Most Egalitarian Trails

Joaquin Miller Park

Most regular users of the East Bay's myriad city, regional, and state parks have at least an inkling of the eternal power struggle that accompanies trail-access restrictions. Some trails exclude bikes. Some ban dogs. Some ban horses. Some are for hikers and walkers only. And others have no rules whatsoever. No matter the situation, someone usually feels slighted. Even picturesque, wooded Joaquin Miller Park, owned by the City of Oakland and set on a hill slope below popular Redwood Regional Park, can't overcome human nature — but it does get closer to trail-sharing utopia than any other. Hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, runners, and stroller-pushing parents somehow manage to enjoy the park's multi-use wide and narrow trails without traipsing all over each others' space. And the park's culture of tolerance means that even when minor transgressions occur, they're usually forgiven in the name of the great outdoors. Sometimes it's just that easy.

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