Hidden in the Oakland Hills of California is a little redwood forest where city dwellers can get their nature fix all within minutes of the concrete and asphalt of downtown Oakland.
Redwood Regional Park, part of the East Bay Regional Park District of the San Francisco Bay Area, features 1,830 acres of redwoods, evergreens, chaparral, and grasslands.
I first discovered this park at the beginning of 2014, when I was looking for a local place to hike. One four mile loop later and I was hooked. Since then, I’ve explored pretty much all of the park’s 40 miles of hiking trails and continue to fall in love with the park.
My favorite trails are the French Trail, the Stream Trail and the Tres Sendas Trail.
The Stream and Tres Sendas takes you along Redwood Creek whereas the French Trail takes you deep into the park, passing redwoods, madrones, oaks and lots of ferns along the way.
The way the fog hangs low through the trees makes for a magical scene, something out of a fairytale.
These heavily forested trails also provide some much needed cooling shade for the warm summer months.
Winter and spring are my favorite times to visit, especially in the mornings or during light rains.
The way the fog hangs low through the trees makes for a magical scene, something out of a fairytale. And at the start of every year, thousands of ladybugs will gather in specific spots along the Stream Trail. It’s such a fun sight to see, just as long as you’re not squeamish about bugs!
Redwood Regional Park is now my favorite place to bring friends. Better than a coffee date, I love hiking with friends, new and old.
There’s nothing like picking a trail loop and inviting people to get outside with me. I’ve had some great conversations along these trails and have inspired others to explore this beautiful park.
With busy work schedules, it’s hard to find time to squeeze in a 10 mile hike all the time, so I am grateful to have this little forest oasis amidst my urban dwellings.
Even if I’m doing a simple three mile loop, I always leave the woods feeling refreshed and grounded.
Photos (C) 2016 Vivian Chen