One of my favorite core hikes I like to do once a year in spring is this big loop out at Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. This is my secret entrance at the mid-point in Albany, to avoid all the crowds at the city parks on either end (at Richmond and Berkeley).



One of the attractions of this place is that it isn't infested with eucalyptus trees, like much of the East Bay hills. There are wide open spaces with the occasional Monterey Pine.



This big one in particular can be seen all the way from my office in San Francisco, 10 miles across the bay. One day at work I was pointing out the window and refering to "the two trees" that you could see where I go hiking. Someone said, "but there's only one." They were right, so I hiked out the next weekend ...


... and discovered that this one had just fallen over.



This area is also home to a few old military missile pads, like in Marin County.



A brambled path on the East rim, where you can catch a peek of San Pablo Dam.




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