These notes are from a hike on June 16, 2011. For more Trail Notes, click here.
Location: Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve
Trails Featured: Sobrante Ridge Trail, Broken Oaks Trail, Manzanita Trail (Manzanita Loop), Heavenly Ridge Trail.
Total Mileage: 3.31 miles (includes side trips to Hidden Oaks Trail and Heavenly Ridge Trail).
Total Ascent/Descent: 1069 feet.
Start out at the trailhead at the end of Coach Drive, a nice, quiet residential area.
Follow the gravel trail to your left. The paved trail to the right is to the water tower.
The initial Sobrante Ridge Trail starts out uphill on a wide, fire road trail. You'll see brush and the invasive French Broom plant on both sides.
You'll soon see a nice grove of Oaks on your right, off the trail. Pass the Morningside Trail on your right, and continue on the Sobrante Ridge Trail.
You'll soon see the Broken Oak Trail on your left. On your right is a picnic table, but continue on to the Broken Oak Trail. This is a very short side trail to a beautiful picnic setting under a grove of old and twisted Oaks. Sit here and enjoy the sounds of Hawks, Jays, Quail and other birds.
Climb back out via the Broken Oak Trail and continue on the Sobrante Ridge Trail. You'll pass another picnic table to your right, with some nice views.
Eventually, you'll see a sign for the Manzanita Trail on your right. Take this trail. You'll get to a point where the trail splits, and there is no sign. The trail on your right is the Heavenly Ridge Trail, which leads through a nice grove of Oaks, to another trail head and parking area.
If you don't want to see the Oaks, bear left on the Manzanita Trail. You'll soon see a trailpost and signage describing the Manzanitas. Take the short but spectacular Manzanita Loop. You'll pass wonderful old Oaks, and of course, the twisted and muscular Manzanitas. If you follow the loop starting counter clock wise, you'll go down hill a little. You'll have a nice view of a residential area, then climb back up a bit. In the last part of the trail, you'll hike under a little canopy of Manzanitas.
When you are pleasantly relaxed, continue back up the Manzanita Trail, take a left on the Sobrante Ridge Trail, and head back to the parking area.