energy and reconnect with our essence. We picked our five favorite walking trails near the San Francisco Bay not just because they are easy to navigate with beautiful vistas, but also because they’re all family friendly and dog friendly.
Our Picks for the 5 Best Walking Trails in the San Francisco Bay Area
Marin Headlands Trail Loop
This spectacular 10 mile trail loop is one of the most scenic hikes you’ll ever experience. On a clear day, you can see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge with the urban scenery of downtown San Francisco beyond it. You’ll be surrounded by various wildlife and find peace and quiet once you go further into the hike. There is never a bad time of year to go, just make sure you bring extra layers as it can get very windy and/or foggy. Marin Headlands Trail Loop offers you a spectacular hike from the northern end of Golden Gate Bridge that can eventually end in Muir Beach.
Recommendation: A great boot for this trail would be the Forest Boots as they are great for a nice walk in the nature in style.
This relaxing 1 mile trail loop starts at the visitor center and takes you along Redwood Creek through the most enormous and beautiful redwood trees you’ll ever see. Even though the walk is short in length, you can make the stop even shorter by crossing one of the many bridges that take you back to the beginning while showing you something different making this trail one of the more family friendly trails on this list. If you feel more energetic you can always extend this walk by taking one of the many trails that lead to other places. Muir Woods offers numbered stops along the way which identify landmarks noted in the accompanying nature trail booklet.
Batteries to Bluffs Trail
This 2 mile trail is a great way to experience the bluffs near the Presidio and provides a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The trail is a moderate hike due to the need to do some light climbing if you decide to go off the beaten path and check out Marshall beach. If you’re lucky enough to experience this trail on a clear late afternoon, you can enjoy a pleasant sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
A hidden gem of a trail located in the East Bay in the Oakland hills just a few miles from downtown Oakland. This park features gorgeous redwood trees and beautiful streams to wander through. The park is made up of big old redwood trees and is now the largest set of redwoods in the Easy Bay. Dogs are allowed and mostly run free unleashed near their owners. Redwood Trail is terrific for watching nature inhabitants both on land and in the air.
Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
This preserve is located in the Berkeley hills just behind the historic Claremont Hotel which contains many eye catching variety of wildflowers. The Stonewall-Panoramic Trail is a steep .75 mile hike but hikers who make the trek will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Oakland, Berkeley and the rest of the San Francisco bay area. The trail at Claremont Canyon journeys east along the boundaries of the UC Berkeley Ecological Study Area.
What Do You Think is the best Walking Trail in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Even a stroll on the the Golden Gate is breath taking. Whether you like hilling near the water or in the woods, don’t forget to bring your Hilling boots with you for all the comfort and protection in every step of the way.
With so many trails available in the San Francisco bay area, it’s difficult to decide the best one. It was certainly difficult for us to only choose five. What’s your favorite trail? Let us know your favorite walking trail by leaving a comment, we’d love to know!