Outdoors

SLO County Hike of the Week: South Hills Open Space

The South Hills Open Space in San Luis Obispo is an easy hike that offers fantastic views of the city.
The South Hills Open Space in San Luis Obispo is an easy hike that offers fantastic views of the city. smiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The trail: South Hills Open Space. There are two entrances to the open space in San Luis Obispo. One is off of South Street. Turn onto Exposition Drive and follow the road until you see the trailhead marked with signs and information on the right. The other trailhead is in the Stoneridge neighborhood off Broad Street. Take Stoneridge Drive and turn left, then immediately right onto Bluerock Drive. Follow the road to the small park and trailhead.

Distance: 2.2 miles.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate. There are plenty of rocks that dot the hillside. Be sure they are stable before stepping on them. The trail can get muddy after rain, which can make traction difficult.

Tips: Bring water and a snack on a hot day.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed on leashes. There are spare leashes to borrow at the Exposition Drive trailhead.

Parking: Both trailheads are in neighborhoods, but the Exposition Drive trailhead has more available parking than Stoneridge.

Facilities: The Stoneridge trailhead offers a small park with a picnic bench and trash can. The Exposition Drive entrance doesn’t have trash cans or a place to sit.

Description: Perfect for children and dogs. The hills offer a nearly 360-degree view of San Luis Obispo at the highest point. The trails also have ties to local history. The space offered a great view of the Exposition Park race track in the 1920s, leading the area to be known as “Cheapskate Hill,” as people would watch the races on the hill without paying.

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