It's hard to beat the magic of hiking in Redwood Regional Park, but our recent hike in Leona Heights Park definitely gave our redwood hikes a run for their money. Situated just off of Highway 13 in the Oakland Hills, it's one of the easier hiking options to get to in Oakland and a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours outdoors. The trail entrance is located directly next to the Leona Lodge at 4444 Mountain Blvd in Oakland. After passing through a small meadow you will be greeted by signs for the trail head and the first of a series of bridges along the hike.
I knew there would be a couple of bridges (a huge selling point for my kids) and a creek, but I was not prepared for how incredibly beautiful the hike would be. Thanks to recent rains, the creek was flowing strong and the sound was simply intoxicating. Within minutes of stepping onto the trail you are immersed in nature and the nearby freeway and city streets are a distant memory.
The trail was perfect for our adventurous toddlers who LOVED crossing over the creek on several bridges (including a makeshift bridge made of a sturdy board), and climbing over tree roots and rocks in the pathway. While the majority of the trail was safe enough to let them walk on their own, there were parts where the path became very narrow with 10-15 foot drops that required some hand holding.
At the top of the York trail you will connect with a wide fire trail. You can either turn around and head back the way you came, or turn right onto the fire trail and follow the neighborhood roads back down to the parking lot. The hike to the top is just under two-thirds of a mile.
What are you favorite hidden East Bay hikes?
Details: Free parking can be found in the lot for the Leona Lodge at 4444 Mountain Blvd. in Oakland, or along the street.