Gazing across fields of green against the panoramic view of the gleaming marine-blue water, realizing once again how lucky we are to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, people are commenting. “I have never seen it so green!” exclaimed local hiker and Oakland resident Julie Henshaw. Echoed by another hiker with dogs close by, as the East Bay hills burst alive with color – rolling hills of Kelly Green shrouded by Forest Green Coast Sequoia Redwoods, California Oak and Bay Laurel trees.

Poppies abound in brilliant orange, followed by the sweet powder blue flowers of Chinese Forget-Me-Nots.

Time to get out your walking shoes or hiking boots. Your dog will love you for it.

To dust off the winter rains, a great trail to begin with is the  Redwood Regional Park’s Dunn Trail out of the parking lot of the Trudeau Center on Skyline off of Redwood Road (off of 13). Stay on Dunn up to West Ridge and turn around and you will have completed about a 4 mile trek.

You can download the map from the East Bay Regional Parks website and learn about the history. “A hidden redwood forest lies off Redwood Road just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland. The forest’s peaceful groves give little evidence of the park’s bustling past – in the mid-1800s the area was the scene of extensive logging to supply building materials for the San Francisco Bay Area. The logging era has long since passed, and a stately forest of 150-foot coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) has replaced those cut down.” View movie clips. (courtesy of EBRP)

And, if you do like Redwood Park and Chabot Park, which have parking/dog fees, you may want to donate $40 for a year membership which allows you free parking and free dog entrance!