On this medium-short hike, I completed the northern section of a longer Bay Area Ridge Trail segment from Skyline Gate, near the top of Shepherd Canyon Rd at Skyline Blvd in Oakland, to the Bort Meadow staging area in Anthony Chabot Regional Park. In a previous hike I’d hiked about 2/3 of the segment, turning around at one of many side trails. In this hike I started from the next trailhead and hiked until I found my previous turnaround point. Most of the hike was within Redwood Regional Park.
This portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is part of the East Bay Skyline Trail, a designated National Recreation Trail.
The weather was sunny and clear. The only potential weather-related issue was simply to keep an eye on the time: I didn’t start hiking until 2pm and I wanted to be sure to finish before sundown.
This hike was relatively level, with only about 300 feet of elevation gain and loss in each direction. There was a potential side trip to Redwood Peak. When I have time, I nearly always climb to a peak that’s close to the trail, and this was no exception.
Not far from the Skyline Gate trailhead I had a nice view of the East Bay hills, which seem to be in rows with canyons in between.
About half a mile from the trailhead I had a glimpse of Mt Diablo through the trailside trees. This famous Bay Area landmark was only about 17 miles away and can often be seen from much greater distances.
As the trail continued near the ridge top, there were also occasional views of San Francisco Bay.
The trail passes just below Chabot Space and Science Center, which is a great place for a dedicated visit, especially for one of the evening star viewings. The picture shows the housings for two of the three on-site telescopes.
In places the trail passes through rather dense forested areas.
I passed several local residents walking dogs. A couple of the dog walkers had 6 dogs! Fortunately they didn’t seem to mind other hikers sharing the trail.
After turning around, I took the short (0.4 miles round trip) side trip to Redwood Peak. Although it marks the highest point in Redwood Park, the beautiful redwood trees precluded a distant view.
The original redwood forest was completely logged to support the rapid growth of Bay Area cities in the mid 1800’s. Today’s redwood forest is second or third growth, but still magnificent.
During my return trip the sun gradually got lower in the sky, providing pretty lighting in semi-open areas.
When I had almost returned to the trailhead I noticed the nearly-full moon rising in the East over the tree line on the next ridge.
This was a very pleasant hike on a Fall day and would also be pleasant on a hot summer day.