San Francisco to Open New Hiking Trail in Little-Explored Wilderness

San Francisco’s vast watershed lands in San Mateo County, above Interstate 280 and the Crystal Springs Reservoir, remain a little-explored wilderness. The 23,000 acres flush with oaks, redwoods, and Douglas fir, offering sometimes dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, are largely off-limits to the public. However, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission plans to begin construction of a six-mile trail to lift the curtain on more of the closely guarded watershed.

The new path, which will run near Skyline Boulevard south of Highway 92, will connect to an existing 10-mile trail that opened 20 years ago. The Southern Skyline Boulevard Ridge Trail will make the terrain easier to navigate, and hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians will be welcome. A permit, obtained online, will be required.

The six-foot-wide dirt and gravel path is scheduled to be completed in 2025. The new trail will not require a tour because it travels through less sensitive natural areas. The trail, as planned, never crosses streams or lakes that contribute to the area’s water supply.

The trail’s meandering route takes explorers through a diverse ecosystem, showcasing native plant species and providing glimpses of local wildlife. Interpretive signs along the way educate hikers about the region’s ecology, fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders that abound.

San Francisco’s new hiking trail in San Mateo County’s watershed lands will offer sometimes dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. The six-mile trail will connect to an existing 10-mile trail and will be completed in 2025. Hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians will be welcome, and a permit will be required.