Wildcat Creek- Belgum- San Pablo Ridge- Mezue- Wildcat Creek
If anyone was wondering, I love my Garmin. Love it, love it, love it. It's pretty much the greatest thing ever. Well, apart from a perfectly cooked Tarte Tatin, or maybe an unexpected massage, or the last two movements in Bach's Sonata Number 2 in A minor for solo violin. Or a couple of unmentionable kinds of moments. Excepting all THAT, my Garmin is fantastic. My brother is becoming a fan, too. So I am converting more people to running geekdom. Garmin should appreciate my efforts on its behalf.
Anyway, for lack of vehicular motivation, we opted to run in Wildcat again today. We ran the Mezue trail, normally voted "Most Likely to Have Bovine Encounters." One memory I have of this trail involves Jen yelling at a cow, "Get away, you big stupid piece of beef!" Cows in Wildcat are not as docile as they are in Briones. The cows at Briones tried to get away from the dogs and me last time I was there--cows at Wildcat have run AT us (with absolutely no provocation, might I add-- I make the dogs heel around the herd). If you can get over the cows though, this is another dreamy trail.
Mezue starts off like Havey Canyon-- from the parking lot at Alvarado Staging Area, up Wildcat Creek trail until Belgum, at which point you climb straight up to San Pablo Ridge and run with the entire Bay Area spread out around you-- Mt. Diablo in the distance to the left, three bridges and the city on the other side of a glittering blue bay to your right. This trail confirmed what I wrote yesterday-- it's better than the Sea View trail in Tilden.
Once over the rather strenuous uphills, the trail forks just before a corral. I have never seen livestock actually in the corral, but it's a good marking for the Mezue turnoff. The Mezue trail forks right and after a short climb, follows a beautiful downhill stretch (fast, fast!) until the water fountain at the trail intersection with Wildcat Creek, at which point the trail follows the well-used Wildcat Creek trail back to the parking lot.
The one caveat I would present is the muddy slop trail runners will find during the wet season. Most of the run dries out fast, as it's exposed for most of the run, but the cow-dominated section is also the muddiest--during rainy season, expect to spent at least a quarter mile unable to run through the sticky East Bay mud. (I swear, the mud in Wildcat and Tilden has a higher clay content than the mud in Marin, but no one has confirmed or denied said hypothesis yet.)
Beyond that, this trail is another which gets far less use than one would expect for such an accessible trail. We saw just two groups of people, two single hikers and two bikers once we turned off Wildcat Creek trail. As can be seen in the picture, my two running buddies love this trail-- again, dogs under voice control can be off-leash in Wildcat, and when you have two border collies at the house, this is a very, very good thing.