Explore Vanessa - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Vanessa Map

Beautiful walk. Nice and shaded. Plenty of places to catch your breath and enjoy the views

trail running
9 days ago

Can start also at Parker Ranch near Saratoga Country Club, crosses Fremont Older & Stevens Creek Park boundaries. Have phone or GPS, lots of forks, options & Vista points

mountain biking
12 days ago

What seems to be missing in these reviews is that this section of the trail does, indeed, go through the Ritz Carlton and its golf course which is all paved, but also one can continue north and south. Going north from the Ritz Carlton, the official paved path goes across a bridge and heads north all the way through Half Moon Bay and above. The signage is scarce but the trail does go through. Heading south is a bit more interesting. Near the end of the golf course along the coast there is a sign that says "coastal trail ends" and immediately after that on the coast is the beginning of a well used flat and winding dirt trail (fine for hiking but best for mountain bikes) that runs along the bluffs (pretty close in places so not so great for young children) for a mile or so to the Cowell Ranch Beach and the start of the new Cowell -Purissima official trail which is only open on weekends and holidays under a deal reached with the local growers. This official trail continues south for miles and is great. The entrance is well gated closed on weekdays and not possible to go around. From the beach is a short road that leads to a good sized parking lot just off highway 1. So, going northwards from the parking lot one can go to the beach, head north on the unmarked dirt trail to the south end of the golf course, then onto the paved trail along the golf course and through the hotel property and continuing on the official trail to and past Half Moon Bay. My wife and I have ridden our mountain bikes and seen people hiking this way for years.

Beautiful views

I don’t know why people were saying this trail isn’t easy. I don’t hike all that often, and while it was lengthy for time spent on your feet, it certainly isn’t strenuous. I went the direction of Sunset to Cinderella (counterclockwise). This way had a lot of downhill toward the end which was slippery and no fun if you have bad knees. I recommend maybe going the other direction (clockwise). You may get a little more uphill workout but then it will chill out. A small window of views of the bay, but that’s it. Otherwise just a pretty trail. 85% shade. Went at 1:30pm on a Monday. Few families with dogs and a few bikers, nothing crazy. Enjoyed it overall!

Fully shaded hike even good sun light. Great terrain for training endurance track

Nice shaded trail. Just a bit hard to find.

Did this hike today with my husband and mom. None of us are avid hikers but the hike was the perfect length with just enough hills to make us feel like were getting in our workout.

16 days ago

Nice hike. But, only some of it was shaded and watch out for the bikers.

Fun little loop to run

Hiked this trail a few weeks ago. Went on a weekday afternoon. It was a bit crowded but fun.

24 days ago

Need better trail markings. I bathrooms, but porta potties.

This trail is great for beginning trail running! It's a pretty easy trail with a slow incline. The trail is really beautiful with the creek and big redwood trees. I wore my normal running shoes instead of hiking books, and I didn't have any trouble crossing the creek. It was a warm day but much cooler on the trail.

Trail is slightly confusing or maybe I was confused but overall was an amazing hike. Definitely moderate, not easy and it’s fairly long but worth it. Scenery was absolutely stunning but there is lots of poison oak.

It said easy so I wore normal shoes and slipped several times on steep rocky downhill areas. It’s also super dusty because of all the mountain bikes, so instead of looking at green foliage it’s all brown.

I'm rating this trail 1 star because it is definitely not an easy trail. If you're a novice you won't like this trail. Definitely a beautiful hike but this trail has 100s of mountain bikers on it. I had to move around 50 times out of the way of mountain bikers. There were areas on the trail only 2 feet wide where you have to make room for mountain bikes moving at 25 mph. This trail is not KID FRIENDLY like suggested above. Steep hills with unsafe conditions. I went with my sister and towards the end of the trail we saw a family approaching the trail and urged then to turn around. We warned them that it wasn't safe for kids. Out of control mountain bikers make this trail uncomfortable and nerve recking during tight quarters. It's a beautiful trail that should be dedicated to either hiking or mountain biking, not both. I'm not a rookie hiker. I've been on over 100 hikes from this all trails app

Quite a pleasant walk, through woodland. Seeing the deer was a treat.

road biking
1 month ago

Overall nice trail . People have mentioned homeless or not a great area near by. Just park in Hellyer Park by the lake you’ll be fine then go south from there. I’ve done this ride a couple of dozen times. Most of first half of trail plenty of shade second half some but not much. Also first half busier with hikers, dogs, families once you pass fishing ponds much less traffic on trail. The trails is mostly flat with some gentle rolling small hills. The park about 5 miles past Hellyer has a bathroom the next is at the end. There are a few water spots and benches every so often. Once at the end you can continue another mile, mile and half to Anderson dam the last quarter mile up to dam is kinda steep just be warned but I enjoy going there.

on Coastal Trail

road biking
1 month ago

The trail goes thru a golf course.... Ugghhhhh!

I went in the evening and it was a great trail. I can imagine that it might get hot during the daytime. I was a bit surprised how much dog poop was on the trail. Wish folks did a better job picking up after their pups.

Agree with all the other reviews that the views of the lake are beautiful. Would recommend reversing the direction to end along the lake which would provide the best for last.

Great for biking. Goes even further than the map shows.

A nice short hike. Several options to lengthen or shorten the loop. A few steep portions but the stretches aren’t too long. loads of restrooms on the way and ample parking. A great 2 hr nature walk

Great trail! Mostly shaded with some spots out in the open. Signs can be confusing at times, so I used the map on AllTrails to make sure I was headed in the right direction. Definitely some ascending/descending, but not too difficult. Not stroller friendly.

1 month ago

Good trail for a morning workout. Parked at Prospect road lot. Was very crowded when I arrived at 9.15am but luckily got a parking spot. Parking gets freer during later hours. Trail was well marked. Not shaded in quite a few places.

1 month ago

There are mountain lions here! We were able to take our dog on a leash and did about 4 hours of hiking into different tails. We did notice however that there weren’t many people on the trails which is how we saw the mountain lion taking a nap on the trail. When there’s less foot traffic it can be dangerous. Overall it’s decently covered with trees and the weather can be warm.

best hike ever! easy not moderate, my kids love it!.

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