There's a great undiscovered hiking area on the Northern Side of the Carquinez Straits, a place drenched in history, filled with breathtaking vegetation, exhilerating views, hiking and biking trails. Officially it is called the Carquinez Straits Regional Shoreline, more specifically: Crockett Hills Regional Park. Either way, you are in for a treat, and some really good exercise.
Bring extra water, its remote up here, and it gets hot on the shoreline. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to stop along your hike, plenty of benchs to sit at. Now, for the adventurous, one could actually keeping hiking north and end up in the Briones Regional Park, outside of Berkely, and its 6000 Acres of open space! Usually a layered approach to what to wear works best. Sometimes it appear hot up there, but with the wind of can get cold. Likewise, it may be windy but sunny, but very hot up on the ridge. Taking some snacks is a good idea too, as its a rigorous, though moderate hiking level.
Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline comprises 2,843 acres of bluffs
and shoreline along Carquinez Scenic Drive between the town of Crockett and the hillsides overlooking Martinez. This parkland provides a gateway to the river delta region along the northern edge of Contra Costa County. The coastal hills rise steeply to 750 feet above Carquinez Strait. From the highest elevations the view includes the marshland of Benicia State Recreation Area to the north across Carquinez Strait. From along the Franklin Ridge Loop Trail and the California Riding and Hiking Trail, hikers can view Mt. Tamalpais
to the west and Mt. Diablo to the east. Looking south from this high point are the ridges of Briones and Las Trampas Regional Parks. Located outside of the town of Crockett, the 1,300 acres of Crockett Hills Regional Park were likely hunt- ing and gathering grounds for Native Americans, later were nineteenth century ranchlands, and more recently were part of the industrial history of the region. The original ranch barn, milkhouse, and corrals can still be seen in the Crockett Ranch staging and picnic area. The park ranges in elevation from 150-800 feet, offering views of San Pablo Bay, the Delta, Mount Tamalpais, and Mount Diablo. Trails include a 4.5-mile segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
The topograpy of these two parks consists of open, rolling grasslands, wooded ravines, eucalyptus-shaded meadows, and river shoreline. Multi-purpose trails provide access to canyon views and ridgetop vistas. At the shoreline area of the Bull Valley Staging Area the remnants of a brickworks, grain wharf, and resort, dat- ing back to the late 1800s, recall the historic character of the site.
TO REACH THE NEJEDLY STAGING AREA: From Hwy. 4 in Martinez, exit at Alhambra Ave. and turn north into Martinez. In downtown Martinez, turn left onto Escobar Street, drive three blocks, and turn right onto Talbart Street. Drive three blocks again and bear left onto Carquinez Scenic Drive. Drive to the Nejedly Staging Area entrance on the left.
TO REACH THE BULL VALLEY STAGING AREA: From Hwy. 4, exit at Cummings Skyway and drive north. Turn right onto Crockett Blvd. and drive to Pomona Street in Crockett. Turn right onto Po- mona Street, which becomes Carquinez Scenic Drive. Follow Carquinez Scenic Drive to the staging area entrance on the left.
TO REACH THE CROCKETT RANCH STAGING AREA: From Hwy. 4, exit at Cummings Skyway and drive north to Crockett Boulevard. Turn right onto Crockett Blvd. and drive to the staging area on the left, about 1/2 mile from Pomona Street in Crockett. From I-80, exit at Cummings Skyway and drive south- east to Crockett Blvd. Turn left onto Crockett Blvd. and drive to the staging area on the left
From the Bull Valley Staging Area, One can then drive down to the beautiful, quaint and historic town of Port Costa, for a relaxing drink at the famed Warehouse Cafe at the edge of town, right near the water. Always a fun time.
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