A great casual retreat located in the central San Francisco Peninsula, Water Dog Park features the perfect combination of fantasy forestry and accessibility. There are plenty of parallel trails that make each walk through the park unique, but because the park area is relatively small and encircles the Water Dog Lake, it’s unlikely you’ll get lost geographically.
Instead, you can focus on getting lost in the beautiful scenes of small bridges over stream crossings, mossy drippings from the aging branches, and enjoy the twittering of bluebirds overhead. There are also plenty of dogs, hikers, and mountain bikers on the trail testifying to the park’s accessibility. The parks perimeter can be hiked within an hour, but the combination of available trails can lead to more exploring if desired.
The only downside (literally) is the park sits in a valley, so hikers start going down vertically into the park and end their hikes trekking back up. There aren’t many scenic landscapes to view while in the park, but just outside of its perimeter on the west side is Belmont Canyon, where you can see great views of the surrounding urban area all the way to the bay.