Tucked in the middle of urban Oakland are hiking trails and to start our year, we went off and explored these hidden gems.
We have always wanted to check the hiking scene here, and got the push that we need after catching Trailhead, a documentary about Oakland’s wild land parks and trails. Producer Stan Dodson was there at the screening, talked a bit, and so we were inspired by the film’s advocacy to balance the promotion and preservation of these nature destinations.
Trails Hiked: Dimond Canyon Hiking Trail and Palos Colorados, Oakland
Level of Difficulty: Easy
What to Bring: Water-filled reusable bottles; something to munch on like granola bars and trail mix; binoculars for bird-watching
Tip: I would say that the best way to explore these connected trails is by taking the bus to get to your ideal first destination and then just hike from there up to wherever. Oakland has a great public transport system, and there are buses to catch almost just about anywhere.
We started our nature trip at Dimond Park, and from there, walked (for about five minutes) until we found the Dimond Canyon Hiking Trail.
It’s a short trail, and basically, you just follow the path Sausal Creek takes until you get to the Montclair Golf Enterprises.
The trail, at least in some parts, would make you feel like you’re in the middle of a forest even if, in reality, you’re in the city. You will also see a tunnel for the creek (see photo) decked with urban art.
From where the tunnel is, you will find yourself ascending as you hike back up to where the canopy of trees are. I remember a stop there where the swings are, and we saw families with kids there as we head out of the trail. From there, we crossed Mountain Blvd. and continued our hike via the Palos Colorados Trail.
Palos Colorados Trail
I loooove this trail. My husband and I went there blindly, we did not know what to expect, so we were surprised to see the many redwoods neatly preserved. Some parts of the trail are really very narrow, bicycles are not allowed here too (as it would be too dangerous, and well, they simply wont fit).
It’s a longer and more picturesque hike. To be honest, there were parts of the trail where I got scared, especially because, as I have mentioned, it gets narrower on some. I also remember a tree somehow blocking the trail, but it’s nothing you can’t conquer.
Our morning hike ended at the Woodminster Cascade at Joaquin Miller Park. It was a really great half-a-day nature trip. Our next set destination is the Redwood Regional Park which is right next to Chabot Space and Science Center.
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