Bay Area Ridge Trail The Official Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers and Equestrians  by Jean Rusmore

Bay Area Ridge Trail: The Official Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers and Equestrians Guide Book

by Jean Rusmore (Wilderness Press)
Bay Area Ridge Trail The Official Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers and Equestrians  by Jean Rusmore
On a network of paths that ring San Francisco Bay, the Bay Area Ridge Trail provides easy access to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding across oakstudded grasslands and through tranquil forests. Discover dramatic coastlines, former Mexican ranchos, old Native American footpaths, vistas that inspired Spanish explorers, and more. With more than a dozen new hikes, the fully updated official guide to the trail covers more than 300 miles of the trail opened to date. Choose from 58 trips in parks and public lands like Marin County’s hilly Mt. Tamalpais State Park, peaceful Jack London State Historic Park, and view-packed Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve. Trips range from a 1.6-mile stroll on the Al Zampa Memorial Bridge over the Carquinez Strait to a 12.8-mile traverse of Bolinas Ridge in the North Bay. Join veteran hiker Jean Rusmore on the spectacular Bay Area Ridge Trail—there’s an outing suitable for every mood and group.

© 2008 Jean Rusmore/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Bay Area Ridge Trail: The Official Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers and Equestrians" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 57.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 57.

Join strollers, exercise buffs, dog walkers, and commuters on a high suspension bridge over the wide waters of Carquinez Strait where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flow to San Francisco Bay.
Vallejo, CA - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.6
Climb to a secluded valley surmounted by a high, rounded hill on the east side of the Santa Clara Valley for a bird’s-eye view of nearby San Jose that expands to include all the South Bay and the Peninsula. The trail winds up a southwest-facing, grassy hillside, gaining about 1000 feet in elevation. This round-trip is best done with an early start on cool spring days or midday in winter when skies are clear after rains.
San Jose, CA - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6
Gradually climb over grassy hillsides and through oak woodlands and conifer forests on the west side of Bennett Mountain along wide, rocky service roads. You gain 1100 feet and then lose 1000 feet as you descend past spring-fed meadows on a well-graded trail to Annadel’s east side. The west- and south-facing slopes can be hot in summer; north- and east-facing slopes are forested.
Santa Rosa, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.6
Explore the little-traveled lands of Chabot Regional Park. Your trail runs through a long, grassy valley beside a willow-lined creek and climbs gradually through eucalyptus forests to the ridgetop, a 340-foot elevation gain. Take in sweeping views to the east and then zigzag down 620 feet in the last 1.2 miles. Mostly on wide service trails, this route offers half sun and half shade.
Ashland, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6.1
Roam rolling ridgelands in northern Contra Costa County on a trail named for longtime East Bay Regional Open Space District planner and trail enthusiast Hulet Hornbeck. It follows the old California Riding and Hiking Trail, a round-the-state trail system planned in the mid-1900s. One of the few remaining segments of this trail it follows wide, unpaved service trails along the exposed ridge south of the Carquinez Strait and ends in the Alhambra Valley of Martinez, where you can visit John Muir’s home. The first and last legs of the trail are short and steep.
Benicia, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3
Coyote Creek travels 31 miles from the Diablo Range to San Francisco Bay. On this 8.1-mile segment, you follow the creekbed beneath shady riparian cover and beside remnants of the Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural history to freshwater lagoons at Metcalf Park, habitat for many year-round and migratory bird species. The wide, paved trail travels a nearly level course.
San Jose, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.1
Take a short, creekside stroll through the broad Coyote Creek floodplain. You’ll enjoy pleasant rest stops under large shade trees and awesome views of the nearby Coast Range. The entire route follows a level paved trail (with an unpaved path for horses).
San Jose, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 7.7
After a vigorous climb on the 2.6-mile link to the trail’s north entrance, this trip heads south on a relatively level trail with views of the lake, the surrounding foothills, and the coastal mountains.
San Martin, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7.2
Climb to high grasslands for East Bay views from Carquinez Strait west to Mt. Tamalpais and north to Hood Mountain and Bald Mountain on the Ridge Trail route.
Crockett, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 4.5
A long ramble through rolling grasslands arrives at a popular swimming, fishing, and picnicking site. This exposed route begins with a steady, 2-mile, 920-foot ascent on a path through oak woodlands. You arrive at Dinosaur Ridge and its 360-degree views, follow wide service roads along a rolling ridgetop, pass through cattle-grazed lands with little shade, and then descend to Cull Creek. From Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area, hikers can continue on a shadier trail past residential areas.
Castro Valley, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 8.4
Watch hang gliders soar on ocean breezes at the launching site in Fort Funston and take in sweeping vistas from a former military observation point. Begin this diverse San Francisco stroll on foggy, bluff-top dunes at a defunct military site, now part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. On your way to historic Stern Grove you’ll pass two freshwater lakes, dip into sunny and protected glens, and cross residential neighborhoods on mostly paved trails. A steep 115-foot climb in the last 0.1 mile gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Daly City, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
From the heights of Bolinas Ridge you’ll have magnificent views of the sparkling ocean, tree-covered ridges, deep canyons, oak-dotted hills, and distant peaks. You’ll also glimpse Marin County history as you pass trails named for early landholders and tread the paths of Mexican ranchers, Anglo settlers, rugged loggers, and prosperous dairymen.
Fairfax, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 12.8
A trek along this 1000-acre ridgetop visits the San Francisco Bay Discovery Site, unique coastal plant communities, and the Skyline College campus and offers sweeping views of the coast and mountains. The long, rounded Sweeney Ridge, separating north Peninsula bayside and coastal communities, was slated to become Interstate 380—the route from Highway 101 to Highway 1—until the Golden Gate National Recreation Area purchased it in 1982. The exposed ridge can be windy, foggy, or hot and is subject to sudden changes in weather. Choose from two trailheads, on the east and west sides of the ridge: You’ll gain 550 feet from the Sneath Lane trailhead and 850 feet from the Mori Ridge trailhead. The trail from Sneath Lane to the Nike site is a paved road; all other trails are wide and unpaved.
Pacifica, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7
This pleasant stroll through a regional park and Petaluma’s historic neighborhoods is rich in history. You’ll pass restored Victorian houses around McNear and Walnut parks and cross the Petaluma River on a historic drawbridge to arrive at General Mariano Vallejo’s ranch. The relatively level sidewalks and bike lanes are shaded until you reach city limits along Casa Grande Road, where trees are few; you’ll follow the paved road shoulder to reach Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, where a large eucalyptus grove awaits.
Petaluma, CA - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.9
These rolling grasslands offer expansive views of San Francisco and San Pablo bays and the mountains that encircle them, from Mt. Tamalpais to Mt. Diablo. You’ll gain 550 feet on short, steep climbs along this broad, exposed trail. Take this trip on cool summer mornings or late afternoons; some spots are muddy after heavy rains.
Vallejo, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5
A vigorous uphill trip follows Hood Creek through forests and meadows, passes several ponds, and then climbs to the top of Hood Mountain.
Glen Ellen, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.1
Follow city streets, a creekside path under a shady canopy, and trails through gently contoured grasslands to high meadows with 360-degree views of East Bay ridges and canyons. Most of this trip is in full sun.
Castro Valley, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.4
Explore Indian Tree’s redwood and Douglas-fir forests on a shady and well-graded out- and-back trip (with an elevation gain and loss of 720 feet). Then head north over grassy hillsides above Stafford Lake, around Little Mountain, and through forest to O’Hair Park. The Little Mountain Trail starts on a fire protection road; otherwise, narrow, well- graded, and shaded trails cross these preserves, with minor elevation change.
Novato, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 9
Join this leg of the main Ridge Trail route—the Sonoma Mountain Trail—from a connector trail through redwood and oak forests. After an out-and-back trip on the Sonoma Mountain Trail segment, follow the Ridge Trail along lively streams, through dense forests, and across scattered grasslands on the eastern flank of Sonoma Mountain. You’ll travel wide park service roads and new, well-designed, narrow trails to reach lofty heights: a gain of 608 feet in elevation on the Sonoma Mountain Trail and 1220 feet on the Hayfields Trail, where you’ll have grand views of the Valley of the Moon.
Glen Ellen, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: Several Options
Traverse remote oak woodlands and an ancient bay-tree forest to reach a 2457-foot vista point with outstanding views of the high peaks of the Coast Range. This segment traces the western boundary of 9522-acre Joseph D. Grant County Park on a broad trail, at times rocky and dusty, and gains 700 feet. Most of the route is in full sun, so plan for an early start and carry plenty of water.
Mount Hamilton, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.4