Monday, October 13, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Fifty-eight
Morgan Territory
Black oak leaves along Coyote Trail

What it's like:
Although this preserve is practically on the shoulder of Mount Diablo, when I hike Morgan Territory I feel far away. Maybe it's the views east to the Central Valley or the lonely trailhead. This 4.7 mile loop wanders through grassland and woods north of Livermore.

Why now:
Enjoy autumn's color palate of golden grassland and changing leaves on blue, black, and valley oaks.

If you can't make it this week:
Morgan Territory is one of my favorite spring hikes -- some years there are flower carpets stretched beneath huge oaks.

Insider tip:
The preserve stretches west from Morgan Territory Road as well as east. On the west side hikers, equestrians, and cyclists have opportunities to pack on the miles on several long trails. Check the map!

Morgan Territory is hike number 28 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
Burdell Mountain, in Novato, has two separate sections for hiking. Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve, on the western part of the mountain, is mostly grassland. Olompali State Park, on the eastern slope, hosts more trees. Both are beautiful, but Olompali, with oak and mixed woodland forests, is great in autumn. Note: if you've been to Olompali before but not lately, there is a new way to get to the park. Previously if you were coming from the south you reached the park by making a u-turn on 101; from the north there was a simple exit off 101. Now, everyone exits at Atherton Avenue (south of the park) and drives north on an access road along 101. Beware if you use a maps app to reach the park, as the access road is not known to many at this time.

Post your comments and experiences here or on the BAHiker Facebook page.

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