Instead, Melinda and I stuck closer to home and hiked a stretch of the Lafayette–Moraga Regional Trail: like the Iron Horse Trail, another trail running where train tracks once lay.
We did an out-and-back from Lafayette Community Park down to the shops at Moraga Center, just south of Moraga Commons; about 3 miles each way. It's mostly flat, a few gentle inclines; and on a Sunday, busy with walkers, dogs, and the occasional cyclist. (Oddly, hard-core cyclists tend to avoid the trail in favour of St. Mary's Road, which runs parallel to the trail; the same happens between Walnut Creek and Danville, where recreational cyclists take the Iron Horse Trail and the hard-core tangle with the traffic on Danville Boulevard.)
It's suburban, but less so than the Iron Horse. Houses nestle in the hills alongside the trail, and St. Mary's Road isn't ever too far away. But it's surprisingly quiet and green in places. Near Fredericka Avenue, there's a small waterfall tumbling from rocks above the trail; on a hot day, it's tempting to duck under it to cool down. Crickets chirp in the tree-lined sections of the trail, sounding like creaking branches. And on the way back, we witness a hummingbird's territorial display: a steep fast dive from a hover at 100 feet high.
Well worth a repeat visit; and plenty of free parking all along the trail, so you can pick and choose what stretch to walk.