A Break From the Office: Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve
If you work or live in San Ramon, this secluded open space is the perfect place to reset or make a quick trip to escape suburban life. If you’re on San Ramon Valley Blvd, you’ll want to take Morgan Ave. and go down half a block before you come up on the entrance gate. There is hardly ever any traffic here. The past two times I’ve been here with family or friends, no cars were visible. When you walk past the gate and down the hill, past the gate is the trail post for Grey Fox or Stream Trail.
We usually climb “Morla Hill” (named of Morla the turtle from Neverending Story) which is a steep hill that takes you to the top for the views of San Ramon and Bishop Ranch. Once you get there, you’ll hike for about 1/4 mile to the next trail post for Stream Trail. Take that down about another 1/4 mile. This part is tricky and I kid you not, every. single. time. I’ve gone past the post for Stream Trail. It’s right after the trail curves so you’re gaining your momentum back from going downhill–it’s easy to miss it!
The Stream Trail narrows and during the rainy season, gets very slippery. I know first-hand because I hiked it without trekking poles and fell twice. I also had to resort going off-trail and taking detours through thick brush. Poppy makes big “thwack!” sounds when we do this.
Once we got back on the trail, you can descent further down until you reach the streams area. This is a good place to stop and take your child out if you have a carrier, or let the kids run free. Your furry friends will absolutely love the streams and being able to frolic for long distances. You could stay on the stream trail, but going directly into the streams, made for a fun hike back to the entrance point. When the streams are low, you can walk around trees and sandy areas that were once under water.
Past the streams, you’ll come up on the rocky spillway where all the stream water rushes over below. It sounds beautiful and while there are pipes below under the spillway, it’s a fun feature to show the kids. If you go the Grey Fox trail way, you can hike further up and you meet those awesome panoramic views of San Ramon.
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