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A squishy hike up Oakland's Dimond Canyon.

If you don't mind rock hopping, crossing a swinging suspension bridge, and getting your boots wet in a creek now and then, the adventurous Dimond Canyon Trail should appeal to you. It begins in Dimond Park in the Oakland Hills, and follows the beds of Sausal and Palo Seco creeks, crossing them three or four times in all.

Eventually the trail leaves the cool, wooded canyon and climbs a ridge overlooking a golf driving range. Then it winds into tall redwoods, crosses the wood-plank suspension bridge pictured at left, and ends at Monterey Boulevard.

Don't take this hike if you expect an easy stroll along a well-graded and marked pathway. Though only about a mile long, the trail gains elevation steadily, and rough footing makes the going slower. To return, retrace your steps, or head under the pedestrian underpass to pick up Palos Colorados Trail, which leads to Joaquin Miller Park and on into Redwood Regional Park, where it connects with more trails.

If recent rains have been heavy, the creeks can spill over the trails, so wait for a dry spell before heading out. And since this is an urban trail, don't be surprised if you spot some refuse along the way.

To get to Dimond Park, take Interstate Highway 580 to the Fruitvale Avenue exit and head east. Turn left on MacArthur Boulevard, then right on Dimond Avenue to the park.
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Date:Mar 1, 1985
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