A long day hike that requires a bit of car shuttling is a tour of four parks:
Huddart, Purisima, Corte de Madera and Wunderlich. Leave one car at Wunderlich
(it might be safer to park it on the road outside the park than inside the park
because you might get a parking ticket if you end the hike after park closure time). Then drive to the end of Runnymede Road, near Canada College (that's as
far as you can park legally). Walk up Raymundo to the dead end (about 1km):
southern entrance to Huddart Park (don't ask me why it's illegal to park at
a park entrance). After descending and crossing the foot bridge, turn right and
immediately left to hike
up Crystal Springs Trail, Dean's Trail and Chinquapin Trail (or the boring Archery
Fire Rd). You will go through a large picnic area where things get a bit
confusing but there are a lot of signs around. Once you get to the Skyline
(highway 35), cross it and look to your right: there's a small parking lot
which is the trailhead to Purisima Creek trail. This is another boring unpaved
road for hikers and bikers that loses all the elevation you gained. Almost
at the bottom, turn right into Grabtown Gulch trail and then right again on
Bald Knob Trail. When you get to the messy junction with the Irish Ridge
trail (for some reason the other two trails of that junction are not on the
map) look to your right: there is a gate. That is the trail to the top of
Bald Knob. The view is disappointing to say the least. To get good views
you have to continue down (very steep) the Irish Ridge trail (which eventually
leaves the Purisima Preserve and connects with the Irish Ridge Rd which merges
with Lobitos Creek Rd towards highway 1 and the ocean).
Then retrace your steps to the junction with the Grabtown Trail
but this time turn right (east) to reach the paved Tunitas Creek Rd.
Turn left and walk up Tunitas Creek for 2 kms and turn right into Star Hill
Rd. Pay attention to your left. After about 20 minutes (where the houses end)
there is an unmarked gated entrance with a cryptic sign CM07. That's the
entrance to Corte de Madera Park. That trail splits: you can go noth to
El Corte de Madera trail and Resolution trail, or south to North Leaf trail.
The south branch is probably prettier if a bit longer.
This turns into the Methuselah trail.
Turn left on the Fir Trail. This will eventually take you to Skeggs
Point on the Skyline (highway 35). Along the way you might want to
take the short detour to the Vista Point that has faint views of
the ocean. When you reach Skeggs Point, there is unfortunately no
easy way to get to the Bay Area Ridge trail that runs all around
the Bay Area because that area is closed with barbed wire (for
mysterious reasons). Turn right (east) and keep walking along the
highway until the barbed wire ends. Then bushwhack down to the
trail: it's a very short (two or three minutes) but very steep
adventure. Then continue east (right) on the trail. The trail is
mostly flat and will pass a few colossal homes. You are coasting
private property. Eventually you will reach a sign about the
Alambique trail: that means you entered Wunderlich Park.
(Alternatively from the dead end of Fir Trail turn right into the Sierra
Morena trail and continue to the dead end, then cross the highway and
you'll be at the Alambique trailhead).
Follow Alambique trail all the way down to the parking lot (or take the
prettier Bear Gulch trail to your left half way into the descent).
This will take a while (9 kms, or two hours).
When you get down you will pass a historical monument to the
right (the Folger Stable) to reach the parking lot of Wunderlich Park.
In 2012 this park had a big sign that said it closes at 5pm: it is unlikely
that you will complete this four-park route by 5pm.
Maps (Click to enlarge)
Corte de Madera: