Top 5 Places to Run and Hike in East Bay
As we head into Fall, the weather thankfully starts to get a bit cooler... which means it’s an even better time for outdoor activity. Lower temperatures provide a perfect opportunity for a family hike or an established runner to crush a PR. For the less experienced, it’s a good time to begin a relationship with the outdoors. The beautiful scenery makes it easier to lose yourself in the rhythm of running, hiking or just communing with nature.
The Bay Area has no shortage of amazing things to do and see. In the spirit of getting outside more, we threw together a short list of a few favorite spots that you might want to check out for running or hiking. If you’re already familiar with these beautiful spots but haven’t been in a while, let this serve as a reminder of how fabulous they are. Being in nature is a great way to reduce stress, get in shape, and find your Zen.
Tilden Regional Park
Accessible from: 2501 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Orinda. Hours: Varies
Located in Berkeley, Tilden Regional Park is a sprawling 2079 acres. There are 39.41 miles of trails in Tilden Park, with terrain varieties to accommodate avid trail runners, weekend warriors, hikers, cyclists, and equestrians (did we mention there’s horseback riding available?). A particularly popular spot is Nimitz Way (near Orinda) - an 8.4-mile loop trail that's mostly paved - which has fabulous views!
Bay Bridge Trail
Accessible from: Shellmound Street, Emeryville; Caltrans Bridge Yard Building, 210 Burma Road, Oakland; Yerba Buena Island. Hours: Fall 2017 listed as 6a-9p on the East side; other hours vary.
The Bay Bridge Trail seems to be perennially under construction, but it’s a good option for both runners and cyclists. It provides a decent out-and-back exercise (you can run nearly 8 miles if you begin in Emeryville and head toward the bridge) with a clear view of the Bay, so we say it’s a good trade. Check the website before you head out to make sure that your chosen route won’t be closed for the day.
Accessible from: East of downtown Oakland. Hours: Varies
This 3.4-mile running loop is perfect for beginners. Originally a salt water marsh and bird sanctuary, Lake Merritt remains a very tranquil space (if you don’t mind a little goose poop here and there). It can be somewhat crowded as it’s a fairly popular spot, but otherwise, it’s decently scenic. For those who want to add a hill workout to their run or hike, you can head over to the Cleveland Cascade, which is about three flights of stairs.
Lake Chabot Regional Park
Accessible from: 17600 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley. Hours - September 2017 - 6a-8p; other months vary
If you’re looking to up your hill-running game, look no further than Lake Chabot. There are a variety of trails available depending on your level of fitness, and - with 20 miles of trails which connect to 70 additional miles in the adjoining park - no shortage of options if you’re looking for a challenge.
Redwood Regional Park
Accessible from: 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland. Hours: 5a-10p
If you like to run or hike with your dog, you might want to bring them here. The tranquility of hiking through the redwoods on fairly secluded paths as you take in the earthy scents and green notes of the forest is the best kind of aromatherapy for de-stressing. A word of warning, however: the hills here, for the uninitiated, are steep. There’s also not a great deal of cell service once inside the park, so if you’re a runner who’s dependent on your phone for GPS, you might have to deal with glitches.
Now that we’ve pointed out a few idyllic spots in the Bay Area, we encourage you to get out and run (and use JK Naturals’ products to care for your skin before, during, and after being so active). Hopefully, this autumn season will provide you with the inspiration to get outside!
Do you have a favorite running or hiking spot that we didn't include on this list? Let us know!