Best forest trails in Berkeley, California

6,957 Reviews
Explore the most popular forest trails near Berkeley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of forest trails in Berkeley, California
Top trails (50)
#1 - Seaview and Big Springs Trails Loop
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(874)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 2 h 24 m
#2 - Panoramic Hill, Chaparral Peak and Strawberry Canyon Loop
Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(763)
Length: 6.2 mi • Est. 3 h 31 m
A favorite weekend hike with amazing views of San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay from eucalyptus, pine, and oak forests. The route starts by climbing up Panoramic Hill from the Claremont Hotel, along Panoramic Ridge via the Upper Strawberry Canyon Fire Trail to Chaparral Peak, down the new fire trail below Grizzly Peak to the lower Strawberry Canyon trail. Around the perimeter of Strawberry Canyon, back to the upper fire trail, then back down Panoramic Hill on the north side of the canyon. Especially nice at sunrise or sunset, or when there is thick fog down near the bay.Show more
#3 - Wildcat Gorge, Meadows Canyon and Curran Trail
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(464)
Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 1 h 40 m
NOTE: As of September 12, 2020 Lake Anza Road and Parking Lot are currently CLOSED. Visitors can still walk or bike here from elsewhere. Please check the park's website for more information: https://www.ebparks.org/news/covid_19_park_and_trail_updates.htm#parks-open-closed Park Features: Founded in 1936 from former watershed lands, Tilden is one of the East Bay Regional Park District’s three original parks. It was named after Charles Lee Tilden, president of the District’s rst Board of Directors. Workers from the Works Progress Administration built much of the park’s infrastructure during the Great Depression. Tilden’s 2,079 acres feature the iconic carousel, steam train, botanical gardens, Little Farm, Environmental Education Center, redwood groves, picturesque views of the bay, picnic areas, and seasonal swimming at Lake Anza. Trails Highlights: Please note: portions of this trail are severely storm-damaged and may be difficult to navigate when wet and muddy. Check District website for possible closures before proceeding. This trail starts at placid Lake Anza and descends along the Wildcat Creek drainage through tall redwoods and shady oak/ bay woodlands. It then gently climbs Meadows Canyon through grassland and scrub, eventually dropping back down to the creek. Trail Directions: Park at Lake Anza Parking lot; if closed, use the gravel overflow lot outside the gate. Proceed to the Lake Anza entrance near the bathhouse and swim area. Outside the bathhouse area, turn left and follow the paved Lake Anza Trail a few hundred yards. At the Spillway, cross the bridge to your right and then turn left onto the Wildcat Gorge Trail to descend to the creek. At the bottom of the dam, you’ll see a small stone building which was the old pump house for the lake. Continue down Wildcat Gorge Trail past the Curran turnoff for approximately 0.75 mile. At the bottom of the canyon, turn right onto Meadows Canyon Trail, near the Lone Oak Picnic area. Due to storm damage, the creek crossing may be difficult. Follow Meadows Canyon Trail uphill for about 1.5 miles where you’ll make a right, near the top, onto the Curran Trail. Descend on the Curran Trail for .62 miles where you’ll return to the Wildcat Gorge Trail. Turn left to follow Wildcat Gorge Trail the way you came in and it will connect with the Lake Anza Trail back to the parking lot.Show more
#4 - Strawberry Canyon Fire Trail
Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(570)
Length: 7.4 mi • Est. 3 h 30 m
Explore the plethora of what Claremont Regional Preserve has to offer. An excellent choice if you are visiting UC Berkeley and are in search of an activity. A great spot to enjoy the sunset over the Bay. No bikes allowed. Part of this trail is WHEELCHAIR accessible. Show more
#5 - Chaparral Peak via Stonewall-Panoramic Trail
Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(475)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 2 h 45 m
Begin at the Stonewall Road Trailhead. The steep fire road is easy to follow, always rutted and rocky with some easy flats but mostly very steep. You pass four benches, each with a great view. The last section, before you hit the pavement of Panoramic Road, is the steepest, and also rocky, rutted, and loose. Shoes with decent rubber and tread required. If balance is an issue, bring trekking poles. To continue to Chaparral Peak, Grizzly Peak Road, or Vollmer Peak, when you get to then pavement of Panoramic Road, go up and right on the pavement, not down and left. The pavement runs out in less than a hundred yards at a secluded private driveway, and the only way to go is a hard right turn onto another fire road, which, though popular, doesn't have a name. Following this fire road all the way will get you to Grizzly Peak Road which is a thoroughfare traversing the Berkeley hills. From the end of the pavement, the fire road follows along the ridgeline beside a row of tall Eucalyptus trees, splits briefly at the fourth and last bench beside an open area, then rejoins a short way to ascend, steep and straight, a hundred feet up in the first of three significant climbs. It's worth noting that at the base of this climb is the first of three short connecting lefthand trails that will bring the hiker to the Upper Jordon Fire Trail, which circles Strawberry Canyon, long and almost level. After the steep and straight hike up the hill, the fire road passes another open area, with a solitary Oak tree instead of a bench, it then descends gradually, then more steeply to the base of the second steep section. It is not apparent unless you've looked at a map, but at this point, the fire road and the Upper Jordon fire trail are very adjacent, less than a hundred feet apart, and if you wish, you can easily clamber left and down through the trees to the Upper Jordon Fire Trail. Show more
#6 - Inspiration Point to Wildcat Peak
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(459)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 1 h 55 m
#7 - Upper Big Springs, Seaview, and Quarry Trails Loop
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(335)
Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 1 h 42 m
NOTE: The road leading to this trailhead - South Park Drive - is currently closed to vehicular traffic due to COVID-19. Visitors may still walk or bike to this trailhead. Please check here for updates: https://www.ebparks.org/news/covid_19_park_and_trail_updates.htm#parks-open-closedShow more
#8 - Wildcat Peak Trail via Laurel Canyon and Sylvan Trail
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(291)
Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 1 h 45 m
NOTE: As of September 2020, the beginning of this trail is closed however there is a detour. Additionally, the parking area for this trail is closed due to COVID-19. Visitors can still walk or bike here from elsewhere. Please check the park's website for more information: https://www.ebparks.org/news/covid_19_park_and_trail_updates.htm#parks-open-closed This scenic loop takes you from the Tilden Park Environmental Education Center to the summit of Wildcat Peak via the Jewel Lake, Sylvan, Peak and Laurel Canyon trails. Terrific views of the Bay Area and a variety of plants and birds keep this route interesting throughout. This route may be very muddy in wet weather.Show more
#9 - Wildcat Gorge and Lake Anza Loop
Tilden Regional Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(176)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 30 m
Loop trail that wraps around Lake Anza. An excellent spot for birdwatching, fishing, or going for a swim This is an easy trail that sees a lot of use on the weekends, mostly by families and people walking their dogs. Some parts are a bit technical, but it offers a nice view of the lake and connects with the Selby Trail along with a few others. Weekdays are best here, especially during the summer months.Show more
#10 - Nimitz Way
Tilden Regional Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(292)
Length: 8.2 mi • Est. 3 h 45 m
This is a great family-friendly trail that can be completed in a couple of hours. The entire trail is paved, making it a great trail for strollers and wheelchairs and an easy bike ride for children. The trail is relatively flat and features great panoramic views of the Bay Area. The beginning of the trail is fairly crowded, but clears out after a couple of miles. There is plenty of parking at Inspiration Point. Accessibility: The trail surface is paved and it is typically at least five feet wide. There are some cracks in the pavement that might make the ride bumpy for equipment users. The estimated average grade is 3% and there are steeper sections where the grade is between 8% and 10% (at about 1.4 and 3.6 miles) so wheelchair/mobility equipment or stroller users may need assistance. Show more
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