Part of the East Bay Municipal Utility District trail system, Hampton Trail is a short connection to some of the district's prettiest dog-friendly trails. Reachable from the Hampton Staging Area at the end of Hampton Road, the wide trail through open landscape is your fast track to the trails that circle the Briones Reservoir.
Northeast of Briones Regional Park off of Bear Creek Road, the Hampton Trail access to the EBMUD is often less crowded than the pawpular Bear Creek Staging Area. If your buddies are looking to get away from it all, this quiet hike from the northern side of the watershed is just the thing. From the trailhead, your pack will have an uncomplicated walk through sunny meadows, reaching the end of the trail in less than a mile. If your buddies are the short-legged variety, turn around here for an easy out-and-back.
If they'd rather embark on a bigger adventure, though, turn left or right onto the Oursan Trail. To the left (east), the Oursan Trail makes a beeline to the shores of the Briones Reservoir, where it follows the water along a series of zigs and zags for about 5 miles to the Bear Creek Staging Area. From there, you can catch the Bear Creek Trail east to the other end of the Oursan (about 3 miles) to follow the Oursan back north along the ridgeline until you reach Hampton Trail again in another 4 miles. All told, your loop would be about 12.5 miles, so leave the lazy lap dogs at home for this trek.
Of course, a more moderate length can be customized by simply taking the Oursan Trail to the waterfront and then turning around after your pups have enjoyed the view. Note that human and canine swimming are not allowed: the reservoir holds drinking water for local communities.Either a $3 day pass or a $10 annual pass is required to use the EBMUD trail system. Permits should be purchased online and displayed on your car dash.