Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo

By Rachel Puryear

Enjoy walking by the water? The Sawyer Camp Trail – one of San Mateo’s most beloved hiking spots – features a six-mile, wheelchair-accessible, paved path along the beautiful and peaceful Crystal Springs reservoir. Trees, wildlife, and scenery are abundant along the way.

Sawyer Camp Trail, paved road with the reservoir on the side.

The trail stretches from San Mateo to Millbrae, and can be accessed from either side. However, note that the Millbrae side is quite hilly to begin, while the San Mateo side stays mainly flat for a few miles.

Sawyer Camp Trail, tree lined path with lots of vegetation

Restrooms are available near the entrances of the trail, and about halfway through, although there are no drinking fountains – so bring your own drinking water. Several benches are available along the trail, too, to sit down and relax and enjoy the scenery. The trail has mile markers both ways, so you can track how far you’ve gone. A picnic area is also available about halfway through.

The trail is great for walking/running and biking. Equestrians are also welcome, and sometimes seen out there. However, unfortunately, dogs are not allowed.

Sawyer Camp trail, trees covered with green moss

Parking is available on the street at both ends of the park. On the San Mateo end, however, parking can be tight during peak hours (weekend afternoons), and there aren’t many sidewalks around, so it’s best to visit at slower times (early in the morning, later in the day, weekdays) if possible, and in any event be careful walking in. You may want to drop off people who are elderly, disabled, kids and so forth at the entrance while someone better able to navigate the street parks the car.

The Millbrae entrance has easier street parking – there’s a freeway underpass right by the trail entrance that has a sidewalk, and it’s usually not difficult to park there. It’s a less used entrance.


Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to great local parks.

Got a question you want answered through this blog? Submit your question to me here – and if you don’t already, please request to subscribe to the Free Range Life bimonthly newsletter while you’re there!

Uncategorized