Tilden Regional Park Hike, Berkeley Hills, California

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!

love, Amy

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Walk with Me: Fall Scenes in Anthony Chabot Regional Park, from the Brandon, Cascade, Columbine, and Grass Valley Trails

 

I love to hike! And fall is a beautiful time to do it…. though unfortunately, it also means I don’t get to go nearly as often. It gets dark so early now, I can’t make it up to the hills after work early enough to catch more than half an hour or so of daylight.

Last week, I spent a happy Saturday afternoon in Anthony Chabot Regional Park, which borders Oakland, Castro Valley, and San Leandro.
This time, I brought my camera (not a very good one, but it does the trick).

Here are some scenes I came across on my hike on the loop consisting of the Brandon, Cascade, Columbine, and Grass Valley trails. Next time, I’ll get there a little earlier so I can make it all the way to the lake.

So come with me as I walk along these trails!

It’s a beautiful park, with ever-changing scenery, as are so many of the wild places in the Bay Area: you often can go from shady redwood groves to grassland, from seaside to desert, from cliffs to cow pastures, in a matter of minutes.

Yet again, I have to say it: for sheer grandeur and variety of scenes of natural beauty, I’ve never seen or heard of a better place than California. Here’s just a little slice.