Wednesday, February 18, 2015
This short ride takes you on a counter clockwise loop along the scenic George Miller Trail to McEwen Rd. Climb the infamous steep north side of McEwen followed by a sweeping descent onto Franklin Canyon.
Exit Holiday Highlands to Arnold Dr and take Glacier Dr over Hwy 4 to Center Ave. Roll along Vine Hill Way to Alhambra Ave.
Continue through downtown Martinez on Alhambra Ave to Buckley and Talbart St.
George Miller Trail winds in and around the woodlands for about 1.5 miles to the gate onto the newly paved trail; with every twist and turn comes a different view of Carquinez Strait.
Enjoy the wonderful views!
The new 1.7 mile section of trail is closed to traffic; the road continues snaking around the bay shoreline with many choice vista overlooks of the surrounding waters,Benicia-Martinez Bridge, the shoreline tracks and dense woodlands-absolutely gorgeous!
The new trail drops down into Little Bull Valley and ends at the old brick plant area; the new George Miller Trail gravel parking lot is now open. There even a Porta-potty-great!
Carquinez Scenic Dr/ George Miller Trail continues winding around the valley and descends into Big Bull Valley at the intersection of Reservoir and McEwen Rd in Port Costa.
The climb up north McEwen Rd is a challenge; it can be broken down into three segments. The first 0.4 section is on a narrow stretch of two lane road with very steep grades of 12-15%!
The second section begins as the road bends on the approach to the eucalyptus stand at the “No Dumping” sign; it’s 0.3 mile with lesser grades of 9-11%.
The third section leads you out under from the canopy of trees to the open clearing with views of the tree-lined Franklin Ridge. It’s 0.6 mile to the summit with gradient ranges of 5-7%.
At the summit, the road drops down and goes over a small bump to the cattle ranch and steel barn.
Enjoy the pre-spring flowers in full bloom!
McEwen Rd descends on super smooth pavement as it gently sweeps around the little bends and straightens out onto Franklin Canyon Rd.
Franklin Canyon Rd rolls through the quiet canyon for 3.6 miles to Alhambra Ave. Check out the colorful murals on the roll over the hump on the road!
Alhambra Ave leads back to Vine Hill Way and I return to Holiday Highlands Park on Center to Glacier and Arnold.
This scenic jaunt along the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline gives you a great workout within a short period of time!
21.22 Miles with 1585′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 693′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Rolling with a few low hills and a steep climb
Weather: Overcast grey skies with temps ranging from the low 50’s to the low 60’s and NW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: