From the issue Take a Hike
Among the tempting trails in Berkeley's venerable Tilden Park, the Nimitz Way Trail shines brightest. This paved, ridgeline route winds through both Tilden and Wildcat Canyon Regional Parks and offers gorgeous vistas of San Francisco Bay and the San Pablo Reservoir. The Nimitz feels remarkably remote from hustling city life, and we suggest enhancing its sense of solitude with a sunrise jaunt. You pick up the Nimitz at Inspiration Point (see directions below). More than two miles into the park, look for the "Rotary Peace Garden" sign at the trail's first picnic table and take the ascent to Wildcat Peak, where a 360-degree vista awaits. If you're still charged, stick to the Nimitz through Wildcat Canyon Park until it meets the Conlon Trail; you'll be rewarded with a sun-drenched view of Mt. Diablo, framed by the East Bay's undulating, golden-brown hills. When you're scenery-sated, just retrace your steps to Inspiration Point.
Note: Nimitz is open-ridgeline hiking; it can be hot and/or breezy. Bring a pack, some light layers, and lots of water. Also, Tilden and Wildcat trail markers can be confusing—they use symbols rather than names, so be sure to reference the regional park maps where the symbols are listed. The route is popular later in the day, but early risers mostly miss the influx of other park enthusiasts.
Directions to the Nimitz Way Trail: From Berkeley, take Grizzly Peak Blvd. to Wildcat Canyon Rd. Follow it all the way to the parking lot at Inspiration Point. More information.