HUCKLEBERRY TRAIL: Shady Hike in the Oakland Hills

HUCKLEBERRY TRAIL: Shady Hike in the Oakland Hills

HUCKLEBERRY TRAIL: Shady Hike in the Oakland Hills
Huckleberry Trail, Oakland, California

On one of our recent trips to Oakland, we took a short hike on the Huckleberry Trail, which follows a canyon in the hills above the city. We have done this hike numerous times before, but always from the other end. This time we began at the trail head at the park entrance.

Signs near the parking and picnic area. The Huckleberry trail is part of the Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve.

It was a warm day, and the advantage of this trail is that it is mostly in the shade, with occasional views through the trees onto the grassy hills to the west.

View to the northwest.

We chose the upper branch of the trail which is mostly level. The other branch winds its way along the bottom of the canyon.

Chinquapin fruit
On this sign a hiker has corrected the Latin name of the chinquapin to Chrysolopis chrysophylla.

As we walked along the trail we encountered numbered signs marking trees and plants that are typical to the area, including the coast huckleberry bushes (Vaccinium ovatum) after which the trail is named. Another common plant is the chinquapin with its bristly fruits, which, according to the sign, are fed on by flickers and jays. (They must have a talent for bypassing the sharp outer spikes.)


Another typical plant is manzanita with its smooth, reddish bark. There were two kinds of manzanita along the trail– the common variety, brittleleaf manzanita, and the rare pallid manzanita, which occurs in just a few East Bay locations.

A tiny lizard.

At midday, when we took our hike, most birds and animals were quiet. But we did spot a tiny lizard, no bigger than my finger, scampering in the leaves.


I always marvel at how easy it is to escape the noise and congestion of the city and immerse oneself in nature when we are in Oakland. The Huckleberry trail, just a fifteen minute drive from downtown Oakland, is always an enjoyable walk, at any time of day or time of year.
For DIRECTIONS and a downloadable MAP, click HERE

Fern spores.

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