Looks like I'll be in the Bay Area (around Oakland/Berkeley) between the 19th of January and 2nd of February. I have already seen that there is a planned event in Richmond which I plan to attend. Would anyone be interested in showing me the local trails? I'm a reasonably quick runner, but happy to take it slightly easier to take in the view!
Also any recommendations around accommodation would be great. I need to get to Oakland every day for work, but am open to suggestions of the best areas to stay and any areas to avoid.
New Zealand is famous for its Berkeleys.
@simmo Too far South for my liking ;).
If you’re working in Oakland, then I’d recommend accommodations in Oakland. Downtown Oakland is roughly between 12th and 19th street BART and that’s a good option. The area near Lake Merritt is generally nice, especially between Grand and Lakeshore ave (google search for the Grand Theater). Going East/uphill generally gets into nicer neighborhoods. Airbnb is a popular option, as well as hotels.
Note - in both SF and Oakland, neighborhoods can change quickly and you’ll see homeless encampments downtown.
In the east bay, Redwoods regional park has lots of trails and redwoods.
Getting to Marin (North of SF) on the weekend could be fun: Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, PT. Reyas, Golden Gate Bridge, and many coastal trails.
I live in SF. I have a 1yr old, so haven’t been running much. Hope this gives some pointers!
@Suzanne Thank you! That's great advice!
Joaquin Miller Park in east Oakland is BAOC's first map. It's available by public transit (looks like AC Transit 39) . We don't have any events planned there this year, yet, but there are permanent courses and the maps are available online. Some controls may be missing and I'm not sure the maps online are updated, but they should be good enough for training.http://baoc.org/wiki/Maps/Permanent_Courses
The East Bay Regional Parks are all pretty great! Tilden Park is also accessible by public transport (AC Transit 65) or a pretty nice run from the downtown Berkeley BART station, and has spectacular views across the Bay. There are some great fire trails from the UC Berkeley campus that get you up into the Berkeley hills. You can run to Wildcat Canyon Park from the El Cerrito BART station, and Mission Peak Park from the Fremont BART station. I'll second Zan's suggestion of Redwood Regional Park, which is one of our favorites.
I'm not 100% sure what my schedule will be like while you're here, but I live in Berkeley, and do a decent amount of trail running on the weekends (although I'm guessing I'm slower than you), so I might be able to show you a loop somewhere while you're here depending on how our schedules match up.
Is there anywhere in Oakland/San Francisco (looks like I'm staying in SF because Oakland was too expensive for a university budget or the places didn't have great reviews) that is safe to run in the evenings (with a headlight of course). Or any parks easily accessible from there that might be good (or people to run with?!). Happy to travel to meet up with people (and Lori that would be great if you're free!).
My second day there might just be the run to Marin, looks really nice!
I'll also print out a few of the permanent courses.
MCrone: you may be just the ideal person to hook up with BAOC and help them test run their courses for this coming summer's Cal O-fest.
Some controls may be missing and I'm not sure the maps online are updated, but they should be good enough for training.
So treat it like like an AR rather than orienteering then?
You should use this map of Gangs of Oakland
Lots of places in Oakland and SF are safe to run in the evenings. Not sure where in Oakland you'll be, but the area around Lake Merritt should be completely fine. Also, pretty much anywhere in the hills should be fine. There are many other completely safe areas, but I tend to do most of my road running in Berkeley, so I'm less familiar with them.
Running on trails after dark isn't the best idea because of mountain lions...
Depending on where you are staying in the city, Golden Gate Park is relatively large and a decent running spot. However, I've heard better things about San Bruno Mountain State Park as it has more trails and such.
If you ever come down to the Palo Alto area I know of some decent areas to run in as well so feel free to shoot me an email if that is the case.
yurets' map pretty much tells you where you can safely run at night in Oakland, LOL.
The unofficial dividing line between good Oakland and bad Oakland is the 580 freeway and the 24 freeway. Anywhere north of 580 and east of 24 will be completely fine at night. Otherwise, not so much. (Even Lake Merritt, which is beautiful and 100% fine in the daytime, is more questionable after dark.)
And I also had a laugh about staying in SF because "Oakland is too expensive". In what alternative universe is that true?????
@stevegregg, in the universe where we can only book what is available through the university's provider and the suggested options from the company I'm going to visit were around $300 a night ;). There were many motels in Oakland, but I'd rather not stay in one.
It's reasonably difficult to pick places from abroad because you can only really go on reviews from Tripadvisor etc. Plus, having grown up in Johannesburg (and lived there for 25 years of my life) I tend to err on the side of caution. In London, running everywhere at night is pretty much fine (at least in my area). My brother goes to SF for work and I've heard some stories. But in general it's pretty much about being street smart, which is also true for South Africa. (And in Johannesburg I wouldn't really run at night unless I was in a group)
Try the Jack London Square area for some less expensive hotels in an interesting area of town. A nice run south along the harbor is nearby. As Lori said the Regional Parks up on the ridge cannot be beat for trails and views. The danger of Oakland is overblown. I love the town’s young energy, architecture and diversity. There are places you may not want to go at night, but most tourists have not reason to go there anyway.
A bit like when we got to the YHA in Tenderloin and the people at reception showed us on the map which streets not to go down and we didn't tell them that we'd just walked there from the subway station via those streets...
I've been on wonderful MTB single track rides in the Cupertino hills, as well as around Santa Cruz, they would obviously also work well for running. I did create my own O map for Santa Cruz while attending a hacker conference there, using open LiDAR and openstreetmap for trail data. Today I would have also checked Strava's heat map. BTW, the latter is probably a good idea anywhere in that you can very clearly see where other people are running!
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