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Best Tracks For Exercise In The Peninsula

Most San Francisco Bay Area/Peninsula residents know that even in mid-October, it can feel like summer with temperatures averaging in the 70s. But these same residents know that because winter isn't too far off, the weather can't always be taken for granted. Residents who would prefer to get some exercise outside instead of at a fitness club or other indoor facility can still enjoy workouts at some of the best outdoor tracks in the Peninsula, all of which have free access. While these outdoor tracks may not be available at all times due to athletic events associated with each facility, running and walking on a track is definitely far safer than on city streets and dirt trails with uneven surfaces.

Cobb Track
Stanford University
295 Galvez St.
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 725-7309

Stanford's track is enjoyed by athletes, students and members of the public and is one of the most popular outdoor tracks in the Peninsula. Because its primary use is intended for members of Stanford's track and field teams, the track isn't always available. But if a visitor comes to discover a Stanford training session or event is being held at Cobb Track, there are other opportunities in which to run or walk on campus, including the Campus Loop and the Stanford Dish. There is plenty of parking at Cobb Track along with restroom facilities. A parking fee of $1.50 per hour or $12 daily is charged Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A visit to Cobb Track may not be advised the day of Stanford football home games.

Related: Best Driving Ranges In The Peninsula

College of San Mateo track

Bulldog Stadium
College of San Mateo
1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd.
San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 574-6161

The College of San Mateo has an excellent all-weather track. Although the site is open to the public on most occasions, the blue-colored, eight-lane track and stadium is the scene of many high school, community college, track and field and football events. Along the perimeter road, visitors will find parking next to the tennis courts. The closest parking lot to the stadium is at Forum Lot 8 and a visitor permit is $1 per hour during semester hours only.

Conner Athletic Field
Menlo College
1000 El Camino Real
Atherton, CA 94027
(800) 556-3656

Conner Field is part of Menlo College's athletic field but is used by both the private four-year college and Menlo School, a private college prep school. The track is easily accessed from the El Camino Real at Alejandra Avenue. The closest parking lot is along Alejandra Avenue across from the tennis courts. According to Menlo College's security office, parking is free, although for its college football games, parking is $10.

Skyline College Stadium
Skyline College
3300 College Road
San Bruno, CA 94066
(650) 738-4100

Although it does not have a track and field or football program, Skyline College maintains a beautiful six-lane, all-weather track. However, Skyline College does have a soccer program so there are times when the field and track may not be available to members of the public. A parking lot is directly off of College Road, adjacent to a secondary soccer field. A $2 parking fee is required only during semester hours.

foothill college

Owl Stadium
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(650) 949-7777

The renovated track at Foothill College is very popular amongst both members of the public and those associated with the community college. There are plenty of parking spaces available next to the field, along with restroom facilities. Parking permits are $3 per day and are required seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. There may be times when the facility is busy, particularly during Foothill College's nationally ranked football team's season running through mid-November, but remains a top choice for runners and walkers in the southern portion of the Peninsula.

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on

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