Nimitz Way Trail

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling

Features

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling

Information

Website:
visit link
Address:
750 Wildcat Canyon Rd, Orinda, CA, 94563
Region:
San Francisco Bay Area
Phone:
Info: 888-327-2757
Hours:
5 am – 10 pm unless otherwise posted or permitted
Dogs:
On leash
Last Visited:
July 2022
The Nimitz Way Trail, sometimes referred to as Inspiration Point, is a very popular trail in Berkeley and the small parking lot fills up quickly. The wide-open trail, an old road built in the 1950s to access a Nike missile installation, runs along San Pablo Ridge and in places offers birds-eye views of San Pablo Reservoir and glimpses of the bay.

It is part of a large network of trails within the Tilden and Wildcat Regional Parks and is a section of the longer East Bay Ridge Trail and East Bay Skyline National Trail although, most of the trails are inaccessible. At the parking lot there is an overlook with interpretive signs, benches, and stunning views.

 

Trails and Pathways

Trail:
Nimitz Way
Time to Complete:
2 hrs.
Trailhead Location:
At parking lot
Trail Length:
Over 4 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Elevation Change
330 ft.
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Typical Terrain:
Hard
Trail Overview: ** This trail was reviewed by an individual that used a rear wheel motorized wheelchair.

 

The 8-mile out and back Nimitz Way Trail snakes it’s way along San Pablo Ridge, past a few trees that gradually give way to scrub, a stand of Eucalyptus, and towards its end, barren cow pastures although if there’s been a wet winter there can be a blanket of green covering the hills. The weather can be foggy and breezy so it’s a good idea to layer-up.

For a challenging workout complete with many dips and climbs--sometimes for long stretches--this is the place. The first mile can be busy with people walking dogs, baby strollers, and runners. After that, the people thin out and you’re left with sparkling views of the San Francisco Bay, the surrounding hills, and San Pablo Reservoir and Mt. Diablo to the east. Stop at one of the many benches enroute to take in the scenery.

The trail starts with a short gentle incline and then another at .3-mile. At 1.2 is another gentle grade (3%) then at 1.5 mile you pass a stand of eucalyptus trees that provides a change in scenery and offers the only shade on the trail. After another three-quarters mile, just beyond the intersection with Conlon Trail, the flora transitions to rolling hills dotted with bushes and trees: cows can be seen grazing. From here out you will likely catch glimpses of raptors hunting. Shortly after (2.5 mile) there is a steep incline (13%) then a long gentler stretch before you start a continuous uphill towards the trails end.  A washout at 3.8 miles has been cordoned off but a replacement section of gravel and dirt lets you pass.

The pavement ends just beyond the 4-mile marker and a bench slightly off the trail is a good resting point before heading back. The trail, which now becomes the dirt and gravel San Pablo Ridge Trail, continues from here but this trail has not been reviewed for accessibility.

More Info: After 1.7 miles there are four cattle grates to skirt around. The first one requires passing through a gate and the remaining three have level passageways that vary in condition and width; the narrowest opening is 28." Be advised that there are limited level stretches. Age, popularity, and the environment has taken a toll on the asphalt which is cracked in places and has even subsided especially the farther out one travels. The trail passes through an active grazing area so expect to navigate around cow patties.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%; The small lot fills up early.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Located at trailhead. None are along the trail.

Accessible Picnic Table:
no firm & stable path to tables, no firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance; A few tables are on an island within the parking lot. There\'s a sizable lip to the area and the surface is thick, loose wood chips and plant debris from nearby pine and fir trees.

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