Miller Knox: Nicholl Knob-West Ridge Point-Ferry Point Trail Hike

Friday, July 20, 2018

View the entire Google Web Album

A beautifully landscaped shoreline picnic area, a secluded cove with swimming beach, a fishing pier at a historic site a hilltop with excellent panoramic views of the North Bay Area and a model railroad museum – all these attractions are part of 307-acre Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Richmond. A hike to the top of the nearby grassy hills is rewarded by spectacular views in all directions. Mount Tamalpais, the San Francisco skyline, Brooks Island, and East Bay hills are all visible on clear days. *1

This hike takes you up through the Potrero Hills and scenic parklands around Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline in Pt Richmond. Climb up Nicholl Knob for the stunning panoramas overlooking San Francisco, SF and San Pablo Bays, Mt Tamalpais, the East Bay Hills, Pt Potrero, Ferry Point and beyond! Roll south along the ridgeline on the Crest and West Ridge Trails and return north on Old Country Rd before dropping down to Miller Knox Lagoon for a scenic stroll on the Ferry Point Loop Trail to Ferry Point Pier. Complete this leisurely hike with a lunch stop at Little Louie’s Cafe.

Begin this hike behind Little Louie’s Cafe on Railroad Ave in Pt Richmond. Meander through town and the residential neighborhoods on W Richmond Ave to Washington Ave.

Continue up on Crest Ave, enjoy the bay views!

Crest Ave comes to an end at the trailhead to Nicholl Knob at Miller Knox Park. Make an immediate left across the paved road to the unsigned single track trail up to Nicholl Knob.

Stop atop Nicholl Knob for the spectacular 360 panoramic views!

Descend Nicholl Knob onto the Crest Trail; it travels SE along the ridge with stunning views of San Pablo Bay and the industrial areas around Richmond.

The trail drops down to the trail junction at Old Country Rd; go left to stay on Crest Trail. It continues uphill to a scenic bench at the False Gun vista overlooking San Pablo Bay.

Continue out towards West Ridge Point on the unsigned W Ridge Trail, it runs along the ridgeline with grand views of Point Potrero, Brickyard Cove, and Sandpiper Spit.

W Ridge Trail drops down steeply through native coastal prairie habitat and grasses followed by a short steep climb to the trail junction at Old Country Rd.

Turn left onto Old Country Rd, this trail takes you northward along Potrero Hill with views of Miller Knox Lagoon to the four-way junction. Go straight to stay on Old Country Rd, it continues north through dense brush and oaks to the wooden boardwalk at Crest Trail junction.

Go straight to stay on Old Country Rd past the set of steps to the wooden fence railing on the edge of a steep bluff overlooking the lagoon. Continue on Old Country Rd, it climbs up through the oak woodland to the eucalyptus stand adjacent to the water tower.

The trail drops down to the paved drive at Posey Ave to Dornan Drive. Turn right onto Dornan Drive and cross the road onto the path leading to the Miller Knox Lagoon picnic areas. At the junction, turn right and follow the Ferry Point Loop Trail along the west side of the lagoon towards Ferry Point. The picnic facilities are on a tree-shaded lawn surrounding a saltwater lagoon. Several of the larger picnic sites are reservable for group parties. A mile-long jogging and bicycling trail loops around the lagoon which is home and feeding ground to many waterfowl.*1

Meander along the rocky shoreline.

Ferry Point Pier-Enjoy the fabulous Bay views!

Continue east around the point to the small beach area at Brickyard Cove.

Retrace your steps back through the park on the Ferry Point Loop Trail.

Exit the park onto Dornan Drive and walk through the tunnel towards the Richmond Plunge for the return to Railroad Ave.

This is a fabulous leisurely hike with minimal elevation gain and phenomenal vistas along the top of the Potrero Hills, the bay views are spectacular! Bring a picnic lunch or do a post-hike stop at Little Louie’s for a satisfying sandwich and cool beverage!


5.49 Miles with 788′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 323 feet
Time: 2.5 hours with multiple stops
Hike: Easy-moderate with steep climbs and descents
Weather: Overcast skies > becoming sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the low 60’s to the low 70’s with SW winds.

Parking: behind Little Louie’s Cafe on Railroad Ave in Pt Richmond-food, water & restrooms available
Water & restrooms around Miller Knox Park
Bring water & snacks

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Print Miller Knox Trail Map