The Bay Area Ridge Trail at Joseph D. Grant County Park rises and falls along a ridgeline with a view of San Jose to the west and the Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton to the east. Large and lovely meadows bookend the trail at the north and south ends of the trail. Watch out for feral pigs.
We are hiking the 405-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
- Joseph D. Grant County Park (May 5 and 8, 2023)
Some Ridge Trail segments cut across mountainsides below a ridgeline. Others travel to the ridgeline and back. A few wind along creeks rather than mountains. But the segment at Grant Park is true to its name, riding the contours of a narrow ridge with magnificent views on either side.
Parking is located more than half a mile downhill from mid-trail, making a car shuttle impossible and stretching the otherwise moderate hike to more than a dozen miles. With Dawn nursing a sore ankle, we visited the park twice. We hiked the south end first and the north end several days later.
Rain threatened both days but never fell, so we enjoyed a dry hike across a nearly empty park beneath magnificent clouds. In addition to the standard Ridge Trail views, we particularly enjoyed hiking across a large, flat meadow on an alternate return trail below the ridgeline at the south end of the park.
We were enjoying a second meadow and more clouds at the north end of the trail on Day 2 when our footsteps flushed a herd of wild swine. Roughly half a dozen sows and a leaping, tumbling pack of piglets rushed from their lair in a thicket beneath an oak tree as we approached.
Fortunately, the pigs rushed away from us rather than toward us. But uncertain what might still be lurking in the thicket, we elected to turn back a few hundred feet shy of the Hamilton Road trailhead rather than risk any unpleasantness with the locals.
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 365 out of 405 miles90%