JUNE 2, 2021 – The Ridge Trail from Inspiration Point at Tilden Regional Park to the Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area features views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate and Mount Tamalpais to the west, and views of the San Pablo Reservoir and Mount Diablo to the east – unless it’s foggy. In case of morning murk, expect a damp walk on a paved trail until you descend from San Pablo Ridge to Kennedy Grove, where you can dry out with a walk in the woods. Find a trail map here.
We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
The Bay Area Ridge Trail is laid out as a clockwise loop in online and print materials shared by the trail’s Governing Council. Sometimes, however, we choose to hike a trail segment in reverse to save elevation gain.
For example, we hiked this segment north from Inspiration Point through Tilden Park rather than beginning with the woods at Kennedy Grove, saving ourselves 750 feet of elevation pain. Some might call it cheating. I call it self-preservation.
Then again, we may have cheated ourselves out of some amazing views of the Bay Area by beginning the day at Inspiration Point. By the time we returned from the woods at Kennedy Grove to pick up our car in the early afternoon, much of the fog had lifted.
Without the views, Tilden Park and this paved segment of the Ridge Trail is pretty dull. They say World War II Admiral Chester W. Nimitz enjoyed walking this section of San Pablo Ridge. I’ll bet he walked it late in the day. I’m certain the trail wasn’t paved.
I was thoroughly unimpressed by this hike. Fog and clouds obscured the best of the panoramic views. Without the scenic views, the paved upper part of the hike felt like a boring eucalyptus lined road. The fog lifted as we reached the lower part of the trail and we caught glimpses of the reservoir, which was nice. But not nice enough to redeem the hike.
I know my judgment is unfair; I guess the Ridge Trail has spoiled me. So many of these segments have unique features and stunning views that I expect something really memorable every time I go out. I have to remind myself that even the spectacular Montara Mountain hike near our house is a dud in the fog.
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 61.5 out of 390 miles15.6%