The Skyline median trail

My latest outing took me to what I’ll call the middle part of Skyline Boulevard, the part where the road is divided. Starting at Skyline High School and going south for about 2 miles, a footpath runs in the median. It’s a hidden gem. This is the nearest thing Oakland has to a long walk on a country lane.

mid-skyline-trail

Nobody online talks about this trail. I don’t know who made it or who maintains it. Cyclists laud the paved road, of course, which deserves the praise. The MBTR mountain bikers site reviews it under the name Skyline Boulevard Singletrack and gives it high marks, but you’d have to be as singleminded as me AND a mountain biker to seek it out. But the path is a nice way to enjoy this part of the hills.

This end of Skyline is exclusively on the Oakland Conglomerate, which holds up the spine of the ridge. Here’s the terrain:

mid-Skyline-topo

And here’s the geology, with “Ko” representing the Oakland Conglomerate (this is the same sequence seen in Shepherd Canyon):

mid-Skyline-geo

Some parts of the bedrock are straight sandstone.

mid-skyline1

But almost everywhere along the trail you’ll see the rounded cobbles that are this rock unit’s most distinctive feature, either embedded in stone or weathered out like this.

mid-skyline3

A slight detour up Brandy Rock Way will bring you to this fine exposure of the vertically tilted bedding, with a thick sandstone bed and conglomerate on either side (1000 pixels).

mid-skyline2

The road is slightly off the actual crest of the ridge, so the views it offers are mainly over the Bay. Here’s a spot near Cathy Lane overlooking a vineyard, the row homes across Leona Canyon on Campus Drive, the airport tower, the Bay and the San Mateo Peninsula.

mid-skyline4

I’m thinking that this would make part of a nice ramble. Farther south, Skyline merges into a two-way road and the path continues alongside it. Later this summer I’ll get to that part.

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One Response to “The Skyline median trail”

  1. gen katz Says:

    Discussing rocks over lunch, Jeff Poskanzer and I realized we both followed your blog. He suggested that you might be talked into identifying some of my rock finds.

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