Go tilting at windmills and enjoy scenic views when you hike the Brushy Peak Regional Preserve Trail. This 4.5-mile dirt pathway climbs through rolling grassland to a grove of coast live oak and some California buckeye trees near the peak. You'll wander along the ridge where you can see a windmill farm and the surrounding countryside. The area is home to ground squirrels, birds, and other wildlife. Spring and fall are the best times to visit here.
You'll find restrooms and a parking lot at the Laughlin Ranch Staging Area. Pick up the trail here and start your ascent through the meadows. There will be a short drop to a valley road before continuing upwards toward the ridge. Most of the climb is in open fields with little to no shade. In the background, you'll see and hear the buzz of 4,930 windmills in Altamont Pass. Near the peak, the trail meets a fence and turns to roam through the boulders and trees. After this, you'll start your descent to a dirt road. Then there will be a short climb to one more ridge before the route continues back down to the parking lot.
You can share this pawtastic trek with your pooch if they're on a lead. This trail gets light travel, but you may see mountain bikers, horseback riders, or other hikers out here. Remember to be courteous and yield when they want to pass. Collect and pack out any waste to help protect the natural resources of this area. Bring water for you and Spot, especially if you come in the heat of summer.
The Brushy Peak Regional Preserve Trail offers a pawesome workout for you and your pup. In spring, the hills are lush green with brilliantly colored wildflowers. No matter the season, be on the lookout for birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects as you hike here.