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Meadowlark Ridge Loop is a 1.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Martinez, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length 1.7 mi Elevation gain 167 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Lake

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Park Features: This small parkland is a 198-acre parcel that is composed of wetlands and grasslands. The main focal point of the preserve is the Al McNabney Marsh, which supports a diverse range of birdlife. The marsh lies on the Pacific Flyway and seasonally provides an important place of refuge for the migrating birds. It is a great place to see all types of birds from waterfowl to raptors – just remember to bring your binoculars, field guides, and drinking water. Trails Highlights: This short loop crosses from the parking lot to the grassy trail and leads very gently uphill, where you can look down on the marsh below. From this vantage point you may spot birds and other wildlife below. Trail Directions: Park at the main parking lot off Waterbird Way and cross through the cattle gate. Through the gate, continue straight onto the Meadowlark Ridge Loop trail. When the trail forks, stay to the right. Remain on the trail as it loops around back toward the parking lot.

From Sacramento: Take I-80 west to the Cordelia junction, then drive south on I-680 to Benicia. About two miles after crossing the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, take the Marina Vista/Waterfront Rd. exit from I-680. At the end of the off-ramp, turn right onto Waterfront Rd., go under the freeway, turn right onto Waterbird Way, and watch for the right turn into the Preserve. From San Jose: Take I-680 north past Concord and Highway 4. About two miles before the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, take the Marina Vista/Waterfront Rd. exit. At the end of the off-ramp turn right onto Waterfront Rd., drive about 1/4 mile, turn right onto Waterbird Way, and watch for the right turn into the Preserve. From Oakland: Take Highway 24 east through the Caldecott Tunnel and drive to Walnut Creek. In Walnut Creek, drive north on I-680, past Concord and Highway 4. About two miles before the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, take the Marina Vista/Waterfront Rd. exit. At the end of the off-ramp turn right onto Waterfront Rd., drive about 1/4 mile, turn right onto Waterbird Way, and watch for the right turn into the Preserve.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (45)
Photos (23)
Recordings (38)
Completed (59)
Haley Blythe
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HikingNo shade

This was a nice loop for my 4 year old and 9 year old. It was a little hillier than I thought it was going to be but it was only 1.7 miles so it wasn’t so bad. I carried the 4 year old for a bit up the hills but he loved running down the hills. It was really fun seeing the cows near the end. I would love to come back in the spring to see it when it’s all green. Next time I’m bringing bug spray because I got 3 mosquito bites and I would definitely come earlier in the morning since it’s such an exposed trail. Really nice, though!

Kurt Hoffman
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Hiking

Trail is good for kids. Cows were in the shade. Views of refineries and Mount Diablo were pretty good. There were random ppl in cars in the parking lot but no one on the trail. It was 90 degrees w/ very little shade + no cold beers from what I could see. No harm done but makes you feel a little uneasy.

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Scott Williams
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Hiking

I gave it four stars as it’s a nice easy morning hike, and probably awesome Mt Diablo sunrise photo op. That said, trail isn’t maintained well and all horizontal views are refineries. Nice trail though!

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Julie A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 19, 2020
HikingOff trail

Lots of cows, kind of intimidating because they would walk directly towards me! Beautiful views of Mt. Diablo, but not a trail I would ever do again. unfortunately the refinery is the backdrop for most of the hike. lots of cow patties everywhere too, be careful where you step. On a positive note, lots of solitude out here, not a soul on this trail!

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Crystal Black
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WalkingMuddy

It's farther from the water than I had hoped. Not well marked but it's all open so easy to get back to where you need to be. Never away from the white noise of the traffic. One bench overlooking the marsh. Saw some egrets, swans, kites, Canadian geese, and ducks. Lots of people in the parking lot but not a single person on the trail. Near a gun range so don't be surprised if you hear gunshots which will scare the birds.

Patrick Hardy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2019
Hiking

It’s a nice trail, well maintained but I was stopped from completing by a herd of cattle. Watch for cow patties. Spied a large bald eagle just at the onset. Zero shade.

Johan Zain
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Hiking

Shady people just hanging out in their cars at the trailhead

Eric Denguy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 30, 2019
HikingNo shade

Some mild elevation changes. The trail is not paved at all and there are a bunch of cow patties. I hiked in the morning and it was peaceful with only a low traffic sound from commuters. The cows stared at me from a couple hundred feet away, so I cut off part of the trail to avoid disturbing them further. I saw a couple of people in the parking lot and nobody on the trail itself. Everything is golden this time of year. If you are into birds, bring binoculars as the trail itself is removed from the marsh. Took about 30 minutes to do the loop according to alltrails.

Destinee Cooper
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Hiking

There were some cows.

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Wendy Helms
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Hiking

lots of glass at Beginning of trail.

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Brad Gutnik
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Hiking

Great little loop next to 680, great in spring with green grass and close cows

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Jordan Salaices
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Walking

It’s a good spot for a walk/easy hike. At the fork past the cow gate, go left for more downhill and right for the uphill. No shade and a lot of mud pies from the cows. Close encounter with the cows which the kids liked. Nice views of the water and surrounding area and a lot of factory’s in view too. Not a good trail for bikes or strollers.

Bill Crain
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Hiking

Another forgotten little trail. Not much to it. I use to live very close to it.

Brittanie Mills
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Hiking

This was s decent hike with varying levels. it was neat to see different animals, especially up close with the cows.

Jennifer Hanson
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Walking
First to Review

Trail was a dirt access road that was not maintained. It would be difficult with a stroller. There is a steep hill half way through the loop. Trail was along the hillside with grazing cattle. I expected more of a trail along the waterway to view the birds. It was very windy on top of the hills. Would take this trail again.

Tiara Evans
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Hiking
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Greg Winkels
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Hiking
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Garth K.
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Hiking
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Lucy Waheto
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Hiking
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Lance Taylor
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Hiking
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All Outta Angst
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Hiking
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Jena Drew
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Hiking
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Mary Neal
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Hiking
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Stacy Thomspon
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Mary Marine
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Hiking
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David D.
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Hiking
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Emma Tozer
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Hiking
Geoff Gabor
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Hiking
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Greg Marine
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Hiking
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Brad Gutnik
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Hiking
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