Bay Area Trail Running

Trail running while in the Bay area is a blast. Trail runners in the Bay area have an abundance of parks, trails and races to pick from. During the week I was in the area I ran in several of the parks: Redwood Regional Park, Tilden Regional Park and Mt. Tamalpais State Park. The first two are part of the East Bay park system,,  and Mt. Tam,, across the bay in Marin County. Several groups organize races throughout the year:

The routes described above also help when planning one’s runs. I really enjoyed running through the tall trees, meadows and down to the ocean.

I ran two days at Redwood Regional Park. The first day included east and west ridge trails, a dip into the woods along Fern and French trails and then to Toyon and Goldenspike trails. This eleven mile route provided a lot of good views. I added on the last few trails for some climbing and extra mileage.  The second day I thought was going to be an easy run through the woods. I went along the French Trail up to the West Ridge, around Phillips loop and drop to the Stream trail, up Mill trail to French and then a mellow climb up Chown and back to the West ridge. The French trail ended up having a lot more climbing than I expected. Although difficult the trails were really fun and challenging.

I ended up at Tilden Regional Park above Berkley after I couldn’t find Wildcat Canyon. Here I did a circumnavigation of the park through eucalyptus forest, ridgelines, meadows, sequoia forest, ferns and wildflowers. Clocked about nine miles here.

Mt. Tamalpais was calling out to me after I viewed a portion of the trails on the Headlands 50k website. I would like to run this at the end of the summer. I took the popular Matt Davis trail down and down and down to the Pacific Ocean. This is about a 2000 ft. drop through meadows and lush forest. I came back up the Dipsey trail, which is famous for the Dipsey trail race. This wen through more meadow and led me to the steep ravine trail. While steep, a lot of this climb was runnable. It had more lush forest, streams and waterfalls. Not content with my mileage I tacked on another loop on the upper section of the Matt Davis to the Westpoint lodge and back down an old roadbed. I racked up about 12 miles here.


Just down the road from where I was staying in Oakland is Lake Merritt. There is a fun 3 mile loop around the lake. The loop is paved but there is a single track path adjacent to most of the pavement so one doesn’t have to run on the hard concrete. This is a good spot to get in a few miles and do some people watching.

Having so many trail options makes being in the big city tolerable.


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