July 10, 2010

Wildcat Peak Hike

We had been planning to get out to hike Wildcat Peak for over a month, just never seemed to get out there. On this particular weekend the stars aligned and we headed out the door. Wildcat Peak is located within Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills which is one of EBRPD's parks. For the hike we headed to the Environmental Education Center which is adjacent to Little Farm at Tilden. The one thing you definetely need to do is get a trail map before you head out. The reason is the trail posts in this area are not marked with the usual name of the trails but little pictures instead. A picture of a tree signifies Pine Tree Trail, picture of a bird for Jewel Lake Trail and so on. The trail map has a key to go by.

We began our hike from behind the Education Center, and headed towards Sylvan Trail. This is where a deer jumped from the bushes and crossed the trail right in front of us. Of course I didn't have our camera out, but I did get some pictures as it continued on away from us. Proceeding forward we turned right onto Wildcat Peak Trail. Wildcat Peak Trail heads up hill, you become more exposed the higher you get. When you get to the top there will be a junction to the left that will take you the last few feet to the top. Wildcat Peak tops out an elevation of 1211ft giving you great views all around. On our particular day the fog was still lingering and there wasn't much to see. After a few pictures we continued along and made a right turn onto Nimitz Way. Nimitz Way is a  wide paved trail popular with runners and bikers. We were only on Nimitz a short bit before making a right towards Laurel Canyon Trail. Laurel Canyon heads downhill, the trail is pretty narrow and overgrown in spots. Also a few muddy spots so you may want to avoid this trail in the winter. Laurel Canyon will take you all the way back down to the back of the Education Center to the hikes end. This hike is about 3.5miles roundtrip and took us almost two hours. A nice easy hike, which would have been better if it was a clear day. Afterwards we stopped by the Education Center. The center was very impressive with lots of exhibits. We grabbed a few trail maps for some other parks on our way out the door. We stopped by the Little Farm before leaving, check out our video below.

Laurel Canyon Trail

Tilden Education Center

Tilden Park Website