On January 10, 2013, President Obama signed legislation elevating the Pinnacles to National Park status and giving Bay Area residents their most accessible National Parks for hiking, camping and rock climbing.
A day spent on Angel Island is a day well spent. This one of the most historically interesting parks in the State of California, as well as offering (arguably) some of the best views available in any metropolitan area anywhere in the world.
Today’s ride takes us off the pavement and onto the dirt to China Camp State Park in Marin County, located along the Southwestern edge of San Pablo Bay. The park and its extensive trail system offer sweeping views to the North across the water to nearby Mt. Burdell and the shores of Sonoma County and on a clear day, Mt. Saint Helena can be seen rising high above Napa. We’ll ride one of the sweetest four miles of single track the North Bay has to offer: The Shoreline Trail.
Today’s ride will be a test of your climbing legs as we venture to the top of one of the more little known areas of the GGNRA in San Mateo county, Sweeney Ridge. Although it has been immortalized in one of the many iconic posters from the Parks Conservancy, it gets nowhere near the visitors other areas of the park receive.
As one of more the popular hikes in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this lovely 1.9 mile stroll down to Tennessee Cove makes for a great family hike. I find it pretty special that you can drive 15 minutes north of San Francisco, step out of your vehicle and within a matter of 100 yards escape to a virtual wilderness area, with few indications of civilization.
It might be said that for many Bay Area riders and residents, the East Bay is regarded as one giant mass of endlessly developed land that stretches to Livermore and beyond to I-5. However, within all that alleged sprawl there lies plenty of hidden parks, tranquil valleys and rural areas just waiting for your exploration. This particular ride provides an introduction to all three and takes us on a circumnavigation of Briones Regional Park, at 6100 acres one of the crown jewels of the East Bay park system.
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