Pleasanton Surprise

Hike the Highlights at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park in the East Bay

Huge views and fiery fall colors await just minutes away from downtown Pleasanton on this 7-mile hike through Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.

From the Castleridge Trail parking lot, follow the footpath to explore the Alviso Adobe Community Park. This kid-friendly park features a community garden, a historic adobe house, and museum exhibits that cover the area’s rich history throughout the centuries.

At Old Foothill Road, cross the street to reach Castleridge Trailhead, then begin ascending Courdet Trail. This nearly 2-mile stretch gains over 900 feet of elevation, and the views over the Livermore Valley are well worth the effort. To the north, mighty Mount Diablo’s two peaks are easily visible, and bright pops of autumn reds and coppers light up the towns of Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin below.

As the oak trees thin out to grassland, you’ll emerge on top of the ridgeline. Turn left onto Ridgeline Trail, then right onto Schuhart Trail. Soak in the sights of the Diablo Range in all directions, including Sunol Peak on the southern horizon. The trail drops down to a seasonal creek, where hikers can spot frogs, newts, and salamanders during the rainy season.

Continue straight onto Bay Leaf Trail, then turn right onto Shady Creek Trail. This gentle ascent brings hikers back up to the top of the ridgeline. The area is a bird watcher’s paradise, with colorful species like bluebirds, kestrels, and western meadowlarks.

After enjoying the wildlife, retrace the route back down Courdet Trail to the parking lot.

The Castleridge Trail parking lot is located at 3465 Old Foothill Rd. in Pleasanton. From I-680, exit onto Bernal Ave., then turn right onto Foothill Rd. After half a mile, turn left into the parking lot. During the winter months, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bike-friendly. Dog-friendly.

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