Yesterday afternoon, June 19th 2015, I hiked beautiful Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley Hills, San Francisco Bay Area in California, from end to end and back again to the starting point.
In total, I hiked about 11 1/2 miles, and it took me about 3 1/2 – 4 hours of steady hiking with few stops, except to take pictures; I forgot to look at the time right when I started. As those of you who know me well are aware, I hike a lot, it’s one of my very favorite things to do. Just thought I’d share this one with you since it’s the first time I made a point of hiking the Tilden trails that took me as far as I could go from one end of the park to the other. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden.htm
I parked near Little Farm and the Visitor’s Center, and headed via Jewel Lake and Sylvan Trials to Wildcat Canyon Peak Trial, which takes you to around the northwest end of the park. I took the Peak Trail to Nimitz Way, stopped at Inspiration Point, headed up the Seaview Trail to connect with the East Bay Skyline National Trail, and took that all the way to Vollmer Peak at the southeast end of the park. Coming back, I took the Vollmer Peak Trail to Arroyo, to Upper Big Springs, to Quarry, to Lower Big Springs, back down Seaview, then met with Curran Trail. For the last leg of the return trip, I chose Wildcat Gorge Trail, which takes you nearly all the way back to the Visitor Center.
Along the way, I saw quail, lizards, wild turkeys, and oodles of other birds; at one point as I was on a ridge trail, a redtail hawk cruised by about twenty feet in front of me at eye level on its way to hunt the grassy hillside below, so I got a good, long look at her. I saw sweet peas, sticky monkey flower, golden poppy, cow parsnip, wild teasel, thistle, and many other wildflowers. I walked through oen grasslands and hiked among oak, sequoia, bay, pine, eucalyptus, toyon, and other beautiful trees and shrubs. I ate wild blackberries and plums, and would have eaten the less common thimbleberries except the ones I found weren’t ripe yet (I had some the other day in Joaquin Miller, really a treat). Watch out for poison oak; I used to react to it very badly, but I think I’ve developed a resistance to it: it’s absolutely everywhere, but I don’t break out anymore, just a little itchy blister now and then.
Here’s a little picture book I took on my hike (with my cell phone camera, nothing fancy). All photos are presented here in the order in which they were taken so you an take a virtual walk with me, though I only captured the smallest fraction of the beauty of this place.
I hope you enjoyed your virtual hike with me!
Amy M. Cools, PhD, is a historian, author, and educator. Her doctoral thesis, ‘The Life and Work of James McCune Smith (1813-1865),’ is the first completed book-length biographical study dedicated to this pioneering intellectual, scientist, and physician. She is currently a historical researcher and writing assistant and part-time educator. As time allows, she is also currently working on a full-length scholarly biography of McCune Smith and on compiling and editing his complete written works. Amy holds a PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh (2021); an MA in Intellectual History with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh (2018); a BA in Philosophy: Ethics, Politics and Law, Summa Cum Laude from California State University at Sacramento (2013), and an AA in Humanities and Fine Arts from Riverside City College (1999).
Amy has written theses, peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, and essays on McCune Smith, Frederick Douglass, the history of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century civil rights movements, the history of philosophy, United States history, and other historical and philosophical topics. Links to these and/or full articles can be found at her website OrdinaryPhilosophy.com – for which she plans to resume writing more frequently as soon as her busy schedule allows – which also features photo-illustrated writings about her history- and philosophy-themed travels and other topics. Born in California, USA, she now makes her home near Falkirk, Scotland.
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