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Friday, October 16, 2015

Outdoor Activities Close to Home

While the Silicon Valley is an international icon for technology, our location also boasts many fantastic natural resources. For when you're tired of staring at your computer screen, I've compiled some of the best (inexpensive!) outdoor activities that don't require a long drive to beach or an even longer drive to Lake Tahoe. Read on for more information and check out the map above for directions!

1. Kite Flying at Shoreline's Kite Lot
Flying a kite is both relaxing and fun. Track down a kite in your garage, or order one from Amazon. Round up your friends and take advantage of the winds at Shoreline Kit Lot. It's free--but then again, charging people for using the wind would be an obnoxious thing to do.

2. Paddle Boating at Shoreline Lake
Paddle boating is surprisingly cheap and unsurprisingly awesome. For teenagers 16 and up, all you need is a parent signature and $23 dollars between the four (or three, or two) of you and you're good to go for an hour. Just don't fall in--if the color/aroma of the water is any indication, it would not be a pleasant experience. There are also sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, bikes, and tandem bikes (!), but paddle boating is a particularly safe bet for the uncoordinated.

3. Walking at the Stanford Dish
The Dish is a great walk that's shaped in a loop, so it's pretty hard to get lost. The trail is free, but surprisingly rigorous. Try not to feel embarrassed when you get passed by an 85-year old woman, it happens...to me at least. Parking can be tough, I recommend going in the morning to beat the crowd.

4.  Visit at Deer Hollow Farm
After a hike at Rancho San Antonio Preserve (which has many scenic paths for running and hiking, by the way) stop in at Deer Hollow Farms to say hello to the animals. There's also a community-run orchard for your perusal.

5. Fishing (and more!) at Lake Vasona
Los Gatos' Lake Vasona is one our area's hidden gems; the county park offers fishing, nature trails, boating, and paddle boarding.

6. Hiking through the Los Altos Hills Pathway System
Much of Los Altos Hills is crisscrossed by winding trails making up the Los Altos Hills Pathway system. The trails are open to horses, bikers, and walkers and the scenery is lovely. Access to the trails is free, but a map of the different paths is available for $3.00 in the Los Altos Town Hall.

Post by Allie C., Homework Assistant

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