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Harmony Yogurt pitches in (again) to help Burton Park…

harmonyCool Treat, Cooler Idea…

Harmony Yogurt is once again stepping to the plate to help San Carlos Parks.   This weekend, June 27th and 28th,  Harmony will donate $1 from every froyo they sell to the Burton Park Playground Fund.  This fund is critical to support playground maintenance and operations at the park, especially now that budgets are being drastically cut.

This isn’t the first time that Harmony has made such a generous gesture, and it’s a great example for other San Carlos businesses to follow.    Town Restaurant is another San Carlos family-owned business that is always doing fantastic things for our schools and our community too.   So be sure to drop by Harmony this weekend, and treat your park while you’re treating yourself!

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The Parks of San Carlos: Cedar Park

The Parks of San Carlos” is an occasional series that will highlight each of the great parks and trails that we have in here San Carlos.   My wife Patty and I (along with our dog Maggie) will be checking out each and every one of the 15 or so parks in San Carlos and bringing them alive in these pages.

This week…Cedar Park.

Cedar Park

Have you ever found that Burton Park can sometimes get be a little too crazy for you and your toddlers?  Some days during peak park hours, the playground equipment is packed with kids, and it can make for a less than relaxing experience. So if you’re looking for a quieter, out-of-the-way park with a good playground,  Cedar Park might fit the bill.

Where is it?

Cedar Park is located just inside the San Carlos/Belmont border on, of all streets, Cedar Avenue. Here’s a map for your reference:


View Larger Map

The Details…

Cedar Park is one of the smaller parks in San Carlos, as it occupies only 2/3 of an acre.   But that’s actually part of what makes it attractive.   Since it’s on the smaller side and relatively unknown, this park isn’t usually all that busy.    The playground equipment is relatively new, and is similar to what you’ll find at Burton Park…

Cedar Park Playground

Cedar Park Playground

There’s also a full-sized basketball court that looks as if it could handle a good pick-up game:

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Cedar Park Basketball Court

Even though the park is a little “out-of-the-way,” it’s still only a few blocks from the northern stretch of downtown San Carlos. So it’s a snap to grab a sandwich at the Bullpen Deli or a coffee at Starbucks, and within a few minutes you’re enjoying a quiet lunch break outdoors.

View from the Street

Cedar Park (from the street)

Things to know before you go…

  1. There are no bathrooms at this park, so “go before you go..” :-)
  2. Dogs are OK, but must be kept out of the playground area and on a leash.
  3. Downtown San Carlos is only a few blocks away, so getting food for your picnic is a snap.

Have fun!

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The Parks of San Carlos: Laureola Park

The Parks of San Carlos” is an occasional series that will highlight each of the great parks and trails that we have in here San Carlos.   My wife Patty and I (along with our dog Maggie) will be checking out each and every one of the 15 or so parks in San Carlos and bringing them alive in these pages.

This week…Laureola Park.

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Laureola Park, San Carlos

Last week we brought you a pure hiking park when we profiled Big Canyon Park, so we thought it would be a good idea this week to spotlight a true “playground” park — and Laureola Park is simply one of the best recreational parks in all of San Carlos.   This park has something for just about everyone.

Where is it?

Laureola is conveniently located close to downtown San Carlos…


View Larger Map
…so it’s really easy to find.

The Details…

Laureola Park occupies the 2.6 acres that used to be the site of Laureola School (way back when.)   It’s also has the distinction of being the only City park that resides east of the El Camino Real.  One of the first things you’ll notice when you come to this park is how much grass there is to use.  Whether it’s in the picnic area…

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…or on the huge ball field….

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….you’ll find one of the nicest grass surfaces in all of San Carlos right here at Laureola Park.    The field gets quite a workout every year, between AYSO soccer games and San Carlos Little League AA games, but the City of San Carlos does a great job keeping the field in top shape.  It’s an ideal field to kick your shoes off and throw a frisbee around, or for a quick pick-up game of soccer.

When the park was created, the City wanted to ensure that there would be enough picnic tables to accommodate large parties.   Are there ever…  There are at least a dozen tables located in different pockets of the park.  There are even elevated BBQ pits for the complete picnic effect.

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But this wouldn’t be a great park if it didn’t have something fun for the little ones to do, and this is yet another area where Laureola shines.  There are separate play structures to keep the rambunctious toddlers safely away from the infants.   The equipment isn’t as nice as the new gear at Burton Park, but it should keep the kids entertained.

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Finally, you’ll seldom find this park crowded (unless there’s a soccer game or baseball game in progress.)  While the newly renovated Burton Park continues to draw the big crowds, you’ll find that Laureola is a much more lower key place to spend the morning.

Things to know before you go…

  1. There are 3 entrances to the park — one on Old County Road, one on Bayport Court, and the other on Holly Street.   The first two have the best parking.
  2. Dogs are OK, but must be kept on a leash.
  3. The park has separate men’s & women’s bathrooms, which is a good thing.
  4. If you’re planning a large picnic, check with the Park & Rec department about reserving an area.
  5. Downtown San Carlos is only 2 blocks away, so getting food for your picnic is a snap.

Have fun!

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San Carlos Parks: Big Canyon Park

The Parks of San Carlos” is an occasional series that will highlight each of the great parks and trails that we have in here San Carlos.   My wife Patty and I (along with our dog Maggie) will be checking out each and every one of the 15 or so parks in San Carlos and bringing them alive in these pages.

This week…Big Canyon Park.

big-canyon-1

Why did we decide to start the series with Big Canyon Park?   It’s simple — we’ve never been there!  It really surprised me that although we’ve have lived in San Carlos for over 20 years, and that between hauling kids to soccer practice at Crestview and running up and down Brittan Avenue looking at properties, we have probably driven by this park a thousand times…  yet we never stopped to check it out.    That’s our loss, because this park is an absolute gem.

Where is it?

Located toward the top of Brittan Avenue…


View Larger Map

…it’s a snap to find. Just park right on the street, and you’re there.

The details…

You’d definitely categorize this as a hiking park, not a “playground” park. The centerpiece of this 16-acre park is the 1.2 mile trail that the City website refers to as “challenging.” Indeed, after you’re on the relatively flat trail-head for only a few hundred yards…

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…you immediately start to scale your way up the side of the canyon through a series of switch-backs.   Since the trail is a essentially a loop, you can start at either side.   We chose the western side (or left as you’re facing the park.)   This seems to be the green side of park, with the hillside and the trees providing a canopy of shade.    You’ll cross a series of footbridges as you navigate the switch-backs that take you to the top of the canyon.

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Once you get to the top of the park (from either direction) you’ll be spoiled with some incredible views of the canyon and the San Carlos hills.   The City even installed some benches along the top of the trail that you can use to rest, meditate, or just soak up the great views…

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big-canyon-8

If you’ve hiked through either Edgewood Park or Arguello Park, you can’t help but notice the similarity in the terrain and the scenery.  This stands to reason, since all three parks aren’t that far apart, geographically speaking.     If you’re interested in checking out the park, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Things to know before you go…

  1. There are no bathrooms in this park, so “go before you go” if you know what I mean.
  2. Dogs are OK in the park, although they must be kept on leash.
  3. The trails are well maintained, but the fall-line of the hillside is steep in parts.  You definitely need to pay attention while you’re hiking.
  4. Some of the footbridges don’t have handrails — same advice above about paying attention.
  5. There’s no playground equipment for the kids.   It’s Mother Nature’s playground in this park.
  6. Directly across Brittan Ave you can connect to the northern trail head to Eaton Park, if you’d like to continue hiking.   (We’ll cover that one in a future review.)

That’s it!  If you’re looking for a quick hike that will get your heart racing in more ways than one, you can’t ask for more than what you’ll find in Big Canyon Park.   Enjoy!

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New Feature: “The Parks of San Carlos.”

san-carlos-logo

San Carlos has an incredibly nice assortment of public parks.   Some of these parks have athletic fields, others have children’s playgrounds, and some are just great places to hike and get away from it all for a few hours.   Whatever you’re looking for in a public park,  San Carlos probably has it. But if you’re like me, you may have lived here for many years and not realized that half of these parks even existed.   So that’s the purpose of the new “Parks of San Carlos” series — to make you more aware of the great facilities we have for our enjoyment.

This idea isn’t new — I actually got this inspiration from my RE/MAX colleague and fellow blogger Jim Minkey, who writes an outstanding blog on Foster City.  On his blog, he has a very informative series on all the parks in Foster City.  I thought this was such a cool idea, that I decided to do the same thing for San Carlos.   Thanks, Jim for the idea and the go-ahead to do this!

So each week or so, there will be a new feature on one of the parks in San Carlos.  My wife Patty and I, along with our dog Maggie, will trek through each of the parks and give you a rundown on what they’re all about.  Since there are 15 or so parks to cover, this will keep us pretty busy!  We hope you enjoy the series.     The first one to be featured will be…

Big Canyon Park

Look for that review in an upcoming post!

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Let’s Play! Burton Park Re-Opens…

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Well, word definitely got out that Burton Park was re-opening tonight because there were LOTS of people at the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Note that Joe the Plumber and Joe Six-Pack were not in attendance, as far as I could see, but the White Oaks Blog News Team was (my eight-year old and I.)   There were easily 250+ people jammed into the new park to hear the speeches and to see the park open up.  Park and Rec Director Barry Weiss addresses the crowd above…It was great to see such excitement and anticipation for the new park.

After a few well deserved recognitions, the ribbon was cut and there was a mad dash for the playground…

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With warm weather in the forecast for this weekend, I’m sure the new park will get quite a workout.  Be sure to check it out — they did a great job!
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Good News: Burton Park set to re-open this Thursday.

burton-park-playground.jpg

At long last, and to the delight of many San Carlos youngsters, the new playground at Burton Park is set to re-open this Thursday, October 23rd.   According to the nice folks at the Park & Rec Department, there are plans for a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony which will start at 5:00 PM and features our Oscar-winning Mayor Brad Lewis.

The new playground equipment looks fantastic, and the park will now have a water-fountain area for the kids to get wet in, much like the ones at Stafford Park in Redwood City.  This will surely be a big hit on the warm days of summer.  Here’s the official link from the City of San Carlos with all of the details of the park renovation:

Burton Park Playground Project

On a related note,  the nice folks at Harmony Yogurt are conducting their third fundraiser to help defray the cost of the new park.   On Thursday and Friday of this week (23rd and 24th,)  Harmony will collect $1 from every yogurt they sell on those two days, an donate it to the San Carlos Parks Foundation, which funds the park development.  So treat your body to something good on Thursday and Friday, and help the parks out while you’re at it!

burton-fundraiser.jpg

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Eaton Park — The Hidden Gem of San Carlos

There’s a very cool place to hike right in our back yard that I’m sure many San Carlos residents aren’t even aware of. If you follow Eaton Avenue westward (toward the hills) you’ll eventually come to the end of the road….and this is the entry point to Eaton Park.

This is a great little place to hike. It’s short and steep, but the views you get at the top are unbelievable! If you choose the path that takes you up to Loma Road, you will be treated to an incredible panoramic view of the Bay Area — literally, you can stand in one spot and see the downtowns of San Francisco, Oakland , and San Jose. And the view of the bay is just as breathtaking.

Check it out — below are two links that describe the park in greater detail…

Bay Area Hiker’s Review — Eaton Park

Eaton Park
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