Many Oakland residents — especially newcomers — don't realize it, but just a few minutes from town, there's a deep redwood forest that will remind you of the Santa Cruz Mountains, or perhaps Mendocino and Humboldt counties. And one of the best ways to explore it is by bike, particularly as you roll along the back roads through the tiny town of Canyon, nestled behind Redwood Regional Park, between Oakland and Moraga. The best way to get there is to pedal south up Mountain Boulevard and then through Butters Canyon via Joaquin Miller Drive. Then head south on Skyline Boulevard before turning left onto Redwood Road. At the bottom of the hill, go left onto Pinehurst Road, then you'll descend into Canyon, which is on Pinehurst just past Canyon Road. Don't bother bringing your cellphone — you won't get any reception.
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