Kennedy Grove is a beautiful surprise. I visited the park on a cold, wet November morning. Rainy skies usually provide the best light for photography, but it's tough to keep the camera dry. When I got there, it was just me and the ranger in the park. I was most interested in the trails around the recreation area, but it's a beautiful setting for picnics and gatherings.
Picnic area at Kennedy Grove
The Eucalyptus trees in this part of the park were planted in 1910. These trees grow fast, and as you can see above, they're huge.
Location: Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area
There is a fee for parking and dogs.
It wasn't raining when I got there, but started as soon as I got my camera out. I pretty much had the place to myself, but I imagine this is bustling in the summer. Right off the parking lot, I got on to the Laurel Loop Trail. This is a wide trail, and it runs along the side of the lawn area.
You'll pass some of the Eucalyptus giants on this trail. I have mixed feelings about these trees. They are quite impressive, but they're non native and often poison the soil below them. The one plant that does seem to like them is poison oak, which is often found wrapped around the base of these trees.
After walking the Laurel Loop Trail, you'll see a sign that will guide you to the Lower Sea Foam Trail. By taking the Lower Sea Foam Trail, you'll be able to get some spectacular views of San Pablo Dam the the reservoir. At .70 you'll access the Lower Sea Foam Trail.
My GPS watch that tracks my elevation gains could not connect with a satellite, but the Lower Sea Foam Trail is a bit of a climb. I had the added weight of a few pounds of mud on my boots.
On this part of the hike, you'll go through mostly shrub, and the path becomes a single track trail.
As you hike, make sure you enjoy the views of the San Pablo Reservoir.
At 1.05 miles, I connected with the Upper Sea Foam Trail.
This continues your climb, but it is incredibly rewarding when you reach the top. The sight of a beautiful Oak grove took my breath away.
Take some time up here, and look at the incredible twists and contortions of these old trees. There are a couple of beauties with some real personality:
Follow the Upper Sea Foam Trail as it winds downhill through a dense army of Oaks that seem to reach out to you like green ghosts.
As you descend down the trail, you'll see more Bay trees, and the whole atmosphere, especially in the rain, reminds you of a scene from middle earth.
Follow the trail down to Kennedy Creek Trail, and take a left to head back to the picnic and parking area. There are still a few beautiful sights in this section.
You'll walk back to where you started, and you can tell your friends that they should have joined you on this hike. The total distance hiked was 2.28 miles, but be prepared for the climb to Upper Sea Foam Trail. Have fun, and be safe!