Sunday, March 7, 2010

Urban excursion

When you think of Oakland scenic hiking trails might not be the first image that comes to mind. But located in the Oakland hills is a lush jewel hidden behind eucalyptus and redwood trees. Joaquin Miller Park was our hiking destination this weekend as we tackled one of the trail loops.

With a view of Oakland and San Francisco in the distance shrouded in a light fog we headed out on a scenic tour of the park named after an Oakland poet and author. The first portion was a visit to the parks many landmarks erected by Miller in his time form his funeral pyre to a pyramid he built to honor the Ten Commandments. The second portion of the hike would be gentle climb along a heavily wooded trail beside a small stream.

Cool temperatures and thin overcast made for an enjoyable hike as we trekked among the redwood trees and ferns. The trail was muddy as water flowed across the trail in spots and we had one tricky scramble coming down a steep rocky slope but the sights were well worth the effort. Our only distraction was a less than helpful trail map but we managed to muddle through with help from trail markers along the path.

It was a great getaway and one we plan on returning to in the summer months. The bay breezes and abundant shade will make for welcome summer hike this season.

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