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Length 16.5 miles
Time 3.5 hours
Total Climb 2200 feet
Fun Rating
6
Scenic Rating
8
Aerobic Difficulty
6
Technical Difficulty 
3


GPS Track

Suggested Parking

Park Maps:

Highlighted:
Tilden
Wildcat Canyon

Original:
Tilden (PDF)
Wildcat Canyon (PDF)

Topographic Map

Park Websites:
Tilden
Wildcat Canyon

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Tilden Park (into Wildcat Canyon Park)
64% FIRE ROAD24% PAVED12% ROAD






Tilden is a decent-sized park on the Berkeley Hills providing quite a wide variety of recreational possibilities. This includes many trails open to bikes, as well, though you shouldn't be looking for much first-class singletrack here. Most bike-legal trails here are fire roads and "family-grade" paved paths.

This ride is a fairly long but very tame loop (with the exception of one ridiculous climb) along the San Pablo ridge starting from Tilden Park and then also traversing much of the neighboring Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. The first half of the ride follows along the bottom of the valley of Wildcat Creek, in a long and imperceptibly minor descent. Then you turn right to do the main climb of the ride, up Belgum Trail. This is not a long climb (less than a mile) but a significant one. However, it's nothing compared to a couple of shorter climbs that follow. These are so steep that they induced hysterical laughter in me and my riding buddies when we did this ride. I believe the first one averages over 30% grade, in fact!

Once you finish those silly climbs, you end up at the part of the ride with the widest scenery. Views are open from this tip of San Pablo Ridge to the North Bay as well as to San Francisco.

Past that, you're left with no other challenge in the ride. The rest consists mainly of a ridgetop cruise along the paved Nimitz Way. This is a popular trail and is usually pretty crowded. Perhaps it's a blessing that it's a zero-challenge trail though, since this leaves you with more of an opportunity to enjoy the long views from many spots along this trail.

You then descend from the ridgetop on Meadow Canyon Trail. This is a trail that I had included in my original ride plan hoping that it's a singletrack. It's not. But it's a nice and scenic descent nonetheless.



© Ergin Guney


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