Redwood Regional Park
Date: 21tth Sept 2013
No. of days: ½ day
Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate (In heavy rains)
Trail: Canyon Meadow Staging Area -> Ridge Trail -> East Ridge trail -> EBMUD Redwood Trail (Permit required) -> Pinehurst Rd -> Canyon Rd -> Reservoir loop trail
Adventure seems to be my very own shadow following me wherever I go. This hike although through the redwood Regional Park in Oakland is right in the middle of civilization, had its own contribution to my adventures. Normally a weather prediction of 30% chances of rain in California, especially the bay area is ignored by a lot of people attributing to very dynamic and relatively dry weather here. This occasion however was different. We were a group of two teams – me, my cousins and my Aunt formed the first group and my friends Animesh, Shrikanth, Kshitij, Kimaya and Gaurav the 2nd (Did anyone else join?).
We (By we, I mean my group) reached the regional park at 8:20am, 20 mins late due to the fact that we lost our way a bit and we started a bit late. The 2nd group hadn’t come yet and they were running pretty late. So we decided to head out on to the trails. 20 minutes into hiking, we came across the EBMUD gate and the trail behind that gate. Notice on the gate was pretty clear! No trespassing without hiking permit. For a while we contemplated about taking the East Ridge trail and loop back along the West ridge trail to the parking lot. At that exact moment, we met a trail runner who told us that it would be ok to use the trial during the weekend without a permit but permits were available online. AT&T is really great in that regard. I was able to not only find mobile service but also 3G Internet. I quickly ris vegistered for the 1 yr permit and we re-started our hike down Redwood trail. The Redwood trail is one of many trails that I’ve hiked on which is dense, steep and very pretty. It is however a well maintained trail. We walked slowly owing to the fact of higher gradient than normal and switchbacks. Find such beauty, serenity and peaceful surroundings in the Oakland area paints a much greener picture to the city. I’ve read articles about the city but portrayed only for the wrong things. After a while, we reached Pinehurst Rd and Canyon Rd junction. Now, we weren’t unsure about where to go to find the trail again. I checked with a biker and we decided to head towards San Leandro reservoir along Pinehurst Rd. We had no cell service and had to come up with a man made arrow with sticks and twigs pointing the right direction (which indeed turned out to be the wrong direction). We walked along the road for about half mile before deciding to turn around – we were just walking on the road and we remembered that was not trail that we had seen online. A mistake that happened this time – we thought that nothing could go wrong – after all we were in close proximity of civilization so we did not bring maps/tops/trail routes/rain jacket etc etc.
I quickly did a double back jog to find the trail right next to the Pinehurst and Canyon Rd junction on Canyon Rd. We changed the arrow and head out back into wilderness. There were a couple of switchbacks and before we knew it, we were caught in a drizzle. We reached the reservoir loop trail by which time the rain poured hard and the trail was becoming unsafe. We decided to halt under trees, used the Emergency blanket as rain ponchos for a while but later decided to use them as warmers. Using ropes we tied them to Krishna and my Aunt around the bodies. Now Sanjay and I decided to go down to a parking lot that we had passed by on our way and asked Krisha and my aunt to stay there. We headed out back to the parking lot at redwood regional park to get the car. On the 3 mile hike/sprint back, we were completely drenched by rain, saw some amazing heavenly sights of light sparking the mist floating around with trees providing cover, also had our fun time sliding down, slipping away in the mud that had given away to water. It took us close to 1.15hrs to get the car to the parking lot where my cousin and my aunt were pretty much freezing and dancing around to produce body heat. We finally headed back home. The Redwood regional park and the EBMUD area around Oakland is truly amazing and I would definitely return to finish the loop around San Leandro reservoir. Info:
Hiking permit for EBMUD trails: https://www.ebmud.com/recreation/trail-use-permits/
Redwood Regional Park Trail Map: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood
Things to carry: Water – around 2 liters.
Notes: Beware of ticks on EBMUD trails.