“Half the adventure--and half the day--is getting there.”
— Bob Gardner
Tour of the regional preserve north of Morgan Territory Road. The area's isolation in the "far east" of Contra Costa County, on the sunrise side of Mt. Diablo, means it gets light use and riders will feel they have the whole 5,000 acres to themselves--and a few cows. The "trails" are mostly smooth ranch roads, like most of the East Bay Regional Parks, with the occasional steep ascents and sketchy descents. Nice views over the Central Valley all the way to the Sierras when it's clear.
Need to Know
Summers can be hot and shade is sparse. Best time is spring during wildflower season but avoid rainy weather when trails turn to mud.
The Volvon Trail
forms the backbone of this ride with the Blue Oak Trail
and Valley View Trail
forming the loop on the eastern side with the Eagle Trail
, Highland Ridge and Stone Corral Trail
forming the western loop.
From the trailhead, the Volvon Trail
passes through a gate then merges with the road coming from the end of the large parking area. Over the hill it merges with a gravel road and at the next trail junction, keep left to stay on Volvon then a quick right to start the Blue Oak Trail
Blue Oak Trail
is an easy roll running parallel to Volvon and can be used as a shorter beginner loop returning on the Volvon Trail
Turn right on the Volvon Trail
for this ride then a quick right near the outhouse to start the Valley View Trail
which quickly descends to the junction with the Manzanita Trail
. Keep left where the trail descends steeply into a gully. First-timers may want to walk this section since it's somewhat blind and tree branches and other debris often litter the trail. Climbing back up the ridge you get the views to the east that this trail promises. One last steep pitch (push) reconnects with the Volvon Loop which circles the northern extent of Bob Walker Ridge then connects to the Eagle Trail
near a fenced-in spring.
Eagle is a short climb to the junction with Highland Ridge Tr which offers a smooth, swooping, steep descent to the junction with Stone Corral Trail
. The lower section of Stone Corral follow a creek and one of the few areas that is shaded. It doesn't last as Stone Corral heads back up the ridge, steeply in spots, to make up elevation lost coming down Highland Ridge.
At the top is the Volvon Loop Trail
which merges with Volvon Trail
for the backtrack ride to the trailhead.