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Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve: 2.5-Mi Easy Dog Hike w/ 16-Acre Off-Leash Area

I reserved the side patio of a dog friendly Italian restaurant in Redwood City for appetizers, pizza and drinks after the hike: http://www.donatoenoteca.com/

2.5-mile easy loop with 400 feet elevation gain. Dogs are permitted on-leash on trails, and off-leash at the 16-acre off-leash dog area.  

Everyone is welcome – even if you don’t have a dog. We will meet at the information signboard.

Street Address: 174 Edmonds Rd
Preserve entrance on Edmonds Road, Redwood CityCA 

Meeting Place: Information signboard.

Getting there: From Interstate 280 in San Mateo County, exit #29/Edgewood Road. Drive about 1 mile east, then turn left onto Crestview Drive (just before the entrance to Edgewood Park). Almost immediately, turn left onto Edmonds Road. After about 0.2 mile, turn right into the signed parking lot.

Trailhead details: No entrance or parking fees. There is a vault toilet. There are two designated handicapped parking spots, and two trails are wheelchair accessible. No drinking water. Maps are available at the information signboard. There is no direct public transportation to this preserve.

Hiking time:
1 1/2 hours.

This is a small preserve; a good choice for beginners. 

Exposure:
Mix of shade and sun.

Trail traffic:
Moderate. 

Trail surfaces:
Dirt trails.

Season:
Nice any time, really special in early spring.

Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
http://www.transitandtrails.org/trailheads/121

GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
Latitude 37°28'30.22"N
Longitude 122°16'58.16"W
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)

Gas, food, and lodging:
None in the immediate area. No camping.

The Official Story:
MROSD's Pulgas page.
MROSD field office[masked]

Map Choices
• Map from MROSD (download Pulgas pdf).
 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco, by Jane Huber has a simple map and a featured hike. Order this book from Amazon.com
• Peninsula Tales and Trails, by David Weintraub (order this book from Amazon.com) has an overview of the preserve, descriptions of hikes, and simple maps. 
• The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book, by Tom Taber, has a simple map and preserve descriptions (order this book from Amazon.com). 
• Peninsula Trails, by Jean Rusmore, has a simple map, trail descriptions, and suggested hikes (order this book from Amazon.com).

• View 60 photos from the featured hike (old trailhead shown)

(Text above and below quoted from Jane Huber's Bay Area Hiker Web site.)

After we meet at the information signboard, we will go from there to the edge of the parking lot, and follow the signed trail toward Polly Geraci Trail. The path accompanies a string of power lines to the left, as it traverses a gently sloping hillside. Coast live oaks, California bays, and buckeyes provide shade.  After some easy undulating, the trail bends right, passes through a narrow tree-dotted meadow, crosses a road, and meets Cordilleras Trail at a T junction. Turn left.
     

The trail cuts through private land, so stay on the trail (don't walk on the road).  

After 0.37 mile, at a signed junction, Cordilleras Trail continues uphill, while a gated trail heads under the trees to the right. (You can continue on the paved Cordilleras Trail to create a shorter, 1.3 mile hike.) Turn right. 

After a few feet, at 0.40 mile, Polly Geraci Trail begins on the left at a signed junction.The trail continuing straight is suitable for wheelchairs. Turn left.
      
The Trail Center built this segment, and it's lovely. It's a hiking-only, gently-climbing trail that is quiet and shady. In spring, look for mission bells, starflower, woodland star, mule ear sunflower, milkmaids, columbine, hound's tongue, giant trillium, Indian warrior, and fetid adder's tongue in bloom. Deer are common, especially on the eastern side of this canyon. On the way uphill, Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail heads off to the right, taking hikers on a long tour through the preserve's northern area. Continue straight on Polly Geraci Trail

Through chaparral


     Switchbacks ascend under buckeye, coast live oak, madrone, and California bay trees. In the understory, gooseberries, snowberries, and honeysuckle nestle among the ferns. Traffic noise from 280 infiltrates solitude after 0.75 mile or so. The foliage gradually shifts to chaparral near a bench at about 1.07 miles, where a small snip of the highway is visible, as well as some large newer homes on the crest across the canyon to the northeast. This section of chaparral is lovely, with tall chamise shrubs and manzanitas, giving the trail a tunnel feel. Spring flowers include zigadene, bluewitch nightshade, and sticky monkeyflower. Elderberry, yerba santa, ceanothus, pitcher sage, and toyon are also present. The trail becomes sandy, and if you look across the canyon, you can see more chaparral-coated rocky hills with small sandstone formations (unfortunately, those hills are not part of the preserve). 

View from the ridge

At 1.38 miles, the trail ends at a signed junction with Hassler Trail -- Dick Bishop Trail begins immediately across from the junction. Hassler to the right ascends to run along a CalTrans vista point (fenced) -- the other end of Dusky-footed Woodrat Trail connects to Hassler there. Turn left and head downhill.
        

When it's clear there's a nice panorama of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the right. To the east Mount Hamilton looms in the distance. Hassler Trail is a wide paved road, with a comfortable downhill grade. Some eucalyptus trees line the way. 

The trail splits around the off-leash dog area at 1.54 miles; it's 0.4 mile either way, but I prefer the trail to the right, for nicer views of the slopes of Edgewood Preserve across the canyon to the south. Bear right.


        Blue Oak Trail starts at a signed junction off the right side of the trail, just past the end of the dog area loop at 1.87 miles. Turn right. 

Blue Oak Trail


      
Blue and coast live oaks, California bay, and madrone shade the narrow hiking-only trail. Almost immediately, the other end of Sagebrush Trail feeds from the right. Indian warrior, shooting stars, and hound's tongue make a strong showing from late winter to early spring, and broom and poison oak are common. Switchbacks keep the descent a gentle one. In mid-spring you might see fairy lanterns along the trail. At 2.3 miles, Blue Oak Trail ends at the edge of the parking lot.

(Text above quoted from Jane Huber's Bay Area Hiker Web site.)


Join or login to comment.

  • Steven W.

    A nice walk, a bit steep at first, and then a bite to eat.

    December 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great - the people were friendly and the hike location was great for the dogs.

    2 · December 22, 2013

  • Philippe

    Thanks again Zeta! The kids and I really enjoyed it.

    1 · December 21, 2013

  • Julia O.

    Great short and easy hike with equally great people. Lovely hike to see if I liked the meetup - which I did!

    1 · December 21, 2013

  • Jill

    Took 10 ten minutes to get there from Burlingame, it was great! Parking was easy and the trails were clear.

    1 · December 21, 2013

  • Ed W

    Running way behind, will arrive and catch up on the trail with the group. If I hear angry cows I know someone's dog is up to no good...

    1 · December 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, the holidays are calling me away...

    December 21, 2013

  • Barbara S

    I am a "maybe" RSVP - thank you:-)

    December 21, 2013

  • Stephanie

    If interested in carpooling from South SJ, pls txt [masked]-0895. thx!

    December 20, 2013

  • Stephanie

    hello ... anyone interested in carpooling from South SJ?

    December 20, 2013

  • Kathleen P.

    Sorry to miss this, but something else has come up
    See you next time!

    December 20, 2013

  • Stephanie

    Hello, am interested in carpool from South SJ, Almaden valley area, anyone?

    December 18, 2013

  • Marilyn

    Hi...yes, I would like to car pool Myrna

    November 10, 2013

    • Myrna D.

      Ok. The 3play of us for sure. Anyone else shows up we can form carpools at that time. Come prepared to help drivers with gas money. Thanks.

      December 16, 2013

  • Ed W

    And there are locations with pizza nearby... hike and yum!

    December 16, 2013

  • Philippe

    With 4 leg kids.

    December 1, 2013

  • Myrna D.

    Anyone want to carpool from Page Mill Park & Ride at 12:30?

    November 10, 2013

    • Myrna D.

      Good. Meet you there.

      November 10, 2013

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