I lived in Santa Cruz for 6 years before moving to SF, in which time I had become accustom to lots of hiking in nature. Here in the city ‘nature’ refers to the stamp sized parks that dot the city. And while they are wonderful spots for a picnic and people watching, you can never escape the buildings and get lost in the woods.
Glen Canyon Park is the exception to all this. This open space allows you to forget that you live in a city for 45 blissful minutes or so (the loop around the park takes about an hour). Walking along the stream as you listen to the birds chirp, the sounds of honking horns and sirens are a world away.