Explore the best trails near Oakland with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
dogs on leash
Nice short walk. The start of the trail can only be reached via windy and scenic Redwood Road, which can be fun depending on what you're into. This trail offers a nice mixture of scenery. The grass valley portion goes through a more open area as the name suggests and then Brandon trail goes through a scenic tree line. So you will be out in the sun for half the time and in the shade for the other half. I passed one bicyclist and three other hikers so there is some light traffic along the trail. The far end runs adjacent to the Chabot bike loop. If you need to cut your hike short, you can cross over via Red Tail trail. Horses also frequent these trails, so watch your step!
It was ok. Finding the start of the trail was a little frustrating. I ended up heading east on Medau Pl to find an entrance to get started. There is a section that is scenic, but then the upper half of the trail follows along busy Shepherd Canyon Road. The signs clearly say to keep dogs on leash, but most people didn't obey. Fortunately, the dogs that I encountered off leash were well behaved. However, I had someone thank me for having my dog on leash because she just had a bad encounter with an irresponsible dog owner.
Nice hike with some good views. The climb up from the parking lot was rather muddy as it had just rained the day before and that area doesn't get any sun. But once I crested the hill, the path was dry and opened up to some nice views. There are a few benches along the trail if you want to take a break and enjoy the scenery. I encountered a lot of dogs off leash. Some owners had their dogs under control, some not so much.
I rated this Trail low because of all the horse poop, especially on the northern end by the horse ranch. The Goldenrod Trail was less traveled, probably because it's windy and hilly. I didn't encounter anyone on this section when I walked on a Saturday morning. The Branden Trail is nicer and more traveled. The trail felt safe and the people I met were friendly. I went after it rained the previous night and it was muddy, which is to be expected. There are better options for hiking in the area in my opinion and I don't plan to return.