By Will Reisman, @WillReisman
In San Mateo County, all it takes is some bus fare and a bicycle to enjoy all the great attractions that make summer on the Peninsula so memorable.
While many cities and communities of San Mateo County are clustered around the Highway 101 corridor, there are a slew of open spaces and waterfront parks that are off the beaten path, but still easily accessible by travelers who take their bike on SamTrans.
For example, the Coyote Point Recreation Area in San Mateo is a hidden gem on the San Francisco Bay side of the Peninsula. The waterfront open space has walking trails with beautiful views of the bay, children’s playgrounds, beaches, and even a duck pond for good measure. For park-goers who want to eschew their vehicles, SamTrans Route 252 provides service to the other edge of the park, with a stop at the corner of North Bayshore Boulevard and East Poplar Avenue. From there, it’s less than a mile bike ride to the hub of Coyote Point Recreation Area.
Just down the road from Coyote Point Recreation Area is Baywinds Park in Foster City, another pristine open space that can be reached by a combination of SamTrans and biking. Blustery conditions are a constant at the park (hence the name), but residents who visit the coastal haunt can witness some world-class windsurfers plying their trade on the San Francisco Bay waters. SamTrans Route 256 serves the Foster City community, and the bus’s stop at Bridgepointe Center and Trader Lane is a .9-mile bike ride from Baywinds Park.
On the other side of the Peninsula, families can view another form of adrenaline-producing recreation. Mussel Rock Park Beach on the Daly City and Pacifica border offers plenty of seaside hiking opportunities, plus it is home to “The Dumps,” a famous launching point for local paragliders. By taking SamTrans Route 110 to the park entrance, public transit passengers can witness these daredevils launch themselves off rocky cliffs with only the wind currents to guide them.
San Mateo County is also more than just the open spaces that dot the coastside. San Bruno Mountain State Park is a huge preserve in the north central part of the county that boasts an array of hiking and biking trails, horseback riding facilities and family picnic areas with barbecue pits and volleyball courts. The mountainous park also offers stunning views of San Francisco (when the fog lifts) and other impressive vistas. Fortunately for people interested in checking out the environs, SamTrans Route 121 drops off passengers at the Crocker Gate Trail Head of the park.
Summer is a great time to explore the many treasures of San Mateo County, and SamTrans is the perfect vehicle for those adventures.