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For years our hiking group scouted out the best trails in the best parks, plus discovered little-used entrances that don't charge parking fees. Now you, too, can enjoy the outdoor beauty surrounding Silicon Valley with little more effort than stepping into your shoes and heading out, whether on foot, bicycle, or horse--or with your dog.

This guide is conveniently organized into four geographic regions so you can plan your hike depending on proximity, weather, or interest. Four parks are highlighted as "Hidden Gems" as our hiking group's favorites, and two nearby "Out-of-Area Gems" are included for those willing to drive slightly farther for a truly wonderful experience.

In this guide you will find profiles for each of 37 local parks detailing:

Why to go to this particular park and what makes it special;
When is the best season or time to go, including consideration of weather;
What to expect once you get there--types of trails, sun or shade, restroom and picnic facilities, and if fees are charged;
Who can use this park--bikers, horses, and dogs are not allowed in every park;
Where to find maps and the trail head to start your adventure;
How to get there from the main highways cutting through Silicon Valley;
Plus... an exact trail route each for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced (in most parks).

We also describe how we've objectively assigned difficulty levels to each hike, so you can decide which level best matches your current ability. A separate list of 31 Beginner, 37 Intermediate, and 33 Advanced Hikes ranked by distance and indexed by region is included.

For those new to hiking, there is an overview of hiking basics and its health benefits, how to plan for your trek, obstacles to anticipate, and how to pace yourself.

For experienced hikers and runners, we'll introduce you to gradually-increasing challenges in terms of mileage, total climb, and degree of slope on each planned trail adventure. Each level offers a range of difficulty, so you can start out slowly and gradually increase your stamina until you are handling the toughest, longest climbs easily.

For those of you pursuing trail adventures on a bike or horse, or in the company of a dog, you'll find a comprehensive cross-index of suitable parks--24 for bikers, 30 for horses, and 13 for dogs.

This book will be invaluable to current hikers who want to explore new venues, anyone needing to plan a hike for a group outing, and out-of-town visitors who want a quick tour of our beckoning hills before returning home after the experience of a lifetime.

If you'd rather join our hiking group, you will find contact information in the eBook.

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