Around the Bay: Outdoor activities in our area

Allie Caccamo

While the Silicon Valley is an international icon for technology, our location also boasts many fantastic natural resources. When you’re tired after hours of staring at a Chromebook screen, here is a compilation of some of the best (and inexpensive!) outdoor activities that don’t require a long drive to the beach or an even longer drive to Lake Tahoe. Read on for more information and check out the map pictured above for directions!

  1. Kite Flying at Shoreline’s Kite Lot

Flying a kite is both relaxing and fun. Track down a kite in your garage, or order one from Amazon. Round up your friends and take advantage of the winds at Shoreline Kit Lot. It’s free–but then again, charging people for using the wind would be an obnoxious thing to do.

  1. Paddle Boating at Shoreline Lake

Paddle boating is surprisingly cheap and unsurprisingly awesome. For teenagers 16 and up, all you need is a parent signature and $23 dollars between the four (or three, or two) of you and you’re good to go for an hour. Just don’t fall in–if the color/aroma of the water is any indication, it would not be a pleasant experience. There are also sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, bikes, and tandem bikes, but paddle boating is a particularly safe bet for the uncoordinated.

  1. Walking at the Stanford Dish

The Dish is a great walk that’s shaped in a loop, so it’s pretty hard to get lost. The trail is free, but surprisingly rigorous. Try not to feel embarrassed when you get passed by an 85-year old woman, it happens. Parking can be tough, so we recommend going early in the morning to beat the crowd.

  1.  Visit at Deer Hollow Farm

After a hike at Rancho San Antonio Nature Preserve (which has many scenic paths for running and hiking) stop in at Deer Hollow Farm to say hello to the animals. There’s also a community-run orchard from which you can buy fresh produce, which is a great way to incorporate healthy foods into your diet as well as support the local agriculture industry.

  1. Fishing (and more!) at Lake Vasona

Los Gatos’ Lake Vasona is one of our area’s hidden gems; the county park offers fishing, nature trails, boating, and paddle boarding.

  1. Hiking through the Los Altos Hills Pathway System

Much of Los Altos Hills is crisscrossed by winding trails making up the Los Altos Hills Pathway system. The trails are open to horses, bikers, and hikers and the scenery is lovely. Access to the trails is free, but a map of the different paths is available for $3.00 in the Los Altos Town Hall.