The Rancho San Antonio Trail is a popular network of paths in the South Bay/Santa Clara County area. With its amazing views, abundant wildlife, and seasonal flora, it draws hikers, bikers, and nature lovers year-round. Extensive trails, mixed terrain, and easy highway access make this a great option for a day trip from most areas in the peninsula.
While there are opportunities at Rancho for longer, more advanced hikes, the most common and basic option is the Deer Hollow Farm route (about two miles round-trip). The wide paved road follows a creek to a barnyard full of cows, chickens, and other animals. You'll know you're on the right path when you spot the old farm buildings. Wood fences mark the trail as you progress to High Meadow Trail.
About two-and-a-half miles in, you'll have the option to extend your hike with a beautiful and slightly more challenging trek on the Wildcat Canyon Trail. During a visit in December, I ended up on this moderately challenging stretch of the loop, which goes deeper into the park and away from the heavily traveled parts of the trail. The views on a chilly, windy December day were amazing and complete with deer and wild turkey sightings.