What it lacks in acreage (and the creek for which it is named), Cave Creek Regional Park north of Phoenix more than makes up in recreational opportunities, from guided horseback rides to archery lessons, hiking to stargazing (telescope included)!
The only water-based park administered by Maricopa County is also its most popular – at Lake Pleasant Regional Park northwest of Phoenix, you can fish, water ski, even scuba dive in addition to hiking, camping, and stargazing in the park’s almost 25,000 acres!
Despite urban surroundings, spectacular bird-watching and access to ample natural vegetation is accessible from 5 miles of easy, well-graded trails at the almost 2,000 acre Hayward Regional Shoreline in the East Bay.
A short drive to east of Fremont brings you to the almost 7,000 acre Sunol Regional Wilderness, which offers amazing bird-watching opportunities, access to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, amazing views of the Bay Area, and a fantastic backcountry experience less than an hour away from the sprawling East Bay metropolitan area.
Tucked away in the Oakland hills, the 290-acre Leona Canyon Open Space Regional Preserve offers a peaceful haven featuring a spring-fed creek and riparian area that is popular with locals and dog-walkers.
Estrella Mountain Regional Park, in the southwest corner of the Phoenix metropolitan area, offers an amazing variety of activities. You can go on a guided horseback adventure, play a round of golf, fish the Gila River, escape into the backcountry, and more in the park’s almost 20,000 acres.