Saturday, May 23, 2015
This scenic clockwise loop goes around Reliez Valley to Franklin Canyon for the gentle climb up east McEwen Rd. Drop down onto the George Miller Trail and continue along the beautiful Carquinez Regional Shoreline into Martinez. Return via Shell Ave and Pacheco Blvd to Morello and Fig Tree Ln.
Go up Arnold Dr and cross over Hwy 4 on Glacier Dr to Center Ave and Vine Hill Way. Morello Ave goes through the residential neighborhoods from Martinez to Pleasant Hill.
Turn right onto Taylor Blvd and head south to Grayson Rd. At Grayson Rd, turn right and head west towards Oakmont Memorial Park on Reliez Valley Rd.
Continue north on Reliez Valley Rd; the rolling terrain takes you along the outskirts of the community homes around Grayson Woods to Blue Ridge.
The road continues through the valley ranches and equine facilities before coming to an end at the junction with Alhambra Valley Rd.
Turn right on Alhambra Valley Rd; the road winds along the valley homes in Martinez to Alhambra Ave. Take a left on Alhambra Ave to Franklin Canyon Rd.
Franklin Canyon Rd to McEwen Rd is 3.6 gentle miles along a quiet canyon through a small community with horse and cattle ranches, vineyards and residential ranch homes and farm houses.
The climb up the east side of McEwen Rd is a gentle 1.1 mile with an average grade of 4.2% followed by a steep descent onto George Miller Trail.
George Miller Trail continues east on gentle ascending terrain to the next high point at the new trail gate. The road descends around the Franklin Hills to Little Bull Valley.
The 1.7 mile trail segment begins at the Little Bull Valley trail gate; the twist and turns take you along the shoreline with spectacular views of Carquinez Strait! The road narrows at some sections with several blind curves and rolls through the oak woodlands to the trail gate in Martinez.
George Miller Trail continues on rolling terrain through the shaded woodlands before dropping down to the lower trail gate at John Nejedley Staging Area.
Enjoy the views!
There is a short 6-7% climb from the lower gate up towards the Alhambra & Catholic Cemeteries. The road descends into the edge of Martinez onto Talbert St.
The turn on Escobar St takes you through the north edge of Martinez near the old Downtown Area to the Martinez Museum and along the backside of the Contra Costa County Superior Court.
The road becomes Marina Vista Ave on its way towards the Shell Refinery and continues along the SP RR tracks.
Take Shell Ave to Pacheco Blvd and return on Morello Ave to Midhill and Fig Tree Ln.
This short scenic loop gets me out of the house and back within a couple of hours. It leaves plenty of time in the day to walk the dog and run errands!
25.81 Miles with 1909′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 662′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Moderately hilly
Weather: Overcast skies with afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the mid 50’s to the high 60’s with SW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: