A walk at Sweeney Ridge

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The view from the trail up Sweeney Ridge.
The view from the trail up Sweeney Ridge; Crystal Springs Reservoir in the foreground, San Francisco Bay in the background.

On Saturday, the BF and I decided to go for a hike to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful weather.  I secretly wanted to go to Sweeney Ridge; it’s close and I hadn’t been.  He suggested going there unprompted.

We arrived at the Sneath Lane trailhead around 9 am and began our hike- really a walk, as the trail was mostly paved- to the top of the ridge.  The wildflowers were in bloom, so there were a lot of lovely smells and sights as we walked toward the ridge.

Pretty soon, we started our walk up the side of the ridge on the Sneath Lane Trail, an old road up to the Cold War era battery at the top of the hill.  This gave us an excellent view of the Crystal Springs Reservoir and of the San Francisco Bay beyond.  Crystal Springs is one of many reservoirs serving the SF Bay Area and happens to be right on the San Andreas Fault (probably why there was a valley to fill there).

Me at the San Francisco Bay discovery site
Me at the San Francisco Bay discovery site

We continued up the trail to the ridge, when we got to the junction of the Sweeney Ridge trail/ road.  We headed left on this trail and walked until we came to a gate topped with some nice barbed wire that led into the Crystal Springs Watershed, a protected area.  We then retraced our footsteps, stopping at the San Francisco Bay Discovery Site, where the Portola Expedition “discovered” the bay in 1769, before heading past the composting toilet at the trail junction (not too smelly!) to the Nike Missile Base.

Some California poppies (the state flower) near the entrance.
Some California poppies (the state flower) near the entrance.

Several of the buildings are still standing, though they are covered- I mean covered– in graffiti.  There were also some informative signs (your tax dollars at work) explaining the role this particular base played in missile defense as a control station for another base.   We then headed back down to where we started, enjoying the view and the flowers along the way before driving home.

Proof I visited Sweeney Ridge; I'm a sucker for these photo ops.
Proof I visited Sweeney Ridge; I’m a sucker for these photo ops.

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