San Luis Obispo County has plenty of hiking and biking trails to choose from. In fact, there are approximately 50 great trails. TOAST has selected the highest-rated and most recommended places to explore and enjoy.

Piedras Blancas
Check out the elephant seals up close as you walk along the shore for two quarter-mile-long boardwalk trails. Either you will enjoy the vocal stylings of these majestic 5,000-pound creatures or you will endure past trauma of surviving your wedding reception with drunken in-laws. There is also a dirt trail that leads up the coast toward the Piedras Blancas Light Station. Located in San Simeon, this gorgeous coastal trail is around 3.2 miles out and back.

Montaña de Oro State Park Bluff Trail
Boasting approximately 8,000 acres of beautiful coastline, Montaña de Oro State Park has plenty of wonderful trails to offer. The 3-mile out-and-back Bluff Trail is considered the highest-rated and most-frequented trail due to its accessibility and ease of travel for hikers and bikers. Enjoy the many tide pools, beaches, rock islands and natural bridges.

Cerro Alto
Get high at one of the highest points in SLO County. Though you will be traveling up 1,600 feet of elevation, the panoramic views of rolling green mountains and valleys from the summit are stunning. Casual hikers are encouraged to take a 2.75-mile route that has a more gradual incline. Total distance out and back is 5.3 miles. Steep climbing will be involved. Cerro Alto Campground is located on Hwy. 41 between Morro Bay and Atascadero.

Bishop’s Peak Trail from Patricia Drive
Bishop Peak Trail in San Luis Obispo is a beautiful 3.4-mile out-and-back trail. Though it’s a popular trail, it’s a must-visit trail for anyone new to hiking on the Central Coast. At 1,559 ft., Bishop’s Peak is one of the highest of the Nine Sisters, which are huge, ancient volcanic plugs located in SLO County. Half of the trail is rocky, so sturdy hiking boots — and a supply of water — are strongly recommended. Check out the excellent early-morning views of San Luis Obispo from the summit.

Reservoir Canyon Natural Reserve
Located off of Highway 101 at Reservoir Canyon Rd. at the base of Cuesta Grade, the 3-mile out-and-back trail Natural Reserve is home to one of the largest waterfalls in SLO County. The last mile to the top is challenging and certainly not for the meek, but hikers will be rewarded with an amazing 360-degree panorama of the top of the Santa Lucia Foothills. Though mountain hiking is prohibited, the Reservoir Canyon Natural Preserve is a great place to walk your dog on a leash.

Pismo Preserve
The Pismo Preserve has over 800 acres of beautiful, serene oak woodlands and coastal ridgelines with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean that range from Port San Luis to the Oceano Dunes. Open to the public for docent-led hikes, bike and horse rides, Pismo Preserve has over 11 miles of trail stretching from the Irish Hills to Point Sal. Located at 80 Mattie Rd. in Pismo Beach, Pismo Preserve is a popular trail destination and absolutely worth exploring.

Bob Jones City to the Sea
Bob Jones City to the Sea Bike Trail is a 5.1-mile out-and-back trail located near Avila Beach that features a river and secret garden, and is good for travelers of all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, bird watching and road biking and is accessible year-round. Though it gets busy on the weekends, hikers can enjoy a casual stroll on a nicely paved path with a lot of family-friendly pit stops along the way.