Redwoods and Bay Views in the Oakland Hills
Visiting the California coast comes along with a handful of “have-to’s”. Ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, see the seals at Pier 39, huff and puff up Hyde St. so you can roll down Lombard, and stand among some giant Redwoods so you can feel so incredibly small – just to name a few. When visiting the Bay Area, I more often than not am going car free so I have to rely on bikes, bike shares, buses and trains. When I saw that some redwoods could be reached via velo from Xtracycle headquarters, I loaded up the eSwoop to bring my kiddo along and put the pedal to the metal to get my arbor on.
Our first stop after taking the steep haul up past the Mountain View Cemetery (route map link can be found at the end of this article) was a trail head we just so happened to spot along the way and we couldn’t resist the temptation. We hitched the bike up and set out on foot down what we found out was the Bridgeview Trail in the Dimond Canyon (yes, Dimond without the “a”).
We didn’t hike the whole 3.2 mile trail since we had set out late on our ride but I would have loved to arrive a little earlier so we could have explored the whole canyon. A link to the Bridgeview Trail Map can be found here.
As a lover and appreciator of wild spaces tucked into the folds of human in-habitation, I found this trail to be a nice nature break from our urban commute past neighborhoods and interstate on ramps. Once on trail, we quickly felt like we were deep in a heavily wooded wonderland.
After this quick nature fix, we headed back out toward our final destination, Joaquin Miller Park. The variety in the ecosystems along the short ride we took were mind boggling. It never ceases to amaze how just a few feet and a change in water availability can vastly alter the appearance of the landscape before you. It was such a treat to dip down into shadow filled ravines only to come back out of the dense vegetation a few seconds later into a sun light hillside prairie. This trail felt like a crash course in California hills ecology.
It didn’t take long after entering the park for us to spot our first redwoods and they did not disappoint. When we entered the park at the Crockett Place entrance, we took the first right onto the Palos Colorados trail then a left onto the Sequoia-Bayview. I didn’t take the “Bayview” trail name literally until we came around a bend in the trail and saw the proof in the puddin’. After enjoying the various breathtaking views of the bay beyond, we took a right on the Big Trees trail and exited the park on Skyline Blvd., only to made our way back to Joaquin Miller Rd. so we could retrace our bike tracks back home.
If you are short on time but eager to experience a little taste of the various Bay area hillside ecosystems, be sure to work a ride or drive over the the Bridgeview Trail in Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park.
If riding with a kiddo on board, I would consider an eBike a requirement for this ride. If riding solo, get ready to pumps those quads on that 1200 foot elevation change!
For more info on seeing redwoods in Joaquin Miller park, check out this awesome trail guide from RedwoodHikes.com.
Ride With GPS Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28515767