Now that the weather is nicer, I headed to Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley to try one of the Trails Challenge hikes. The hikes are broken down into groupings of easy, moderate and challenging. Some of the hikes are categorized based on length of hike and some on elevation changes. This particular hike was not too long, but there were a lot of ups and downs.
Tilden Park is one of the best parks to hike in during the springtime because of the amazing wildflowers that are in bloom. And this hike has some ridge trails that have beautiful views of the bay. It was quite foggy and cool and windy when I started. Tilden has a place in my heart because I lived briefly in Berkeley as a small child and my folks took me to Tilden Park.
Tilden Park is unique in that there is so much to do there, especially for families. In addition to the amazing trails for hiking, there is Lake Anza, the steam trains, the little farm, the golf course, a botanic garden, and a merry-go-round.
I’m trying to learn some of the names of the wildflowers, especially the native wildflowers. The one in the photo above is called “Rock Phacelia,” and is a native flower. I like it because it looks like an alien flower from outer space.
This hike started off going downhill and along the road in the damp forest and then eventually upwards toward a ridge line. There were quite a few people out hiking but it wasn’t crowded. From the ridge, I had occasional views of the bay area and also towards the east of the reservoir in Orinda, and further in the distance, Mount Diablo. Towards the end of the ridge trail, I had a little trouble with the unmarked trails. I never get lost! But I did, multiple times. I always make it a habit to take an official park trail map with me when I hike, but this area had a lot of unmarked trails so I was kind of going on my sense of direction and spoke with 2 separate hikers who guided me in the right direction back down to the parking lot.
By the time I finished, the sun had come out completely and the fog was gone. It was truly an adventure.
How do you keep from getting lost when out hiking?
Start/end: Overflow parking lot behind steam trains
Trail names: Vollmer Peak, Lower Big Springs, Seaview, Vollmer Peak
Approximate mileage: 4.14