This loop is a great way to spend 3 hours or so. In this especially rainy winter season, I do try not to discourage myself from going out in wet weather, but I’m always waiting for a lull so I can get out in the sun. Things always seem fresh and clear after rain as long as you’re willing to tolerate muddy trails.
From the parking lot, we followed Spring Ridge Trail about three quarters of a mile, then continued on Meadow Trail to find the junction with Hamm’s Gulch. The next three miles or so are mostly uphill, so expect to burn some calories. There’s a lot of tree cover which I’m sure helps to moderate the heat on spring and summer hikes. We stopped periodically to catch our breath and admire the views – by the time we reached Skyline Boulevard, we had gained about 1400 feet.
At Lost Trail we turned north and continued on Anniversary Trail. We detoured on Windy Hill Summit Trail to get the lay of the land, and to say that we did it. Some guys hauling hang glider equipment huffed and puffed up the path; we didn’t see them launch, but saw the landing zone later, in a meadow near the parking lot.
Spring Ridge Trail heads downhill with excellent views all the way. It seems this may be one of the more popular trails, as we encountered many people headed up and down. At roughly 6 miles, We broke off at Meadow Trail and had that mostly to ourselves. Meadow meets Spring Ridge again, which we followed back to the parking lot.
Perhaps one of the smaller preserves in the Mid-Peninsula district, but it has multiple access points and we really enjoyed the hike. It’d be cool to come back and try to do some photography of hang gliders.