French Trail Loop
The half-day French Trail Loop at Joaquin Miller Park, with its redwoods and creeks, makes up for all of Oakland's grit. Go this weekend. 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland, 888-EBPARKS, EBParks.org.
Matt Davis-Steep Ravine Loop
You'll get to see pretty much everything that makes NorCal the shit on the Matt Davis-Steep Ravine 7.3-mile loop on Mt. Tamalpais. 801 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, 388-2070, Parks.CA.gov.
Mitchell Canyon-Eagle Peak Loop
Mt. Diablo's Mitchell Canyon-Eagle Peak Loop is 7.8 miles or wildflowers, big rocks, and great views, worth every step to the peak. Mount Diablo State Park, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton, (925) 837-2525, Parks.CA.gov.
Castle Rock State Park
If you can't decide whether to rock-climb or hike, then go here and do both. There's 32 miles of trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains with kick-ass rock formations you won't see in Marin. 15000 Skyline Blvd., Los Gatos, (408) 867-2952, Parks.CA.gov.