Put paws to GGNRA paths in San Mateo County

By: DogTrekker Staff
yellow lab looking into the distance on wide trail at sunset
Photo by Amy Humphries.

People have walked their dogs, both on- and off-leash, for decades on the lands in San Mateo County that became part of the GGNRA after the National Park Service’s 1979 Pet Policy went into effect. While future privileges are up in the air, dog-walking access is safe for now. Here are some favorite places to go:

The community of Pacifica, sprawled over six miles of coastline just over the hill from San Francisco International Airport, is a haven for DogTrekkers who relish fresh air, wide-open scenery and thousands of acres of roam-worthy public lands. One of the most scenic and easy to access trails is the path leading to Mori Point, a jutting headland opening onto spectacular views up and down the coast. This piece of the GGNRA is accessed by an easy, 3-mile trail with lots of resting spots and interpretive signs. If the scenery at the top looks vaguely familiar, it might be because this is where Harold drove his Jaguar off a cliff in the final scene of the 1971 film Harold and Maude. Keep your dog on a leash; after all, you don’t want her going over too!

Sweeney Ridge, accessible from Mori Point and several other trailheads, is a GGNRA parcel of ridges and favorites in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Its 1,200-foot summit slopes down to the open Pacific on one side and San Francisco Bay on the other. For a moderate, 4-mile hike with a 600-foot elevation gain and several interesting historic sites along the way, use the Sneath Lane trailhead. Longer hikes can be accessed via the Mori Point trailhead.


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