Hiking at the Googleplex
Google is known for its great benefits and culture ranging from locally grown organic food to on-site gyms and pools, bouncy office chairs and solar powered everything. All of this helps to balance out the mental strain and stress of endless thinking and strategizing as it were. It’s hard staying competitive while doing no evil and maintaining your spot as one of the world’s best employers…
So anyone who works at Google, Linkedin or one of the other great companies near Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View California knows that the location is awesome. Sure, Google has pool tables, some bikes and a replica of the Virgin Galactic space shuttle hanging in their lobby but all of these companies have access to the surrounding open space and Shoreline Park. What many people don’t know is that there is a great walking path tying all of these buildings together. This walking trail connects Google 43 and the other “main campus” Googleplex buildings to Crittenden at the far South cutting right through one of the Linkedin buildings. Eventually it weaves its way through several other office complexes and leads to two short “hikes”. Whether by by sidewalk or dirt trail, anyone in this area can reach the Shoreline open space and the two short hiking trails near the Amphitheater to which this post refers.
While these two short trails can hardly be described as real hikes, they do offer a unique change of scenery from the sidewalks and flatter tree-covered paths described above. They also offer a greater workout, more natural setting and a place to ride mountain bikes. Really, how many corporations sit next to open space with active wildlife and views of the San Francisco Bay where you actually have your choice of walking paths? One of these two trails is accessible from the Crittenden parking lot, the other starts at the corner of North Shoreline Blvd and Amphitheatre Parkway but flows out at several other places including Charleston Park. This park is great for playing Frisbee or just chilling at the Zen Garden style waterfall shown in the video and images below. I’m not going to go into details here with directions and addresses but if you work at Google or one of the other companies nearby it should be pretty obvious from the video and images below. If you’re visiting town on business and end up at the Googleplex, just ask someone to point out Shoreline Amphitheater and start walking in that direction!
I hope you take the time to get out there and enjoy the views and fresh air that these two trails have to offer. As someone who has worked in this neighborhood myself, it was always great to step out or even take a bike up for a short ride. The Bay is refreshing, there are hawks, prairie dogs, lizards and other small animals to watch and hear, and the people are all world class friendly… if not a little geeky :)
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- Arastradero Preserve Trail
- Devil’s Backbone Trail
- Hiking at Mavericks
- Angels Landing Trail