Bay Area Ridge Trail
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The Bay Area Ridge Trail (Ridge Trail) is a planned 550+-mile multi-use trail (currently over 330 miles are complete) along the hill and mountain ridgelines ringing the San Francisco Bay Area, in Northern California. When complete, the trail will connect over 75 parks and open spaces. The trail is being designed to provide access for hikers, runners, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians. It will be accessible through trailheads near major population centers, while the trail will extend into more remote areas. The first trail section was dedicated on May 13, 1989.
Trail by County
The section of the trail that runs through San Francisco has been completed, and currently parts of the SF trail are being rerouted to pass through more green space and over Twin Peaks. Large sections of the trail through San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties have been completed. Much of the remaining mileage is on private property in Santa Clara, Sonoma, and Napa and may require land acquisition and/or easements to expand the trail across these properties. The section of Ridge Trail through Crockett Hills Regional Park in Contra Costa County, which opened in June 2006, pushed the trail past the 300 mile (483 km) mark.
Bay Area Ridge Trail Council
The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working on the Ridge Trail. They partner with governments, nonprofit land trusts, and volunteer organizations in all nine Bay Area counties to help protect and preserve open space and plan, construct, and promote the Ridge Trail. The Council office is located in The Presidio, San Francisco.
The Council puts out a monthly eNewsletter and bi-annual printed newsletter, Ridge Lines.
The Council is a member supported organization accepting donations. For more information on membership, donations, bequests, or gift estates, visit RidgeTrail.org.
Experience the Trail
A variety of trail events are hosted on the trail each year including fully supported trail events (Ridge to Bridge in Marin County in spring, RidgeToBridge.org, East Bay Hills Through-Hike & Equestrian Ride over Labor Day week, and the Ridge Trail Cruz in the Santa Cruz Mountains southwest of Palo Alto in fall), volunteer work parties to build/maintain/restore Ridge Trail (including the REI-Ridge Trail Service Day each November), and a variety of others. Please see the Events section of the website for a complete listing.
- Bay Area Ridge Trail: The Official Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers, and Equestrians, Jean Rusmore. Wilderness Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-89997-469-9
- The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area, Richard A. Walker and William Cronon, University of Washington Press 2008, ISBN 978-0-295-98815-3, p. 157