"Combining the High Ridge Loop, Tolman Peak, South Fork, Meyers Ranch, and Dry Creek trails, this route—two loops attached by an out-and-back section— explores a regional park gem, an oasis in the middle of one of the East Bay’s most heavily industrial and residential areas. Scenery, views, and variety of habitat combine to make hiking to Tolman Peak more than just a challenging workout. Mileage and commitment, rather than steepness of terrain, earn for this hike its “difficult” rating. Go east and cross a bridged creek, then continue straight on a path into a picnic area. When you come to a gravel road, cross it, go through a cattle gate, and begin climbing the High Ridge Loop Trail. This dirt road ascends through an open area of tall grass and weeds, leaving behind the trees—sycamore, willow, fig, and California buckeye—that line the creek by the park’s picnic area. Soon you pass the Newt Pond Trail, left, which connects this part of the High Ridge Loop Trail with the Newt Pond Wildlife Area."