Contra Loma: West Shore-East Shore-Old Ranch Loop-Lake View-Ridge Trail Hike

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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*Contra Loma‘s 780 acres include an 80-acre reservoir for year-round fishing and a lifeguarded swim lagoon for summertime swimming. Enjoy these attractions along with year-round hiking, biking, and nature study at this Contra Costa County oasis.

This triple loop trail hike begins with a counter clockwise flat walk around Contra Loma Reservoir from West Shore Trail to East Shore Trail. Continue east for a second flat jaunt around Contra Loma pastoral parklands on Old Ranch Loop to the park entrance kiosk. Complete the scenic hike with a climb up through the beautiful rolling hills on Lake View Trail to Ridge Trail.

Begin this hike from Antioch Community Park; head west along the pathway towards Contra Loma Regional Park.

At the trail junction-turn left followed by an immediate right at the park information board. The gravel road travels west along Contra Loma Dam with wonderful views of the reservoir.

West Shore Trail winds around the shoreline of the lake.

Continue on West Shore Trail; the path leads you through the swim lagoon, park concession and picnic areas to the bridge at Loma Island.

Stay on West Shore Trail; it exits onto a paved road-turn left at the East Shore Trail junction and head towards the boat launch area.

Cut across the parking area to the East Shore trailhead; follow the trail across the grasslands and meadows to the Swale trail junction.

At Swale Trail-turn left followed by an immediate right; the gentle upslope leads to to the T junction with East Lake Rd.

Turn right onto East Lake Rd to the Old Ranch Loop trail gate; the trail drops down gently through the open grasslands and meadows.

Old Ranch Loop Trail travels along the park boundary line between the sports fields at Antioch Community Park.

The trail turns south and continues along the park boundary line with Lone Tree Golf Course.

Enjoy the fabulous views of the surrounding rolling hills and the flat valley grasslands!

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At the trail gate; Old Ranch Loop Trail heads west along the open pastoral land to the trail gate at East Lake Rd.

In the far distance, you can see the Vaca Mountains and the Delta wind farms around Montezuma Hills!

At East Lake Rd junction-turn left for a lunch stop at the nearby picnic area.

Continue on East Lake Rd towards the entry kiosk; cross the road and follow the gravel pathway to Frederickson Trail.

Frederickson Trail runs parallel along the main road to Lake View Trail junction.

Turn right and enter through the trail gate onto Lake View Trail; the trail winds through the gorgeous rolling hills to the junction with Old Homestead.

Turn right to stay on Lake View; the trail leads to a moderate climb up and over the hill with glorious panoramic views of the park!

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At the trail gate; turn left to stay on Lake View. The gentle terrain travels along the lower slopes with glorious vistas of the parklands and its beautiful verdant hills!

Lake View rises up the hill with a moderate climb before dropping down towards the trail gate to the park residence.

At the Ridge Trail junction-turn left to stay on Lake View; the trail winds back up through the hills towards the upper ridge.

The trail leads to a moderate steep rocky climb to the first high point along the ridge.

Enjoy the spectacular views!

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The trail drops downhill to the Overlook junction; go straight up the hill to the next high point atop of the ridge.

Enjoy the phenomenal 360 degree views of surrounding East County valleys, the Delta and the rolling hills and canyons around Black Diamond Mines Regional Park!

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Descend the flat top and turn left at the junction to stay on Lake View Trail; the trail winds down the hill to the trail gate at Ridge Trail.

Turn left onto Ridge Trail; it tilts up for a short climb to the Upper Vista junction.

Turn right to Upper Vista-the trail leads up to a overlook area with a bench. Sit a spell and take in the gorgeous panoramic views of Contra Loma Park!

Descend Upper Vista back onto Ridge Trail; the trail drops down from the ridge to the junction at West Shore Trail.

Turn right onto West Shore Trail; the descent leads you back to the reservoir shoreline. At the trail split-go left onto West Shore and retrace your steps back to the dam area.

Enjoy the beautiful lakeside views!

Walk across the dam and make your way back to the parking lot through the ball fileds at Antioch Community Park.

This is a wonderful easy hike around Contra Loma Regional Park. You’ll enjoy the leisurely flat walk around the reservoir and the scenic rolling hills around the beautiful parklands. The panoramic views from the vista overlooks are astounding! Shadow spotted a coyote roaming the grasslands and plenty of darting squirrels around the Old Ranch Loop Trail.

*http://www.ebparks.org/parks/contra_loma

Stats:
7.66 Miles with 857′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 480′
Time: 3.75 hours with a few stops
Hike: Easy
Parking: Free parking at Antioch Community Park
Water & restrooms available
Dog Friendly-ON/OFF Leash areas
Bring water & food/snacks

Weather: Sunny, cool with partial clouds. Temps ranged from the high 40’s to mid 50’s with NW winds.

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Contra Loma

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