Yesterday we organized a Christmas Eve hike in Windy Hill Open Space Preserve.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
via flickr

Windy Hill is a park bounded by Portola Road and Skyline Boulevard, and the hike we went on took us from the former to the latter. There are parking lots on Portola and Skyline. We followed the Ridge Trail to Spring Ridge, and hiked it to the top of the park.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
via flickr

It’s one of the few parks that allows both dogs and horses, so we saw a fair number of each.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
via flickr

It also turned out to be rather kid-friendly, though it helped that there was a whole pack of kids. Of all the things you can take to keep kids from complaining during a hike, buddies are the most important.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
via flickr

Unlike the ridge parks, where any trail will have lots of uphill and downhill, these are one way: either you’re headed up to Skyline, or down to Portola Road.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
via flickr

The view from the summit is really great, though there are lots of good views of the valley and East Bay as you go.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve
via flickr