Tuesday, September 29, 2015
A hidden redwood forest lies off Redwood Road just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland. The forest’s peaceful groves give little evidence of the park’s bustling past – in the mid-1800s the area was the scene of extensive logging to supply building materials for the San Francisco Bay Area. The logging era has long since passed, and a stately forest of 150-foot coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) has replaced those cut down. (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood)
This hike travels along East Ridge Trail in Redwood Regional Park before dropping down into the canyon area for a quiet walk under the gorgeous redwoods on the Stream Trail. Begin from Redwood Regional Park Skyline Gate Staging Area off Skyline Blvd in Oakland.
East Ridge Trail runs along the top of the ridge on a broad fire road for 2.9 flat-rolling miles on the east edge of the park with views of the dense redwood forests and the occasional glimpse of Mt Diablo.
East Ridge Trail to Phillips Loop Junction:
East Ridge Trail from Phillips Loop junction to Eucalyptus junction:
East Ridge Trail from Eucalyptus junction to Phillips Loop junction:
East Ridge Trail from Phillips Loop junction to Prince Trail junction:
East Ridge Trail from Prince junction to Vista Point bench:
Remaining stretch on East Ridge Trail to the trail split at Canyon Trail junction:
At mile 2.9-turn right onto Canyon Trail; the trail drops down from the ridge top to the Quail/ Owl picnic area at Canyon Meadow.
At the trail split at mile 3.26-turn right towards Stream Trail. The Stream Trail goes through the flat canyon from the picnic areas near Canyon Meadows before entering the beautiful dense bay/redwood forests along Redwood Creek.
At mile 3.34-turn right onto Stream Trail and make a detour through the “Create-with Nature-Pathway”-you are encouraged to freely alter and recycle the creations of others using the natural materials provided in the pathway to create wonderful borders to help protect the restoration areas. It’s interactive play under the redwoods-kids would love this!
The Stream Trail continues through the Orchard picnic area and children’s playground:
Stream Trail from playground area to Fern Dell campground:
Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Redwood Grove:
Stream Trail to Old Church picnic area:
Stream Trail from Old Church to Trail’s End campground:
Stream Trail from Trail’s End to Fern junction:
Stream Trail from Fern junction to Redwood Creek crossing:
Stay on Stream Trail to Prince junction:
Stream Trail from Prince junction to Tres Sendas junction:
Stream Trail from Tres Sendas junction to Eucalyptus junction:
Stream Trail from Eucalyptus junction to Girls Camp:
From Girls Camp, Stream Trail kicks up from the canyon for a moderate climb up to Skyline Gate Staging Area.
Redwoods in the middle of a city-but of course! Redwood Park offers different trails that you can loop together for a variety of hikes ranging from easy to moderate. The easiest would be an out & back along the Stream Trail and a moderate one would involve climbing from the canyon floor to either ridgeline; east or west. This hike offers a little bit of both; a jaunt along the ridge and a leisurely walk under the gorgeous redwood and bay forests! Come out and enjoy what the park has to offer!
6.2 Miles with 756′ of elevation gain
Time: 3 hours with a stop
Parking: No fee at Skyline Gate Staging Area off Skyline Blvd in Oakland.
Water & Pit toilets available
Dog Friendly-On Leash and Off-Leash trails
Bring plenty of water & food/snacks
Weather: Sunny, warm and breezy with blue skies. Temps ranged from the low to high 60’s with SW winds.