(Wildcat Creek- Belgum- San Pablo Ridge- Conlon- Wildcat Creek)
I love this trail. This is my favorite, favorite, favorite trail in Wildcat Canyon. It's not exactly a secret (the cows certainly know about it), but it's so rare that I see anyone on this trail that I'm calling it a secret trail.
I ran this today a bit faster than I probably needed to-- I was running behind schedule but really wanted to run this trail, as I haven't run it recently, and the puppies haven't been out enough this week. I kept worrying the whole time that I was going to be late, so I pushed it the whole way through. This is the longest run I've done since Ohlone, and it felt pretty good.
The trail starts out like Havey Canyon and Mezue from the Alvarado Staging Area-- up onto the ridge and all its steepness, but then continues on Nimitz Way. This is the same paved trail that leads out from Inspiration Point in Tilden, and technically dogs should be on leash on Nimitz Way... just to be clear about that. At the edge of Tilden Park, Conlon Trail forks to the right and up onto another ridge thatprovides, in my view, some of the best 360 degree views in all of the Bay Area. As seen in the first picture, there is a sweeping view of San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and Mt. Tamalpais, but if you turn to the right, you can see Mt. Diablo and the surrounding hills. In front of you, the view of Novato and the north section of the Bay frames the trail. You can even see the Carquinez Strait. Plus, this trail is a really fun two miles of downhill-- it's not technical, but it's steep enough in sections that you can really move.
It's trails like this (along with the tamales) that help to redeem Richmond when I getfrustrated with ladders getting stolen or random trash ending up in my front yard. Again, it is entirely possible to have a cow conundrum on this trail: let the doggie owners beware! I have had a couple of moments of cross-country thistle-collecting due to bovine presence on the trails. Today we fortunately saw only one group, and they were huddled under a tree.
So there it is: My Richmond Trail Recommendation #1.