Redwood: East Ridge-Stream-Chown-French-Huckleberry Path Loop Trail Hike

Thursday, July 28, 2016

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This hike goes heads south along the ridge at Redwood Park before dropping down into the beautiful redwood forest around Redwood Creek. It traverses the dense woodland area as it climbs back up to Skyline Gate. The hike includes a gorgeous loop around Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve.

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. *1 

Begin this trail hike from Skyline Gate at Redwood Regional Park. Head north through the parking lot to East Ridge Trail.

The broad fire road runs along the top of the ridge on flat-rolling terrain on the east edge of the park. East Ridge Trail to Eucalyptus Trail junction.

Stay on East Ridge Trail to Phillips Loop Trail junction.

Stay on East Ridge Trail to Prince Rd junction.

Prince Trail winds down from the ridge underneath a beautiful canopy of trees to a T junction at Stream Trail.

Turn left on Stream Trail to the Redwood Creek crossing.

Go left to stay Stream Trail, the flat trail travels underneath the gorgeous towering redwoods and bay trees along Redwood Creek.

At Fern Trail junction, go straight to stay on Stream Trail.

At Chown/Bridle Trail junction: turn right onto Chown Trail. This trail traverses the hillside on a moderate grade from the canyon floor up through the beautiful redwoods.

At the French Trail junction, turn right. The trail continues to wind uphill with moderate grades and dappled sunlight. French Trail to Fern Trail junction:

French Trail to Mill Trail junction.

At Mill/French Trail junction: go left at the trail split to stay on French.

French Trail from Madrone junction to Starflower Trail junction.

Turn left to stay on French Trail, the trail kicks up with a steep climb to a high point at Redwood Peak Trail junction before descending towards Tres Sendas Trail junction.

At Tres Sendas junction, turn right to stay on French Trail. It cuts across the canyon area to the next French/Tres Sendas junction.

Turn left to stay on French Trail, it ascends through the gorgeous woodlands to the ridge with steep grades of 11-16%.

At the top of French Trail, turn right onto West Ridge Trail. The broad fire road winds along the ridge top back to the trail gate at Skyline gate Staging Area.

For the second loop around Huckleberry Preserve, return to East Ridge Trail to Skyline Trail.

Turn left onto Skyline Trail, it leads you north to the Upper Pinehurst Trailhead.

Continue on Skyline Trail to Huckleberry Botanic Loop Trail Junction.

At the Y trail split, go right to stay on Skyline Trail along the lower Huckleberry Path. Huckleberry self-guided nature path, a 1.7-mile loop, traverses a wide variety of terrain and is maintained to minimum standards. The path descends into a mature bay forest, follows the contour for about half a mile, and then ascends to the botanically rich upper trail. *2

At the next trail junction, go left to stay on the lower Huckleberry Path. Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve is an ecological jewel. The native plant community here is found nowhere else in the East Bay. It represents a relic plant association found only in certain areas along California’s coast where ideal soil and climatic conditions exist.

The lower path leads up to the steps onto the Upper Huckleberry Path Loop Trail. The vegetation association of Huckleberry Preserve finds its roots in past climates and geologic history. The plants originated in the distant past along the southern coast of California when the climate was moister and tempered by the cool coastal fog. Today, similar vegetation is found on the islands off the Santa Barbara coast and in isolated pockets on the mainland coast from Point Conception to Montara Mountain, south of San Francisco. *2 

The path narrows as it gently winds through the dense forest and ferns.

The upper path leads back to the Skyline Trail junction.

Go straight on Skyline Trail for the return to the Upper Pinehurst Trailhead.

Reverse your way back on Skyline Trail to Redwood Park.

This is a wonderful scenic hike through the gorgeous redwood and bay forests at Redwood Park and the untouched natural native plant community at Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve. This hike can easily be shortened by doing each loop separately, but if you have the time and energy, why not do both?

*1 http://www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood

*2 http://www.ebparks.org/parks/huckleberry

Stats:
10.39 Miles with 1982′ of elevation gain
Time: 5 hours with a stop
Hike: Challenging
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 *NO DOGS ALLOWED along the Upper Huckleberry Path Trail.
Bring plenty of water & food/snacks

Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the mid 60’s to mid 70’s with NW winds.

Directions: Skyline Gate Staging Area > Head east across the parking lot towards East Ridge Trail > S-East Ridge Tr > R-Prince Tr > L-Stream Tr > R-stay on Stream Tr > L-stay on Stream Tr > R-Chown Tr > R-French Tr > R-West Ridge Tr > Skyline Gate > R-East Ridge Tr > L-Skyline Tr/Bay Area Ridge Tr > X-Pinehurst Rd > S-Skyline Tr > R-Huckleberry Path Loop Tr > L-stay on Huckleberry Path Loop Tr > L-stay on Huckleberry Path Loop Tr > S-Skyline Tr/Bay Area Ridge Tr > R-East Ridge Tr > S-Skyline Gate

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