Yesterday, K and I joined Stan Dodson and a small, hearty group to hike from Dimond to Chabot Space and Science Center. Stan is the manager of La Farine Bakery on Fruitvale where we began the hike. But he's also the founder of OaklandTrails.org and the producer of the documentary Trailhead: Discovering Oakland's Gateway to the Redwoods. We were joined on the hike by local historian (and Legendary Local) Dennis Evanosky, who is also part of the documentary.
It didn't take long from our start before we were in Dimond Park. There we got our first look at Sausal Creek. A restoration project that was completed earlier this year included daylighting a 180 foot section of the creek that had been culverted for decades. It's made a huge difference in the park, adding both the to visual beauty but also the support for local wildlife. We continued up the Sausal Creek watershed into Dimond Canyon, and saw some of the projects that the OaklandTrails.org volunteers have been involved in. Stan's fundraiser for the Trailhead documentary was so successful that he had some money left to have trail markers made for the route, too. Which is a good thing, as the route takes a few non-obvious turns.
We stopped at various points to catch our breath, hear some info from Stan or some history from Dennis, or just admire the views. Even with the stops, we finished the 5.5 mile, 1,500+ foot climb in about 2.5 hours. At Chabot, we hopped on an AC Transit bus for a 10-minute ride back to our start on Fruitvale Ave. It's amazing to have such a beautiful, natural area within the bounds of Oakland, and that can be reached on foot, by transit or by car. From the trails near Chabot, you can connect to hundreds of miles of trails, including the 550-mile Bay Ridge Trail.
Stan leads the hikes not just for the general public, but for school groups, after-school programs and others. And OaklandTrails.org does trail maintenance, patrols the parks to help users and looks for fallen trees and other hazards, and works to improve the trails. To donate or volunteer, check out OaklandTrails.org to learn more. You can watch the Trailhead documentary there, too. You don't need to wait for one of Stan's guided hikes, though. Maps are available online, trail markers are there, so get out and explore some of the natural beauty here in Oakland!
See the photos full-size here.