I selected this hike, on this occasion, because I was going to Berkeley afterward and was interested in hiking generally in that area. It was kind of a nostalgic hike as well, since I’d gone to graduate school at Cal and it had been a long time since I’d gone for a hike in Tilden Park. The starting location at Kennedy Grove, just north of San Pablo Reservoir in El Sobrante, is the northernmost point in a fairly long interconnected section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail continuing past I-580 in Hayward.
Even though it was early February it was a fine spring day. After climbing up from the San Pablo Reservoir to the San Pablo Ridge (a climb of about 800 feet), the trail passes through hills that were green from the early-season rains.
From the ridge there were wonderful views to the east across reservoirs in the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) toward Mt. Diablo
and to the west toward the northern portion of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
After entering the North end of Tilden Park there is a series of canyons on the west side of the ridge toward Kensington and Berkeley and the terrain changes from open hillsides to forest, including eucalyptus and redwood trees. This area is often foggy but on this day was quite clear. There is a nice redwood grove that was planted and dedicated in the 1960’s by the Berkeley Hiking Club.
There was even a coyote on the prowl for an afternoon meal.
The turnaround point for this segment was at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road. After returning to my car to finish the hike, I headed to Berkeley where I had the privilege of attending a University of California Regent’s Lecture given by Sally Ride. She is a wonderful speaker, and it was a treat to hear about her experiences as an astronaut as well as her current interest in encouraging young women to get interested in science and math.