The Santa Cruz Mountains is home to a number of state, regional, and county parks. With its towering redwoods, lush ferns, and unbeatable views of the San Francisco Bay, these parks provide visitors with plenty of hiking and biking trails. Not far from downtown Saratoga and about halfway up Highway 9 on the San Jose side, you can find Sanborn County Park.
Located south of San Jose and west of Morgan Hill, Uvas Canyon County Park nestles into a mountain side sliced by a canyon. The short but moderately strenuous hikes available in Uvas Canyon provide excellent views of the surrounding Santa Cruz mountains, including Loma Prieta, and waterfalls which trickle bucolically by your side. The drive winds up from the south valley floor through rolling green hill sides. California truly is at its most beautiful in the wet winter months. Don't be alarmed when the road takes you through the Swedish enclave of Sveadal (signs posted state private property everywhere); you're on the right route.
It gets surprisingly crowded here and the trails are short, but steep. We got ourselves stuck behind a group of slow hikers discussing the destruction of dark matter for about fifteen minutes, so don't be averse to the crowds, you never know what you're going to over hear.
The park also provides camp sites, picnic benches, and restrooms. Waterfalls are viewable from graded trails near the parking lot for less ambulatory folk looking to get a view.