Looking for a trail that your buddy can sniff and explore off-leash? Well, look no fur-ther than the Briones to Mt Diablo Regional Trail! Unfortunately, not all of this route is Fido-friendly -- the trail runs from Shell Ridge Open Space Preserve to Mt Diablo Regional Park, and furry friends aren’t allowed in the latter at all. Never mind though; you and your pooch will still have a couple of miles to explore unrestricted. You’ll find parking at the Indian Hills School in Walnut Creek, but please keep in mind that there is a small fee and that spaces are limited -- it pays to get there early on the weekends! Briones to Mt Diablo is a moderately-trafficked trail; while you and your four-pawed pal are unlikely to have the place to yourself, you shouldn’t have to deal with crowds.
The Briones to Mt Diablo Regional Trail features some furrific scenery -- you’ll pass Walnut Creek and a reservoir, and there are fabulous views of Mount Diablo to boot. The fire road also passes through Walnut Creek Open Space as well as some other regional parks. Most of the trek is through grassland, and it’s likely that you’ll see wildflowers in the spring, but it also means that most of the trail isn’t shaded, so plan accordingly! Avid birders will be glad to know that the area surrounding the trail is home to hawks and eagles, along with other species of feathered friends.
The trail varies in accessibility -- several parts are paved, but the rest is dirt road, so be sure to look up a map if you or your buddy require an even surface to walk on. Also, the route slopes gently uphill for most of the way, so a certain level of fitness is required. In terms of facilities, there are limited restrooms at the trailhead, but none along the route. Remember to bring bags and water, and enjoy exploring the Briones-Mt Diablo Regional Trail!