Opened in 2010, Dublin Hills is one of the East Bay’s newer regional parks. It features a wide, rolling ridge with some pretty nice views over the sprawling Tri-Valley, although the views are somewhat limited by the surrounding hills. Maybe because it’s so new, the park feels more like a ranch than most of the other East Bay parks. Depending on how heavily it’s been grazed recently, it may have a worn-out look and there may be large amounts of cow manure on the trail.
The park has two main trails. The Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail starts in a new housing development off Highway 580 and runs along sunny, open hilltops. The Martin Canyon Creek Trail descends into a densely-wooded canyon and connects with the City of Dublin’s Martin Canyon Creek Trail. Most people seem to hike only one or the other, but the contrast between the two makes a nice extended hike.
Start at the trailhead off Silvergate Drive. The paved trail looks like a private path that leads into a gated community, but a sign just inside the gate indicates that it is in fact the Martin Canyon Creek Trail.
The paved path soon turns into a trail, and the trail joins a gravelled road that runs along the bottom of a partially-wooded valley. The scenery isn’t especially promising at first, with chain-link fences separating it from the private property on either side.
At the gate that marks the boundary of Dublin Hills Regional Park, the valley narrows into a ravine. Entering the deep shade of a bay laurel grove, the trail becomes much narrower and begins a steep climb up a fern-covered hillside. The trail is cut rather precariously into the steep hillside.
The trail breaks out of the woods just as it reaches a ridgetop. Officially, you’re supposed to continue onto the faint dirt road directly ahead, which descends into shallow Donlon Canyon and then climbs back up to the Calaveras Ridge Trail. However, there’s a convenient unofficial path to your right that climbs directly to the trail by way of a rock-studded ridgetop, skipping the unnecessary descent.
Turn onto the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail. The trail rises and falls as it travels over rolling ranchland, making its way to the hilltop in the distance with two electrical towers on it. There are some pretty impressive views of the suburbs below; the broad plain is much wider here than it is below the other nearby parks and so is a more impressive sight.
There are a few faint, little-used side roads.
The final climb to the hilltop is somewhat steep. Somewhat confusingly, a side trail is marked with a sign indicating that it’s a dead-end, but the main trail, which is pretty faint at this spot, isn’t marked. A lot of people turn around at this point.
The views from the top of the hill are pretty nice, but they’re not really that much better than the views from the rest of the trail and they’re partially obscured by the electrical towers and lines.
Return on the same trails.
© 2018, 2023 David Baselt