Access the trail by climbing either from Sunol (up the Thermalito Trail) or the Foothill Staging Area on Foothill Road on the Woodland Trail. It's a bit of a climb, either way (800 ft or so). The Ridgeline Trail is a fire road up and down with little shade but great views of the West and the East (Mt Diablo and Morgan Territory).
There are many informal single tracks that cross the road but generally follow the same route (almost all are illegal). The trail is mostly in the Pleasanton Ridge (East Bay Regional Parks) but briefly passes through the Augustine Bernal Park (City of Pleasanton). Just after passing through Augustine Bernal Park, there is a legal one-way street on the right, where the East Bay Regional Parks District has turned a wide fire road into a 4-ft wide trail. They hope to make more of these conversions in the years to come.
Pleasanton Ridge Loop
Starting from the Foothill Staging Area, the Oak Tree Trail is a steady climb a little over a mile to the junction with the Ridgeline Trail. The Ridgeline Trail is the main road that crosses Pleasanton Ridge Park in a general north-south direction. Turn left at a short distance to the Olive Grove Connector to the Olive Grove Trail. Stay left to connect to the Thermalito Trail, which runs parallel to and west of the Ridgeline Trail past some old olive orchards.
Thermalito Trail was named after an old fruit-growing company, and the trail runs north below the ridge through grassland and some oak forest before reaching Ridgeline Trail a few miles away.
Continuing on Ridgeline, the trail splits with a ridgetop view bench on the right side of the trail. The turnaround at this point, returning to the Ridgeline Trail, would be a good beginner ride.
This ride continues north past the first junction with the Bay Leaf Trail to the Schuhart Trail connector, which joins the Bay Leaf Trail part way down, avoiding a steeper climb on the Bay Leaf part. The lower section of the Bay Leaf Trail narrows to a single track and drops steeply in a series of switchbacks and is the most challenging section of this ride. There's a bit of poison oak, too.
Bay Leaf ends on the Shady Creek Trail, which quickly joins the Sinbad Creek Trail. Keep left heading south on the shady Sinbad Creek Trail for 1.4 miles back to the Bay Leaf Trail Connector, keep right to climb back to the Ridgeline Trail.
Returning to the Ridgeline Trail, this ride takes a short detour to the Blue Oak Knoll Trail on the shady side of the ridge. At the end of the Blue Oak Knoll Trail, turn right onto the Valley View Trail and return quickly to the Ridgeline Trail, which takes the riders back to the Oak Tree Trail for the final descent to the parking area.
If you are considering taking a day hike with family in Pleasanton, California, be sure to check out these amazing hiking areas:
Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
The Preserve Area Trails
Moller Ranch Staging Area
Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area
The Preserve Staging Area
Old Foothill Rd Mission Hills Park
Tassajara Creek Regional Park
After visiting these lovely hiking areas to stop by and say “Hello” to us at our downtown Danville location, DPG Pavers Danville Location on 4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle!