If you like hiking, biking or riding horseback atop the Pleasanton Ridge, you can now enjoy an additional 5 miles of trails that's been added.
The East Bay Regional Parks District opened last Saturday nearly 1,100 acres of open space on the north end of the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, which features 4,085 acres of undeveloped land.
The new property features steep, wooded ridges that rise to elevations of more than 1,600 feet above the San Ramon Valley and Livermore plain. The Ridge now has a total of 30 miles of trails with the new addition. The trail system is open to hiking, horseback riding and biking through oak/bay woodland, grassland covered rolling hills, and valleys with meandering tree lined creeks.
Reaching the new trails can be rigorous by foot. It's an 8-mile-plus hike one-way from the Foothill staging area to the newly opened connections. All trails are accessible to mountain bikes and equestrians. Connections to the new property are from the Foothill staging area via the Ridgeline Trail, which passes through Augustin Bernal Park. North Ridge Trail and Sinbad Creek Trail then continue into the new property. Until a revised park map can be made available, visitors are asked to be attentive to all signs designating trails and not enter adjacent private property.
The land for the new trails was acquired in the 1990s but only recently in the past few years was it outfitted for public use. Funding for it came from Measure AA, which expires at the end of this year. In November, voters approved the passage of Measure WW, which will essentially extend the AA tax and grant the parks district funds of up to $500 million to carry out future parks projects.
The East Bay Regional Parks District adds this tip for the new trail segments: The north end of Pleasanton Ridge is challenging for even the most seasoned hikers. As a rule of thumb, expect to hike no more than 1 to 2 miles an hour due to elevation gains and steep canyons. Plan ahead--let someone know where you're going, bring plenty of water and snacks and always take a map. Remember, it gets dark early now so dress in layers and bring a headlamp or flashlight as an extra precaution.