Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Parks



January 10, 2011


January 25, 2011







Honorable Board of Supervisors


David G. Holland, Director, Department of Parks


San Mateo County Take A Hike 2010



Accept a report on the San Mateo County Take A Hike 2010.



Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson initiated San Mateo County Take A Hike in 2009 to encourage residents to explore the natural beauty of San Mateo County’s parks, learn about the history of the County and promote healthy living through physical activity. In the fall of 2009, Supervisor Jacobs Gibson and the Department of Parks planned three hikes. Given the positive response to the hikes, Supervisor Jacobs Gibson and Parks decided to expand Take A Hike to eight hikes in 2010.



San Mateo County Take A Hike, led by Supervisor Jacobs Gibson, was a collaborative effort among the San Mateo County Department of Parks, San Mateo County Health System, and the San Mateo County Parks Foundation. Sponsors of this season were: Blue Shield, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Recology, San Mateo Credit Union, Allied Waste, Comcast, and Kaiser Permanente.


The hikes were promoted on the County website, the Parks Department website, and sponsor websites and through letters and emails to San Mateo County school administrators and teachers as well as San Mateo County city and county staff and elected representatives. The hikes were also covered in local newspapers and blogs.


San Mateo County Take A Hike 2010 launched on the chilly morning of April 3 at the San Andreas segment of the Crystal Springs Regional Trail with more than 100 hikers, 10 volunteers, eight sponsor representatives, two park rangers, and three miles of trails. Sponsors generously provided giveaways, including trail maps, backpacks, chap stick and band aid dispensers. The first 100 participants received t-shirts with the “Take A Hike” graphic printed on the front. The strong start set the tone for a vibrant season.

On average, hikes had 60 participants including those new to the program as well as returning participants. Hikers ranged in age from infants in strollers to those well into their 70s.


Each hike was hosted by Supervisor Jacobs Gibson and a park ranger who shared information about park history and indigenous vegetation and wildlife. Volunteers passed out information on local hiking trails, the prevention of insect-borne diseases, and preserving our County’s resources. When feasible, two hike routes were offered to accommodate new and experienced hikers.


The San Mateo County Take A Hike 2010 contributed to the Shared Vision 2025 for a Healthy Community measure of “healthy residents” by introducing first-time hikers to the parks and a new form of physical activity.


Take A Hike 2010 was successful. In addition to introducing first-time hikers to the parks and a new form of physical activity, experienced hikers took advantage of the hike series to learn more about parks they frequent and become familiar with other parks. San Mateo County residents met new friends and hiking partners. Families were introduced to a fun, inexpensive way to spend time together and to teach their children healthy habits. And, the Parks Department introduced its volunteer program to hikers as a way to help protect and preserve the beauty of the parks.


Given the positive response from County residents, a 2011 Take A Hike program will start this spring. We are currently developing an online tool that will allow participants to track their hiking activity and learn more about the health benefits of physical activity. We anticipate that this feature will be available for the 2011 season.


Tentative 2011 Hike Schedule

April 9: San Bruno Mountain

May 14: Junipero Serra Park

June 18: Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve

July 9: Huddart Park

August 13: Pillar Point Bluff

September 24: San Pedro Valley

October 29: Coyote Point

November 25: Pick A Park, Take A Hike