Sunday, March 06, 2005

Lime Ridge Open Space

Another hike with Easy Bay Casual Hiking, and another hike in the Walnut Creek Open Space; this time on Lime Ridge.

It's a hot Sunday morning and about 25 people have turned up; a lot of new members, many due to a recent craigslist posting, and very few who I recognise from last time. A mixture of abilities; a few drop out at the first sight of mud on the way up, the majority are reasonably fit and fast, and a handful bring up the rear. We take frequent breaks to regroup.

It's 4.3 miles, considered "moderate", which feels about right: it's almost all hilly. From the start point at Arbolado Park, at 250 feet elevation, we climb 300 feet on the Ohlone Trail; turn right on the Paraiso Trail, gaining another 300 feet; turn left on the Crystyl Ranch Trail, dropping some 200 feet before regaining 100 feet; turn left on the Manzanita Trail, gaining another 200 feet to our highest elevation at ~950 feet. It's all downhill from here as we drop down to the corner of Boundary Oak Golf Course. We overshoot slightly and have to scramble over a locked gate into the golf course grounds; but nobody seems to mind. We walk through the golf course, passing the driving range which, from a distance, seems to be carpeted with white flowers — golf balls, of course.

In total, about 2 and a half hours; long enough for me to catch quite a tan on the face and neck I forgot to apply suntan lotion to, but fortunately not long enough to burn. I'm going to have to be a lot more careful about sunblock over here.

And again, you really need the Open Space trail map to do Lime Ridge; most of the junctions here are unmarked. This is annoying, especially as copies of the map seem to be in short supply; I've yet to see a trailhead which has any. Best off printing the PDF from the Open Space website.

Categories: Hiking