It’s little wonder that non-profits like BTCEB (Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay) work hard to keep mountain biking legal at Joaquin Miller Park—the terrain is awesome! Just 11 miles from downtown Oakland, Joaquin Miller is ultra-compact, but the vast network of trails and towering coastal redwoods, fern canyons, and trickling creeks make it feel like a forest plucked from a Harry Potter film. These trails are perfect for biking: Patches of ground are covered in brown pine needles or leaves, and much of the way is good hard dirt; even after a hard rain, many of the dirt trails remain just right, with little dust and lots of grip. For a beginner-friendly option, head out on the Sequoia Bayview Trail; this wide 1.5 mile trail (one-way) gently traverses the upper section of the park’s canyon. Hungry for more? Descend via the Sunset Trail (most riders will need to walk a short steep section) to the lower part of the canyon. Here, options abound. Consider the rolling singletrack of Palos Colorados paralleling Palo Seco Creek: Recent rain has made this trail silky smooth. Whatever you choose in this urban playground, you can’t get lost—and you can’t go wrong!
To reach Joaquin Miller Park: From Hwy 13 in Berkeley, exit Joaquin Miller-Lincoln Ave. Head east on Joaquin Miller Rd. Follow this past one entrance to the park and make a left onto Skyline Blvd. Go .3 mile up Skyline and park near the “Equestrian Crossing” sign; look for the Sequoia Bayview Trail. Print out a map before you go.