Now that we’ve survived fourteen weeks with the same professors, the same books, the same roommates and the same parties, the Clog is sure of one thing: we are pretty tired of Berkeley.
Don’t get us wrong, we still think Cal is the most exciting place to spend our college years. But after fourteen weeks of toil, many of us are ready for a break. Standing proudly next to the Big C for the fifth time this semester, we accidentally glance too long at Evans and remember the impending doom of that math final. Or we trek up Centennial Drive to visit the Botanical Garden, only to be haunted by all the plant names we have to memorize for Bio 1B. Venturing amid familiar sights, we can’t help intertwining the exciting wonders of Berkeley and its terrifying challenges; after all, isn’t this fusion the reason we’re here?
As we near the finish line though, it’s helpful to remind ourselves that a world outside the Berkeley bubble exists. And there’s no better escape than Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. A twenty-minute drive from campus, this expansive park offers a huge selection of hiking trails; to make your decision easier, we’ve decided to share our favorite route, which combines the West Ridge and Stream Trails.
Since Redwood Regional Park is out of AC Transit and walking range, we suggest you find a friend with a car (the best kind!) for this adventure. To avoid the endless stream of cyclists on Skyline Boulevard, follow this route beginning from Southside, and turn into the paved parking lot on your left. If you decide to check out our favorite loop, begin on the West Ridge Trail, which starts on the east side of the lot. Follow this path for about half a mile, and then continue onto the French Trail. After walking another half-mile, veer left onto a trail labeled Tres Sendas. Finally, when you encounter the wide, shady Stream Trail, make a left and follow it for a mile back to the parking lot. Totaling a little over two miles, this quick hike showcases the beauty of Redwood Regional Park without being severely exhausting (always a plus).
With 150-foot coastal redwoods, a tranquil stream, secluded picnic areas and well-marked trails, this route is your best bet for mentally escaping the confines of Berkeley. Whether you’re looking for an intimate date spot, a peaceful picnic destination or a quiet place to read, we guarantee these abundant trails will offer you some solitude. Oh, and did we mention you can camp here? Unless magnificent trees and dusty trails remind you of English essays or physics homework, we hope this gratifying getaway adds to your happiness during this finals season!