Lafayette Ridge Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The 6002-acre Briones Regional Park has four major access points that lead to all sorts of trail loops. This hike is not one of those. This trek takes you from the parking area just off the road up Lafayette Ridge Trail to its terminus at the Russell Peak Trail, giving you the option to extend this trek all the way to Russell Peak and back."
--Jason Fator, Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond (The Mountaineers Books).
"The 6002-acre Briones Regional Park has four major access points that lead to all sorts of trail loops. This hike is not one of those. Nope, this trek takes you from the parking area just off the road up Lafayette Ridge Trail to its terminus at the Russell Peak Trail, giving you the option to extend this trek all the way to Russell Peak and back. I like this trip because it gets you into views quickly. From the ridgeline, you’ll likely see hawks (notably, redtail hawks and the occasional golden eagle) and turkey vultures soaring, and jays and red-shouldered blackbirds will likely call to you from the scrub."
--Thom Gabrukiewicz, Best Hikes with Dogs: Bay Area & Beyond (The Mountaineers Books).
"Administered by the East Bay Regional Park District and stretching from Lafayette to Moraga, this trail leads through residential neighborhoods but surprisingly retains the natural feel of a much more remote area. From the staging area on Pleasant Hill Road, the trail passes through Lafayette and then roughly follows parallel to St. Mary's Road. After crossing St. Mary's Road, a gradual climb leads to the crest of the hill at the St. Mary's Road, a gradual climb leads to the crest of the hill at the St. Mary's College campus, visible off to the left. Just past the college at Moraga Road is a busy park and playground, Moraga Commons, at which public restrooms and water are available. The trail ends at Canyon Road at the Valle Vista Staging Area of EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utilities District). Canyon Road leads back to Moraga Commons for the return back to Lafayette along the trail."
--Conrad Boisvert, East Bay Bike Trails (Penngrove Publications).
"Rolling, grassy hills trimmed with spreading oaks form the backdrop for this long, scenic rail-trail. The route links tidy residential communities with St. Mary’s College, the community park at Moraga Commons, and the more rustic trails of the neighboring watershed. Surface: Asphalt and concrete."
--Tracy Salcedo-Chourre, Best Rail Trails California (Falcon Guides).
"The pleasant residential towns of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda, and the rural countryside along Bear Creek Road, highlight this pair of rides, much favored by local cyclists and racing clubs. The presence of Briones Reservoir and Briones Regional Park, both on Bear Creek Road, ensure the encroachment of developers will be minimized into the distant future. Both rides require substantial hill climbing, although the grades are not terribly steep and no one climb is very long."
"The pleasant residential neighborhoods of Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda and Happy Valley, and the rural countryside along Bear Creek Road, highlight this ride. The route initially leads out of Lafayette toward Moraga along Moraga Road. Moraga Way then leads to Orinda. Past Orinda, the route gets decidedly more rural, as it leads past Briones Reservoir and then past Briones Regional Park, one of the jewels of the East Bay Regional Park District. The return to Lafayette is through Happy Valley, a charming residential area. The early part of the ride follows roads which carry moderate amounts of car traffic over mildly rolling hills. There are two substantial climbs in the latter half of the ride, one along Bear Creek Road and the other along Happy Valley Road."
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