60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Thirty-two
Briones Regional Park
|View of lovely hills from Old Briones Road Trail|
What it's like:
4.3 miles up, over, and down glorious rolling grassy hills near Walnut Creek.
Flower displays peak in April before grass towers over and obstructs big patches of California poppy, creamcups, and lupines.
If you can't make it this week:
Often really muddy in winter due to cattle traffic. Pleasant in autumn, especially the colorful foliage on Black Oak Trail.
Briones is a large park with several staging areas, but Bear Creek provides the most parking as well as a few charming picnic sites (with grills and tables) near the trailhead.
Briones is hike number 22 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition). Read about this hike on BAHiker.
Calero County Park trails lead uphill from the shore of their namesake reservoir, southwest of San Jose. This is a remote and often lonely place, where wildflowers are plentiful in spring (you may see some rare ones in the serpentine soil part of the park). Spend a few hours exploring Calero on this 5.1 mile loop, or make a full day out of it by continuing deeper into the hills. Most trails here are old ranch roads with moderate grades -- check the park map for some ideas.
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