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Chas Blackford

Hike to an East Bay Hidden Gem, Port Costa

Never heard of Port Costa— the tiny, hidden gem in the northern reaches of Contra Costa County? While seemingly off the beaten path, this gorgeous hike is surprisingly accessible.

Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: Hicks Valley and Wilson Hill

If the city is feeling oppressively urban, get rural Sunday (or any day) with a Marin County ride that promises miles of quiet country roads just 30 minutes away. 

Hawk Hill Challenge - The Bay Area's Most Scenic Road Ride

The view of the City southeast from high atop Hawk Hill in the Headland

A visit to one of the Bay Area’s most scenic vistas is not soon forgotten – getting to it on a bike for the first time is even more memorable. Today we’ll tackle a top tourist attraction that is also a challenge for cyclists of all abilities. A ride up to Hawk Hill is a great bucket list climb – one that elite San Francisco cyclists often incorporate into their weekly training regimes.

The Ultimate Sunday Hike: Get Panoramic Bay Area Views From Atop Sweeney Ridge

The climb to the top of Sweeney Ridge is breathtaking, both for the pitch that gradually steepens as you ascend and for the magnificant vistas of the Bay Area's varied geography once you've reached the ridgeline.

Ultimate Weekend Hike: 360° Views from Atop Angel Island

The top of Angel Island’s Mt. Livermore provides one of the Bay Area’s most spectacular and least crowded viewpoints.  The only access to this centrally located vista rising 788 feet above San Francisco Bay is by ferry and foot, ensuring that only those willing to make the effort get to enjoy it.

Go on a Ride in the Los Altos Hills

A fast start had me jamming to keep up with the peloton.

For those who want to know more about the joys of road cycling on the Peninsula, look no further than the Western Wheelers Bicycle Club. One of the larger cycling clubs in the Bay Area (established in 1983), they offer an extensive calendar of weekly rides, with as many as five a day.

Hike Among Redwoods in the Oakland Hills

Draped over 500 acres in the Oakland Hills, with expansive views of San Francisco and the Bay, Joaquin Miller Park is a delightful place to hike among towering redwoods. Operated by the city of Oakland it’s named after its former owner, noted local writer and poet Joaquin Miller.

Bike the Marin Headlands for the Ultimate Weekend Ride

Head here on a mid-week morning and you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot in the Bay Area to get away from it all. The Gerbode Valley offers a hidden sanctuary mere minutes from downtown SF.

Find Tranquility on the SF Bay Trail in Oyster Point

The Bay Trail Plan was adopted by the ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) in 1989 with the goal of creating a 500-mile hike around the Bay Area. Now over two thirds complete, there are 338 accesible miles, this hike explores an easy-to-get-to portion of the trail at Oyster Point. 

Have Fun in the Woods on the Cross Marin Trail

The Cross Marin Trail is a wonderful route for a safe family bike ride. You’ll find it level, smooth-surfaced, and isolated from vehicles as it winds alongside picturesque Lagunitas Creek above the former roadbed of a long defunct railroad.

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