Hike by Dan Rademacher, originally published in the October 2010 issue of Bay Nature magazine
It's not every day that a new regional park opens. In late July 2010, the East Bay Regional Park District threw open the gates to Dublin Hills Regional Park, about 650 acres of steep, grassy hills with panoramic views from Mount Diablo to Brushy Peak, south to Sunol Regional Park, west to the Bay, and northwest to the San Francisco skyline.
The park, just north of Interstate 580 and the suburban tangle of Dublin, is a classic East Bay landscape: open hills covered in exotic grasses, punctuated by wooded ravines and, unfortunately, a still-unfinished subdivision of outsized, overbuilt homes. Fortunately, the trails draw you toward better views. First you'll hit Donlan Point, with views of both Diablo and San Francisco. Then you'll come around to a fork; one way leads you down into a wooded canyon (and more houses) and the other up, up, up. This high road quickly gets you into the grasslands. The wooded ravines and open hills draw both red-tailed hawks (in the open) and Cooper's hawks (near the woods).
The main trail here is one segment of the still-incomplete Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail, which eventually will span 44 miles connecting regional parks from Sunol all the way to the Carquinez Strait.
Getting there: Take the Foothill/San Ramon Valley exit from Interstate 580. Follow San Ramon Valley Boulevard and turn left on Dublin Boulevard. The staging area is two miles up, on the right.