Lisa Krieger’s monthly Wanderlust column covers a few of the usual suspects, waterfallwise, in the South Bay. I hadn’t heard of this one on the Peninsula, though:

Brooks Falls

On the San Mateo coast, Brooks Falls in San Pedro Valley County Park is the closest waterfall to the northern peninsula. The narrow plume of water drops 175 feet in a three-tiered silver ribbon to the valley floor, according to ranger Doug Heisinger.

Although you can’t get close to the falls and vegetation conceals what was once a glorious scene, a bench overlooking Brooks Falls requires only 1.6 miles of hiking. For the best view, start on the Old Trout Farm Trail, which passes the remnants of a trout farm washed out by a 1962 flood. Connect to the Brooks Creek Trail and climb to the overlook.

The hike around the Brooks Creek canyon can be made into an easy 3.5-mile loop that provides numerous views of the waterfall and also of the ocean. The watershed provides a valuable steelhead spawning ground.

Contact: San Pedro Valley County Park at (650) 355-8289 or go to

Lisa also notes there’s a breeding pair of bald eagles nesting in a transmission tower overlooking Calaveras Reservoir.

Speaking of watery hikes, Gambolin’ Man just posted a Marin County hike he did awhile back.