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The Preserve Area is a natural (non-developed) park managed by the city of Pleasanton. It may or may not abut East Bay Regional Park District lands. The reason for the uncertainty is that the agency has property in a landbank not yet open to the public immediately northeast of the Pleasant Ridge park boundary, and they don't really advertise this as a way to discourage trespassing. I followed a high trail above dry Gold Creek on the north side, heading west. This took me very close to end of Blessing Drive where I had first tried to start. Before reaching a point where I might have noticed it, the trail makes a U-turn and drops down to Gold Creek. Here I found a use trail climbing up a steep slope to the west under oak forest that eventually intersected a ranch road heading southwest towards my goal. This road may or may not be private property, but one branch certainly leads down to the area I wanted to avoid. Instead I followed the higher branch upwards, found a dead end, and returned to use yet another branch that headed south. The maintained part of this branch soon ended at an unsigned property boundary that probably marks the edge of the landbank. The continuing road hadn't been driven on in years, overgrown and beset by some downfall, but still easily navigated on foot. A couple of old watering troughs along the way told of prior use for ranching. I followed the road, deteriorating to an overgrown use trail with no small amount of poison oak to avoid as I continued up. I climbed out of the Gold Creek drainage, eventually popping out on a good road on a subsidiary ridge within the landbank. This shortly led to Main Ridge and the public access part of the park. It was no great surprise that I saw no one at this remote part of the park on a very warm afternoon (about 90F). I found the highpoint about a quarter mile inside the park boundary, at the top of the North Ridge Trail. The trail continues north, but a sign indicates it ends at the park boundary in another half mile (this was in fact the trail I had planned to take initially, a much shorter and more straightforward route if it weren't for the pesky private property). I (very) briefly considered going back down the originally planned route but thought better of it. It was good that I did, because otherwise I might have missed the bobcat that wandered across the road and a gopher snake I found slithering through the grass. In all I spent about 2hrs on the 5.5mi effort. Time to hang up the boots and climb on the bike...
This page last updated: Mon Jul 11 12:52:20 2016
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