Located in the heart of Walnut Creek, from a short distance downtown to Mount Diablo, this 1420-acre space is full of myriad looping trails (31 miles of trails) is where you can walk for as long or as little as you want. This trail system, adjacent to Castle Rock Regional Park and Diablo Foothills Regional Park, is a fusion of flat topography and elevation. It’s beautiful throughout the year, especially through late spring during fall. The ridge trail will give you deeply appealing views, and along the stream bed there is a beautiful shady walk down. Hiking to the Borges Ranch (a historic cattle ranch that is a short detour to the right from the Briones Mount Diablo Trail, again a rolling and well-manicured hill fire road) or Mount Diablo State Park also seems to be a viable option.

You can start at the entrance to the Marshall drive and walk up the ridge, and if it’s too steep for you, there are always alternative trails available. Named after the ocean’s surviving marine fossils that once covered the area, it may be the largest open space area in the region. This park is surrounded by a range of parallel valleys and ridges. And it also houses Howe Homestead Park in the middle of the breathtaking landscape. This large open space is full of trails for hiking, walking, wildlife sightings (ground squirrels, coyotes, foxes, deer, bobcats), biking on Mount Diablo’s lower flanks, especially through grassland savanna and oak forests.

Shell Ridge is home to at least ten moderate trails ranging from 2.7 to 11.3 miles and from 141 to 908 feet above sea level with trails snaking off all the way, but all well marked out. Each trip will unveil a mystery here-ravines, subridges and rolling foothills have beautiful views. Raptor sightings here are often ignored by towns for their location-pilgrim falcons, prairie falcons, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks. From the trailhead at Hanna Road, you can easily create a 3-mile loop that covers 400 feet and emerges from the top trail at Shell Ridge and Ridge. Also, since you are so close to Mount Diablo, you have to walk to the challenging vertical paths. If you’re not prone to that too much and are only looking for a peaceful jaunt in the foothills, Briones Regional Park can be your ideal destination.

Many community highlights include the vast views of the Danville portion of Walnut Creek Concord and the towering Castle Rock boulders. Besides a horde of housing tracts, this place is brimming with a greenery that is a pleasure for the eye.

This amazing hiking trail is located near the following trails in Walnut Creek, California:

  • Sycamore Valley Open Space Preserve

  • Mount Diablo State Park

  • Diablo Foothills Regional Park

  • Shell Ridge Open Space

  • Briones Regional Park

  • Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

  • Howe Homestead Park

  • Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area