Today we went off for another short 'warm-up' hike before the big hiking seasons starts. We drove to Richmond, CA where we walked along the shoreline, explored some old railroad tracks, discovered some brick houses (and factories), enjoyed the view over almost the complete bay area, and strolled through Richmond's old town.
Lumi searched the map for a nice spot and suggested that we head to Richmond. First of all, we did not really plan this hike and just quickly made a couple of sandwiches before we headed off towards Richmond. So far, I always remembered Richmond as a pass-through town on the way to Vallejo or the mall where Walmart is located. But I was pleasantly surprised by the great spot we found.
We parked our car right after the tunnel on Dornan Drive and explored Keller Beach Park first. The park has an awesome partial bay view, some nice BBQ spots and is even a sandy beach. Apparently, it is possible to swim here in summer and we will definitively return when the water is a bit warmer.
Leaving the beach park we walked along the shoreline (and along old rusty train tracks) up to "Ferry Point". In older times this point was the final stop of the Chicago to San Francisco train line. At this point the train stopped and the passengers continued the last 7 miles of their journey with a steam ferry over to San Francisco. It was amazing to see the old barks and tracks that partially fell into the water. As an engineer it was particularly interesting to see a seesaw-like structure that must have been used to roll railroad wagons onto the ferry. After we've watched the local fishers for some time we continued towards and old Kiln (a brick factory) where we had a good look at the chimney and the two burning chambers. It is interesting to know that many houses were first built as brick houses and people switched only later to wood only houses (and we asked ourselves: why?).
We continued towards a hill where we pushed ourselves up a steep incline. The way up was tough but we were rewarded with an awesome view of the bay area. Amazing is the only word that can describe that view! We enjoyed our time there, walked back and forth a bit (found a couple of caches) and finally walked back to the car.
On the way back we stopped in the old town of Richmond and strolled through the little streets for a bit and wondered if Richmond already looked like that during the gold rush. All in all we had a great afternoon and enjoyed the time out in the California sun. All in all the big loop is about 5.9mi (roughly 10km) and it took us about 4 hours with a couple of stops on the way and 7 geo caches. A nice hike for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
View Ferry Point Loop Trail in a larger map