September 27, 2008

County Parks Fees Waived for a Day

By Daisy Miao

Have a hankering to enjoy the great outdoors? Grab your sunglasses and hiking boots and head to a county park this afternoon. It won't cost a dime.

The entry fee to San Mateo County parks is being waived today in celebration of National Public Lands Day, promoted by the National Environmental Education Foundation to educate residents about critical environmental and natural resources issues.

"By making the parks free on National Public Lands Day, a growing number of people can become aware of these wonderful resources and also of volunteer opportunities," county parks director David Holland said in a statement.

Admission to San Mateo County parks generally costs $5, but the Parks Department is waiving the fee for nine of its 17 parks today, including Coyote Point, Flood, Huddart, Junipero Serra, Memorial, Sam McDonald, San Bruno Mountain, San Pedro Valley and Wunderlich.

Coyote Point Park, which was featured in BayAreaParent Magazine this year as the best outdoor recreation area, is a popular spot for windsurfers. But it also provides a wide variety of opportunities, including picnicking, swimming, fishing and sailing.

San Bruno Mountain Park is a paradise for butterfly lovers. The park is home to endangered or threatened butterflies that can be found in only a few other places throughout the world, as well as 14 species of rare or endangered plant life.

Huddart Park is only 3.5 miles west of Highway 84. Barbecue pits, a playground, grassy meadows, and hiking and riding trails are available in this park. With many of its trails opening to equestrian use, it is a favorite destination for horse lovers.

San Pedro Valley Park offers group picnic areas, family picnic sites with barbecue pits, a self-guiding nature trail and hiking trails. Wildlife, wildflowers, and rare plants are abundant in this park.

For more information and a complete listing of the county's 17 parks, visit and click "Parks Department."

Originally published by Daisy Miao, San Mateo County Times.

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