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Over peak and range on the East Bay's Ohlone Wilderness Trail.

The wait is over: East Bay Regional Park District's 28-mile Ohlone Wilderness Regional Trail is finished and officially open.

The trail links the back country of four large and fairly wild East Bay parks. It's challenging and often steep.

You can't backpack-camp here yet, but with a permit you can hike or ride day-use sections now.

The first segment, 8 miles long, begins at Mission Peak Regional Preserve and climbs steadily, switchbacking up to the 2,517-foot summit for great views of the south bay. Winds can be brutal up here, so bring a jacket. The trail then dips into Sunol Regional Wilderness. Consider setting up a car shuttle to avoid the return.

The next section, 20 miles, goes from Sunol through Ohlone Regional Wilderness to Del Valle Regional Park. Try a hike from either end:

From Sunol's main parking lot, the trail follows Canyon View Trail, climbs up McCorkle Trail, and heads out to Ohlone Wilderness (newly opened; no road access); turn back at the signed entrance for a round trip of 16 miles.

Or, from Del Valle, hike the Ohlone Wilderness Trail from Lichen Bark picnic area 3.2 miles one way to the top of Rocky Ridge at 2,426 feet, then return. You're especially likely to see wildlife here--deer, eagles, possibly a bobcat.

Hikers and riders must have a trail permit-map ($1), available at information kiosks that are open dawn to dusk in Del Valle (entry fee $2.50) and Sunol parks (entry $1.50), or from the park office at 11500 Skyline Blvd., Oakland 94619.

Mission Peak Preserve trail access is at the east end of Stanford Avenue off Mission Boulevard in Fremont. To get to Sunol Wilderness, take Interstate 680 to the Calaveras Road exit, go south 4-1/2 miles, then turn left on Geary Road to the park. To get to Del Valle, take I-580 to more Avenue to Mines Road, and follow signs to the park.
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Date:Nov 1, 1985
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