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, http://www.ebparks.org/, and Mt. Tam, http://www.mttam.net, 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.