Big Bear and Bird Trails are in the Anthony Chabot Regional Park, and I accessed them via the Big Bear Staging Area on Redwood Road.
Big Bear is a .38 mile loop with a gentle climb. It's got some nice canopy and a wide trail. It's not much for exercising, but you can use it more as a place to wander and contemplate.
Bird Trail is a pretty but narrow trail, with wild raspberry bushes and poison oak reaching out to grab you as you hike through. However, if you're careful, this short little trail (.34 miles) has some nice little bridges and meanders along a stream.
Have fun and be safe!
Trail Map (Redwood Regional Park)
Trail Map (Anthony Cabot Regional Park)
What You'll See:
What better way to start out the new year than with a hike? I had some new camera equipment to test out, and I wanted to find a nice canopy trail to photograph. I checked my EBMud map and came across the Ramage Peak Trail, which starts at the Chabot staging area on Redwood Road, near Castro Valley.
The trail marker at the start of the hike says you're on the Rocky Ridge Loop Trail, but the map says it's Ramage Peak Trail. If you travel the whole loop, you'll hike 7.4 miles. I just went in about 1 mile, and returned. I just wanted to take some pictures, but kept going until the canopy opened up. I'm saving the rest for another day...
If you just want a nice and picturesque meditation walk, hike this short section of the Ramage Peak Trail. Take your time, and enjoy the beautiful Oaks and Bay trees. Start at the staging area, and catch the trail as it starts off on the right of the Christmas tree farm.
Bathrooms are at the staging area.
What you'll see:
Redwood Regional Park is one of my favorite places. Drop down in to the valley and the rest of the world seems so far away. In a normal winter, streams flow abundantly, and wandering through the trails here brings both peace and health. A few weeks ago, I visited the park from the Moon Gate Trailhead, and climbed to Redwood Peak. This hike offers a great variety of trails and terrain, so give it a try.
Mileage: 3.97 miles
Photo Map (Photos from the hike on Google Earth)
From the Moon Gate, head left on the West Ridge Trail.
Take a Right on to Tres Sendas Trail and descend in to the valley.
Take a Right on to Redwood Peak Trail.
Don't miss the sign to reach Redwood Peak.
Coming back down from Redwood Peak, you'll pass these sentries:
Take a Left on Madrone Trail
Take a Left on French Trail
Take a Left on to Star Flower Trail
Take a Left on to Tres Sendas Trail
Left at the end of Tres Sendas to Moon Gate.
You'll have fun on this hike. It's beautiful and great exercise, and you'll have the satisfaction of scaling Redwood Peak (1539 feet).
Las Trampas Ridge Trail takes you through some nice canopies. You'll see some Oaks, Bay Trees and a whole variety of twisty shrubs and grasses.
This Madrone cluster was spectacular.
The trail opens up, and you'll be enjoying nice views along the ridge line.
Eventually, you'll get to the sign for Las Trampas Peak, and it's a short climb from here to the top.
Take a break here to enjoy the views and rest. You deserve it, you just climbed to the summit of Las Trampas Peak, at 1827'.
After you enjoy yourself, turn around and backtrack down Las Trampas Ridge Trail to the split with Bollinger Creek Loop Trail, and bear right here.
Follow the Bollinger Creek Loop Trail past the cows and through the hills.
This last descent is a nice change from your uphill climb, so enjoy it. There isn't much shade along the way in this section, so protect yourself. On the descent, you'll pass another section of the Las Trampas Ridge Trail, but stay on the Bollinger Creek Loop Trail, bearing left, until you get to the parking area.
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.
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!
The Rocky Ridge trail has been on my "to do" list for a while. Certain parts are quite remote, but it offers beautiful views and a stunning grove of twisted and contorted Oaks.
Location: Start at Rancho Laguna Park, in Moraga, California.
Total Mileage: 6.01 miles
Total Ascent/Descent: 2461 feet
There are a lot of cows in this hike. Starting out at Rancho Laguna Park, sign in at the station before the hike. Click on the Permit link to get a permit from East Bay Mud.
You'll hike up to see some peaceful rolling hills, usually dotted with cows. Follow the signs to the trail. At .40 miles you'll come to a split where King's Canyon Loop Trail and Rocky Ridge meet, so keep to your left and hike along the fence. You may see these trail sentries:
At .77 go through gate and get past this group of cows. You'll enter in to a beautiful grove of Oaks. In the winter, this next section has a nice stream through it. This area is particularly lush during the winter and spring.
At 1.14 miles, you'll leave this part of the forest and get on to a ridge trail. There will be some nice climbing in this area. You'll end up going through another cattle gate, and start a descent in to a valley.
At 1.84 miles, you'll see where the trail leads to your left, on to a fire road type trail. As you hike on this trail, you'll come to this sign:
It's confusing here. The sign looks like it's pointing to stay on the fire road, but it's actually indicating a trail off to the right. So stay to your right. Not knowing this, I enjoyed a little detour up this trail to a locked gate, then doubled back to this point.
I continued on this trail for just over 3 miles. At that point, I took out a few slices of pizza and an ice tea and watched the hawks circle lazily above me.
I returned back to Rancho Laguna via the same route.
Don't let the remoteness of this trail scare you away. It offers nice views, some great Oak forests and a wide variety of wildlife.
Shell Ridge Open Space is a widely used area, where you'll often see people with dogs, group hikers, trail runners and bikers. In the video below, you'll see that this area has a fair share of benches in nice locations, so you'll have a chance to rest and enjoy some great views. There are no trail maps located at the staging area, but you can find a map on the Walnut Creek Open Space page.
Location: Staging area is at the end of Sutherland Drive in Walnut Creek. Small parking lot, but no bathrooms or water.
Trails Featured: Fossil Hill Trail, Briones/Mt. Diablo Trail, Ginder Gap Loop Trail, Ridge Top Trail
Route: Start at the staging area at the end of Sutherland Drive. Follow Fossil Hill Trail to your right. Take a right on to Briones/Mt. Diablo Trail. At .97 miles, you'll see a sign that shows Coral Spring Trail and Briones/Mt. Diablo trail. Keep left here, and don't continue on the Briones/Mt. Diablo Trail to your right. The trail map has this trail listed as Ginder Gap Loop Trail, so it's a bit confusing. At least there was a guide to show me the way:
Soon, you'll take a left on to Ridge Trail (1.18 miles), which offers great views of Walnut Creek. When you look at the trail map, you'll notice that the Ridge Trail splits and reconnects a few times with some side trails. Take what you prefer, and when you get to the Water Tower, don't go down the road. Go past the tower and reconnect with the Ridge Trail on the other side (2.1 miles).
At the bottom of the ridge trail, take the Briones/Mt. Diablo Trail again. You'll follow that until you get to an unmarked split at 2.62 miles. Take the split to the right, which is the Fossil Hill Trail. You'll pass some big rocks, nice oaks and a comfortable bench under an Oak tree. Your hike is almost over, so break here if you want to. Keep on the Fossil Hill Trail until you get back to the staging area. Depending on which Ridge Trail splits you take, you're overall mileage may vary. Don't forget to print out the map before you get there.
Full Photo Slideshow:
Location: Round Valley Regional Preserve
Trails Featured: Miwok Trail, Hardy Canyon Trail
Total Mileage: 4.66 Miles
Total Ascent/Descent: 1518 Feet
This video follows the hike from start to finish, but read below for details.
Round Valley Regional Preserve is a nice, secluded place with beautiful clusters of oaks and a wide variety of grasses, including rye, wild oats, foxtail chess, and wild barley. This was once home to California Indians, and evidence of their past activity has been found in several areas at the preserve.
I took a loop hike, which included only two trails, the Miwok and the Hardy Canyon Trail. Along the route you may see rabbits (Audubon or desert cottontail), hawks, golden eagles and certainly some ground squirrel, which are food for the raptors. In the rainy season, you'll see some nice streams and ponds, which are home to red-legged frogs, western toads, western pond turtles and Pacific tree frogs. You'll pass through oak woodland, with pockets of blue, valley, coast and interior live and black oaks. In my first visit, the buckeye was flowering, and the during the second visit, was dropping leaves. (The photos below show the flowering buckeye, the video will show their later stage.)
About the hike
Round Valley Regional Preserve feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, but it's well worth the trip. There is a nice parking area with toilets and an information/map board.
Start out on the Miwok trail and cross the bridge. You'll go through a cattle gate and start a rolling climb on a wide fire road type trail. On your left you'll see clusters of Oaks, and on your right, you'll see a pleasant vineyard. Be careful to avoid the horse poop and ruts on the trail left by cattle and horses.
You'll see some random trails shooting off Miwok, but I stayed on the main trail.
At .6, Cross a little cement bridge
At .72 Cross another cement bridge
At 1.14 Cross another Cement Bridge
At 1.28 Cross a heavier bridge
1.39 Stream on right is loaded with boulders. Seeing Oaks, boulders and grasses with patches of canopy
1.49 Take a Left on to Hardy Canyon Trail
Hardy Canyon Trail is a climb as you start up. To the right is a nice valley, to the left is an Oak studded hillside.
Hardy Canyon Trail is a narrow, single track trail. I saw squirrels and rabbits, and the valley below is beautiful...Hardy Canyon Trail will give you a nice, heart pounding climb. I saw a few runners coming down the trail, but I was the only one going up. This must be the hard direction!
2.35 on Hardy Canyon, almost all uphill, moderately steep
2.44 on Hardy Canyon Trail, hawks circling above, hunting ground squirrel
2.71 Trail here is in pretty bad shape, on right is a gulley, on left the dirt is rutted, but footing is precarious, but doable
2.97 Pond on right
3.25 Clusters of Buckeyes
3.83 Trail splits - take the trail to your left. The last time I was there, someone had blocked the trail on the right with a few logs. I think it goes past the ranch, but keep to the trail on your left.
Continue on through a few more forests of oak, and pass through another cattle gate.
4.66, cross back over the bridge to the parking area.
Location: East Bay Mud North Watershed - Orinda
Trails Featured: Orinda Connector Trail, Orsan Trail, Old San Pablo Trail
Total Mileage: 3.31 Miles
Total Ascent/Descent: 940 Feet
This hike was taken on May 17, 2011.
This is a nice out and back hike or run with limited elevation change and a beautiful canopy on most of the trail. There is a place to park just at the trail head, right off the intersection of Bear Creek Road and Camino Pablo. You'll see the trail, and you'll have to sign in and enter your EBMUD permit number and license plate number.
Starting out at the Orinda connector Trail, you'll see this:
At .22 Go straight on to the Orsan Trail. There are some beautiful old trees along the trail, with lots of bird activity. Also, much of the hike is along the San Pablo Reservoir, so you'll hear and see quite a few water birds.
At .57 Trail turns in to Old San Pablo Trail. On your right is an EBMUD maintenance site.
At 1.22 Cross the gravel road and continue
At 1.47 Cross Bridge
At 1.64 Old San Pablo Trail ends. At this point it turns in to Inspiration Trail. Turn around here.
On return, at 3.07, continue on to Orinda Connector Trail. Continue on until you're back to the start of your hike, at 3.31 miles.
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.
Location: Redwood Regional Park, East Bay Mud Watershed (Redwood Trail)
Trails: Redwood Trail, East Ridge Trail, Canyon Trail, Stream Trail, Prince Trail
Mileage: 5.3 miles, Total Ascent: 5152 feet, Total Descent: 5232 feet
Details: I thought we were going to have one of those storms that comes and goes quickly, but it rained throughout this hike, sometimes heavily. However, it was a great hike, with over 5000 feet of elevation change and wonderful scenery. I decided to try something new this time. I carried a video camera along with a still camera, and filmed the intersections where trails met. The video below is a combination of video and still images.
I started out by parking at the intersection of Canyon Road and Pinehurst Road. You can park just off the road there, or you can add .5 mile of trail by parking at the Valle Vista Staging Area and hiking from the start of Redwood Trail. This hike traverses on both East Bay Mud land and East Bay Parks land. So, you'll need an East Bay Mud trail pass, which you can get here. The first part of this hike is a serious but beautiful climb through Redwoods and Bay Trees. At the end of Redwood Trail, you'll find a gate in to Redwood Regional Park. Going through the gate takes you on to East Ridge Trail, a wide, fire road type trail. Take a Left on to East Ridge Trail You'll hike the East Ridge Trail until you get to Canyon Trail. Taking a right on to Canyon Trail takes you down in to the lush, Redwood heavy part of the park. Canyon Trail is downhill, and you'll end up at the Orchard parking area, which is loaded with picnic tables, barbques, bathrooms and a map stand. Keep to your right, and get on to the Stream Trail. This part of the Stream Trail takes you through some nice Redwoods, Bay Trees, and an assortment of play areas, shelters, bathrooms and picnic areas. This is a very tame part of the park, and part of Stream Trail is paved. If you plan your trip right, you should stop and eat your lunch or a snack here. Continuing on Stream Trail, you'll cross a bridge and come to the intersection of Stream Trail and Prince Trail. Take Prince Trail to the right, and it will lead you back up to East Ridge Trail. Take a right on East Ridge back to the original gate you came through, at Redwood Trail. Go through the gate again (Left here) and follow Redwood Trail back to where you started. This last bit of hiking is pleasurably downhill.
Video: This video follows the route, and incorporates some still images as well:
Images: While the rain made it difficult to take pictures, the light was nearly perfect, so I'm happy with the images I did get:
Huckleberry Botanic Preserve is a beautiful 240 acre gem tucked away in the East Bay hills of Oakland. The diversity of tree and plant life, the exotic sounds of numerous birds, and the twisted, narrow trails make this hike a treasured experience.
See the Photo Map here. (Oddly, several of the images were tagged to a residential area. Just a GPS hiccup.)
Trails Taken: Huckleberry Path, Skyline National Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail.
Mileage: 1.7 miles for the self guided tour.
Trailhead: From Hwy 24 in Oakland, take the Fish Ranch Road exit just east of the Caldecott Tunnel. Continue .8 miles to Grizzly Peak Blvd. Turn left, and go 2.4 miles on Grizzly Peak to Skyline Blvd. Turn left and drive about 1/2 mile to the park entrance on the left, past Sibley Volcanic Preserve.
Directions: Yahoo Map
More Information: East Bay Parks Page
Notes and Impressions:
Huckleberry Preserve has a nice guided tour, if there are any of the brochures available. Several of the times I've visited, they were all gone, and some of the signposts had been knocked down. If you don't see any of the brochures, here is what you will find:
4. Wood Fern
5. Latent Successional Stage (Describing how Bay Trees are shading out the competition.)
7. Douglas Iris
10. Canyon Live Oak
12. Intermediate Successional Stage (Describes the tall, dense canopy of leaves.)
15. Pallid Manzanita
16. Coast Silktassel
The parking lot at the trailhead is fairily small. There is a picnic table and a pit toilet. The trail starts on your right, where you'll find the maps and guides. You can take the upper or lower path, but the self guided tour starts on the lower path. At 1.7 miles, it's not a strenous hike, and I've seen numerous parents with young children on the trail. At Interpretive station 6, in the Manzanita barren, there is a nice bench where you can enjoy a break or lunch.
Taking the lower trail will lead you through a beautiful and lush Bay forest. Many of these trees are covered in a soft green moss, which seems to glow when hit by sunlight.
According to the brochure, there are flowering plants nearly year round. I spotted this beautiful lilac on the path:
Perhaps because of the abundant flowers, I could hear the buzz of Hummingbirds throughout the path. I was able to film one briefly:
You'll also see some spectacular spooky faces in the trees, like these:
This is an easy and beautiful hike, so get out there!
This is a nice hike, but the Eucalyptus Trees (Eucs) own this place. Expect to hear gunshots from the rifle range, and squeaks and moans from the Eucs as they welcome your presence.
Location:Anthony Chabot Regional Park, 9999 Redwood Road, Castro Valley, CA 94546
Trails Taken - Starting out at the Marciel Gate, at 9999 Redwood Road, I took the Redtail Trail. Next, I took a right on the Deer Canyon Trail. I continued to the left on to Brandon Trail. (You can take Brandon Trail to the right for a more direct route to Stone Bridge). Next, I took a right on the Escondido Trail. That zigzaged along until I reconnected with the Brandon Trail. I kept to my left and followed the Brandon Trail to Stone Bridge. I ate some Trader Joe's Scotty Dogs at the bridge and turned around. I took the same trail back to where it split, and followed Cottontail Trail on my left back to the gate and parking lot.
Mileage- 4.53 miles, Total Ascent/Descent: 2953 feet
Trailhead - Moon Gate staging area, off Skyline Blvd. in Oakland.
Notes and Impressions -
It's an auditory experience hiking through this Eucalyptus Forest. You hear the snaps and cracks of branches falling, the moans of trees rubbing together, and the not so distant pop of gunshot at the rifle range.
Starting out on Red Tail Trail, I hear gunshots from the rifle range.
So far, fairly wide path.
.11 some Eucs on right, heavy brush, Oak, Pine, on left, a lot of shrubs, Spring is definitely popping here. New growth on a lot of the plants, loud, enthusiastic birds, scattered gun shots from the range.
.22 Walking on path along, but not right on the road.
.30 Path has little stream in middle, birds flying across, but no canopy, brush on both sides, poison oak, and I am walking along Mericel Road, which leads in to the rifle range and the campsites.
.35 Cross the Mericel Road to continue on to Red Tail Trail.
.40 Take a Right on Deer Canyon Trail.
.41 Forest of Eucs on Right, they are making a lot of noise as they rub against each other from the wind, lots of squeaks and haunting moans.
.44 Deer Trail is starting to descend, trail is really wet, and I'm in a Euc Forest.
.48 I can see San Francisco Bay from the top of this hill.
.54 Giant Euc has come down partially on the trail, but easily passable. This is all Euc here, they're giant, big old trees, some over 100' tall and very wide around the base.
.60 Taking left on to Brandon Trail from Deer Canyon Trail.
On Brandon Trail, I see some Oaks, but not too many. The Eucs are like an invading army here.
.66 There are some Oaks, Bay Trees, but mostly Eucs.
.73 On Brandon Trail, on hillside with wide fire lane road. Down to my right is a valley full of mostly Eucs, but some Oaks.
.86 This is a dense Euc Forest, I've never seem them this jam packed together, and they seem to be different types as well. They go straight up, so there is not a lot of canopy over the trail.
1.0 The rifle range is getting louder, storm is looking like it's going to hit me, so I have to pick up the pace. Just over 1 mile in, about 1.02, there is a little bench which has great vistas and overlooks the valley and the bay.
1.04 Taking a right on the Escondido Trail
Coming down the Escondido Trail, seeing more Eucs and hearing rifle range a bit more
I don't know what it is about Euc Forests, but they seem to be a bit haunted almost, maybe it's because they leave a lot of debris hanging off their branches, waving like ghosts, and the trees rub and grind against one another, making noises all along the trail. I think the Eucs are talking about me...
1.26 on Escondido, the trail is narrow, but the cleared space around it is wide enough for a car almost, full of grasses. Eucs and shrubs on the left of me, Euc Forest on the right. Birds fluttering around, I see some Towhees, Chickadees, and some Jays.
1.59 Just stumbled upon a flock of Wild Turkeys, but they moved away too fast for me to catch them with my camera. There are some boulders on the right of the trail, just past a dense Euc grove.
1.88 On Escondido, starting to see a few more Oak trees, but still quite a few Eucs. I just saw the Turkeys again.
Taking the descent on Escondido, as you wind around through these giant Eucs, I'm heading down to the valley floor, and I see some Bay trees, and a Redwood trying to break through the Eucs. Also, plenty of poison oak wrapping itself around the Eucs like protective sisters.
2.07 Now I'm in the Oaks, and there is a big boulder up a hill next to me. But, it looks like I'm about halfway down in to this valley on the Escondido Trail. Now I'm starting to go up just a bit.
Rifles at range are going off quite loudly in the distance.
2.22 Nice little valley to the left, where you'll see a nice Oak grove.
2.23, There is a little canopy.
2.45 I'm at intersection of Brandon Trail and Escondido Trail, and I'm going to take a left on the Brandon Trail, so I can take some pictures of the Stone Bridge
2.65 Some beautiful Oaks on my left here as I descend down this trail, really pretty Oaks, and a Madrone too. Oaks seemed to have held this spot from the Eucs.
2.94 Heading down Brandon .4/mile to see the Stone Bridge.
As I head to Stone Bridge, I'm seeing a few more Redwoods to my left, but still mostly Eucs.
3.22 More moaning Eucs.
3.35 On Stone Bridge, heavy, flowing stream below.
3.37 Heading back via Brandon to Cottontail Trail.
3.77 On Cottontail Trail heading to Maricel Gate.
3.83 Cottontail has my heart beating a bit, nice incline here.
This Cottontail Trail is a big slab of rock. I'm seeing RollyPollys wander across the trail, and Cottontails scattered on hill.
4.04 The Cottontail Trail is a powerful uphill. I'm taking a break to take some pics.
4.35 At top of Cottontail Trail, on my way to my car, still hearing guns at the range.
4.45 At end of hike, in parking lot at Maricel Gate. Picnic table here, but I don't see water or toilets.
4.35 At top of Cottontail Trail, on my way to my car, still hearing guns at the range.
4.45 At end of hike, in parking lot at Maricel Gate.
This is such a beautiful hike any time of year, but in the spring it really bursts with life and beauty. The streams are spectacular, and they form little waterfalls after a period of heavy rain.
Location: Redwood Regional Park
Trails Taken - Starting out at the Moon gate, off Skyline blvd, I took the West Ridge Trail to the left. Not too far up the trail, I took a right on the Tres Sendas Trail. Next, I took a right on the French Trail, another right on the Redwood Peak trail, and a final right back on the West Ridge Trail back to the Moon gate.
Mileage- 2.34 miles (Heavy canopy) Total Ascent/Descent 4013 feet
Trailhead - Moon Gate staging area, off Skyline Blvd. in Oakland.
Notes and Impressions -
Starting out at Moon Gate
Took a left on West Ridge, Valley below, trail is muddy after a week of rain, but not too bad, houses on left, heading to Tres Sendas Trail.
Just getting started, .11, and there is a stream across the trail, and path is the width of a car
.14 Taking a Right on Tres Sendas Trail
Heading down Tres Sendas, and there is a stream going down it, following the curve of the trail
Sun is peeking out after a night of rain, but trail is muddy, and stream is loud and vibrant
Some Eucs on my left, some mossy Bay Trees on right
The middle of the trail is a stream, at .25, and on the right of the trail is the stream
.37 Trail is incredibly lush and bursting with life, trees are covered with moss, ferns everywhere, and the stream is raging
.41 Stream is going right down the side of the trail
.44 Steam is right next to the trail, trail is muddy with exposed roots and rocks, but beautiful in this weather
.48 Still on Tres Sendas, but stream dug out a gully in the trail, then it goes across the trail in to a larger stream on the left
.53 On Tres Sendas a giant Bay Tree has fallen across the trail, and I have to climb through it
.60 Taking a Right on French Trail from Tres Sendas
.59 Stream goes right across the French Trail, and there is a pretty little waterfall about 5 feet tall
Everything is rich and vibrant, ferns are lush and clean from the rains, streams are flowing like crazy, rocks are covered with moss, and I'm climbing up the French Trail
.69 On French Trail, crossing stream again
.76 Still on French Trail, left the stream area, nice soft path right through the Redwood Forest
.77 Away from stream now, I can hear some Jays squawking, don't hear stream as much anymore
.87 This part of the trail is a Redwood Forest, with lots of Bay Trees and Redwoods, very quiet and beautiful, everything looks green and lush from the rains
.97 This part of French Trail is a bit rocky, Bay Trees are covered in moss, lots of Redwoods
1.02 On French Trail, taking a right on to Redwood Peak Trail
1.04 On Redwood Peak Trail, there is a little bit of mist and fog, creating a stunning setting with ferns, moss and Redwoods
1.07 on Redwood Peak Trail, climbing up some steps of rock and root
1.12 As I climb Redwood Peak Trail, nice clusters of Bay Trees, and trees with red bark
Seems that a lot of Redwood Peak Trail is exposed rock and root, pretty technical trail, but the Bay Trees have that haunted forest look, they're twisted, clustered and covered in moss,and it's kind of dark, so it's a bit eerie in the fog
1.17 on Redwood Peak Trail, and the trail is very narrow here, lots of Bay Trees, seeing fewer Redwoods
Watching a couple of Chickadees taking a bath in a little puddle on the trail
1.33 Following the trail marker to the West Ridge Trail, at this point there are still Redwoods, Bay Trees
1.45 Taking a Right on West Ridge Trail
1.61 Just past the Redwood Bowl, and passed a class of kids out on a hike with Teachers and a Naturalist
1.78 Just crossing the road leading to Chabot Science Center
1.85 West Ridge Trail is right behind the Chabot Science Center, you can literally touch it
1.90 This part of West Ridge Trail is a bit noisy with cars from the road, seeing some Eucs, Bay Trees, Pines
1.97 This part of West Ridge Trail is partially exposed
2.05 West Ridge Trail crosses an road to the back parking lot of Chabot Science Center
2.07 Little grove of Eucs on left, somebody left their dog poop in a bag on the trail
2.34 End of Hike