Lime Ridge III
Parking at Arbolado Park, we followed the Ygnacio Canal Trail north, past Boundary Oak Golf Course, and up to Ygnacio Valley Road. The tunnel here is narrow and clad in corrugated iron. Continuing north, the trail is bordered on both sides by loose dirt and dry brush, and was swarming with ground squirrels and lizards.
At the trailhead near Rock Oak Road, we turned into the Lime Ridge Open Space on the Woodlands West Trail, heading back towards Ygnacio Valley Road, and eventually turning onto the Lime Ridge Trail and taking the concrete tunnel back under the road. From here Lime Ridge Trail heads upwards some 600 feet in a series of switchbacks through varying habitats: first grassland, then woods, and then scrubby chaparral — the last with fine sand underfoot. A couple of benches along the trail provide places to rest, and for us to eat our picnic.
It's a beautiful trail, but it'd be nicer if it didn't have Ygnacio Valley Road at the bottom of it; it's a busy road, and the noise from it drifts up the trail and stops it from being completely peaceful.
At the top of the trail, at the transmission towers, Lime Ridge Trail hits the Manzanita Trail, which took us back down towards the golf course. A quick detour on the Ohlone Trail avoids the embarrassing climbing-over-the-locked-gate episode of the last hike. An unmarked side trail on the right leads into a gravelly turnout alongside the Walnut Creek P.D. shooting range.
From here, it was a quick trek through the parking lot and a quick hop back on the Ohlone Trail to arrive back at Arbolado Park, some 4 hours and 5½ miles after the start.