Briones Regional Park

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Briones Regional Park
Lafayette Ridge - Briones Regional Park - San San Francisco.jpg
Briones Hills in Briones Regional Park
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Briones Regional Park
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Briones Regional Park
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Briones Regional Park
Location Briones Hills, Contra Costa County
Coordinates 37°56′09″N122°08′15″W / 37.935804°N 122.137413°W / 37.935804; -122.137413 Coordinates: 37°56′09″N122°08′15″W / 37.935804°N 122.137413°W / 37.935804; -122.137413
Area6,117-acre (24.75 km2)

Briones Regional Park is a 6,117-acre (24.75 km2) regional park in the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) system, located in the Briones Hills of central Contra Costa County of the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Contents

Geography

The park is located in rolling hills of the East Bay region, near Martinez, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, and Pleasant Hill. The western end of Briones Regional Park is adjacent to the Briones Reservoir, operated by EBMUD across Bear Creek Road. [1]

Briones Peak is the highest point in the park with an elevation of 1483 ft (452 m), and offers panoramic views of Mount Diablo and the Diablo Valley to the east, the Sacramento River to the north, and the Berkeley Hills and Mount Tamalpais to the west.

The park is also home to many animals and birds, such as turkey vultures, black-tailed deer, cougars, coyotes, squirrels, and redtailed hawks. [2] Cattle, sheep, and goat ranchers still use portions of the park for grazing purposes [3] and hold a one hundred-year lease that is effective until the 2060s.

Lafayette Ridge

Lafayette Ridge is within Briones Park, and runs parallel to the city of Lafayette. The Lafayette Ridge Trail is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) long. It begins at the parking lot of Springhill Elementary School and reaches the summit of Russel Peak at 1357 ft (414 m) in elevation, where it divides into the Russel Peak Trail and Briones Crest Trail. Several other trails branch off of the Lafayette Ridge Trail, most notably the Springhill and Buckeye Ranch Trails. The ridge's trails offer terrain for mountain biking, with periodic gains/descents of up to 200 ft (61 m) elevation.

History

View from Old Briones Trail at Briones Regional Park. Pathway in Briones Regional Park, California.jpg
View from Old Briones Trail at Briones Regional Park.

The area which includes present day Briones Park and the Russell Reservation were part of the 1842 Mexican land grant of Rancho Boca de la Canada del Pinole granted to the widow of Felipe Briones. The Briones began cattle ranching in the area, which continues to the present day. In 1870, the Briones family sold the rancho.

By 1850, Happy Valley Road, which runs along the edge of Briones Regional Park, was the main thoroughfare from Martinez south to the Pueblo of San José, and then up to San Francisco.

In 1909, the Peoples' Water Company, the precursor to the East Bay Municipal Utility District purchased the land for watershed protection.

Since 1966 the University of California has maintained a 283-acre (1.15 km2) parcel of land in the Briones Hills, known as the Russell Reservation, as a research center. [4]

Briones Regional Park was established in October 1967 by the East Bay Regional Park District. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Contra Costa County, California County in California, United States

Contra Costa County is located in the state of California in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,049,025. The county seat is Martinez. It occupies the northern portion of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, and is primarily suburban. The county's name is Spanish for "opposite coast", referring to its position on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Contra Costa County is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

East Bay Regional Park District

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a special district operating in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California, within the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. It maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. The administrative office is located in Oakland.

Berkeley Hills

The Berkeley Hills are a range of the Pacific Coast Ranges that overlook the northeast side of the valley that encompasses San Francisco Bay. They were previously called the "Contra Costa Range/Hills", but with the establishment of Berkeley and the University of California, the current usage was applied by geographers and gazetteers.

Morgan Territory Region in California

Morgan Territory is a regional preserve in California established in the late 20th century on the east side of Mount Diablo in the San Francisco East Bay's Contra Costa County. The acquisition and expansion of this territory has preserved important habitat and watersheds in the area for the public. Now an estimated 5,000 acres (20 km²), its creation has been a collaboration by public and private parties. It has been connected to Mount Diablo State Park by acquisition and transfer of properties between them.

Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area,(KGRRA), also known simply as Kennedy Grove, is located in West Contra Costa County, California at the base of San Pablo Dam. The nearest city is El Sobrante, California. Created in 1967, it contains a three-mile hiking trail with an elevation of 760 feet (230 m). The Grove features many large eucalyptus trees, picnic areas, volleyball nets, playgrounds, and horseshoe pits. Bird watching is popular here because hawks are almost always spotted. Some hikers have reported seeing golden and bald eagles around the reservoir. There is no camping allowed. Parking is $5 with an extra $2 fee for a dog. Dogs have to be on the leash around the lawn but they are allowed off the leash in remote parts of the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk.

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

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Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve United States historic place

The Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is a 6,000-acre (2,400 ha) park located north of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, California under the administration of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). The district acquired the property in 1973. The preserve contains relics of 3 mining towns, former coal and sand mines, and offers guided tours of a former sand mine. The 60 miles (97 km) of trails in the Preserve cross rolling foothill terrain covered with grassland, California oak woodland, California mixed evergreen forest, and chaparral.

Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve (BRRP), also known as Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve is a 444-acre (1.80 km2) regional park on a ridge top at the edge of San Ramon, CA. It is near residential area, west of San Ramon Valley Road and South of Bollinger Canyon Road. Trails are steep and there are no facilities other than a trailhead. It is part of the East Bay Regional Parks system.

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve

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Del Valle Regional Park

Del Valle Regional Park is a part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) in an unincorporated region of Alameda County, California, 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Livermore. The park covers 4,316 acres.

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

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Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is located in the Berkeley Hills of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The park is part of the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), covers 928 acres (3.76 km2), and lies east of Oakland, partly in Alameda County and partly in Contra Costa County. It can be entered from Oakland via Skyline Boulevard, or from Contra Costa County via Old Tunnel Road.

Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve


Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve (SRRP) is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California near Richmond and is part of the East Bay Regional Parks (EBRPD) system. The park may be best known as habitat for the Alameda manzanita, which is deemed extremely rare, according to EBRPD.

Pinole Creek

Pinole Creek is a stream in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Briones Hills Location in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States

The Briones Hills form a low mountain range in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States.

Crockett Hills Regional Park is a regional park in Contra Costa County, California, just south of Crockett. opened to the public in 2006. Part of the East Bay Regional Park District, it consists of 1,939 acres (7.85 km2) of rolling grasslands, wooded ravines and shoreline along the south bank of the Carquinez Strait. Its elevation ranges from 100 feet (30 m) to 800 feet (240 m) above sea level. The higher elevations offer good views of San Pablo Bay, the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, Mount Tamalpais, and Mount Diablo.

Marsh Creek (California)

Marsh Creek is a stream in east Contra Costa County, California in Northern California which rises on the eastern side of Mount Diablo and flows 30 miles (48 km) to the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta at Oakley, California, near Big Break Regional Shoreline. The creek flows through Marsh Creek State Park (California), where water is impounded to form Marsh Creek Reservoir, then through the city of Brentwood, California.

Vargas Plateau Regional Park

Vargas Plateau Regional Park sits on a plateau in the Fremont Hills of Alameda County, California that overlooks the San Francisco Bay, Niles Canyon, and the cities of Fremont, Union City and Newark. The elevation of the park is about 1,000 feet (300 m), making it an important link with nearby ridge-top parks such as Garin Regional Park, Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and Sunol Regional Wilderness.

The Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail is a 7.65-mile (12.31 km) pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian path which runs between the cities of Lafayette and Moraga in Contra Costa county, California. It was one of the first rail-trails to be built in California.

References

  1. EBRPD Briones Map Archived 2011-09-11 at the Wayback Machine , Accessed 19 September 2011
  2. Briones Regional Park Map, Accessed 18 September 2011
  3. EBRPD Grazing Information Archived 2011-09-03 at the Wayback Machine , Accessed 19 September 2011
  4. UC Berkeley Russell Reservation Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine , accessed 19 September 2011
  5. EBRPD Briones Map-Text Side Archived 2011-09-11 at the Wayback Machine , Accessed 19 September 2011