The East Bay has the perfect trail for celebrating the weather

Abigail Peterson,  – December 22, 2005

Call it the perfect antidote to the winter stir-crazies. Armed witha raincoat and an umbrella, take a rainy-day hike in Oakland’sRedwood Regional Park, a half-hour cross-bay trip from SanFrancisco.

The park’s lush, redwood-studded trails are quiet in February,its native bay laurels smell deliciously pungent, and only thehardiest raindrops struggle through the thick canopy to the forestfloor.

Our favorite hike starts at the Canyon Meadow Staging Area andlinks up with the moderate French Trail for a loop of any distanceyou like, winding along the east side of the park’s main ridge.From the French Trail, you can connect to the easy Bay Area RidgeTrail for a panoramic (but less sheltered) view of the surroundinghills. Stash a thermos of something warm in your car for the drivehome, and put those stir-crazy feelings out of your head until thenext rainy day.

Info: Pick up maps before you head out ― they’reavailable at trailheads ― or print one out from the park’swebsite. Canyon Meadow Staging Area, Redwood RegionalPark (8-6 daily; 7687 Redwood Rd., Oakland; 510/562-7275).

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