The Hulet Hornbeck Trail in Martinez offers a steep hike with rewarding views.

The San Francisco bay is known for a lot of things. The Golden Gate Bridge, the lighthouses. The iconic City. But silently running in the background is our industrial cities. You know about the busy Port of Oakland. But did you also know that there is a finger of the bay called the Carquinez Strait that leads boats to the Delta? In the Carquinez Strait, you can see the legacy of industrial towns working behind the scenes to bring you everything from sugar in Crockett to Petroleum products in Martinez. This leads to small almost forgotten towns in the East Bay that provide some interesting backdrops for your hike.

Martinez, CA
That Industrial Town, Martinez, CA.
This is the trailhead of the Hulet Hornbeck Trail.
This is the trailhead of the Hulet Hornbeck Trail.
We owe Hulet a debt of gratitude for setting aside a vast expanse of land in the East Bay for hiking trails and open spaces.
We owe Hulet a debt of gratitude for setting aside a vast expanse of land in the East Bay for hiking trails and open spaces.
The map that leads the way.
The map that leads the way.

Hulet Hornbeck was Chief of Land Aquisition of the East Bay Regional Park District. He served this position from 1965 to 1985. During this time, he expanded the regional park system from 8 parks to 46 parks. This expanded our open spaces from 13,000 acres to 62,000 acres. Now, the East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park in the nation.

This trail is much steeper than it looks. Fortunately, it's in the shade for most of the steep parts.
This trail is much steeper than it looks. Fortunately, it’s in the shade for most of the steep parts.
Steep.
Steep.
Climbing up to the crest of the hill.
Climbing up to the crest of the hill. The Benicia bridge is in the background.
Overlooking the Benicia Bridge and Martinez.
Overlooking the Benicia Bridge and Martinez.
Benicia is off in the distance.
Benicia is off in the distance.

Finally, to give you an idea of how steep this hike is, let me show you my FitBit. It says I climbed up 58 floors, but the ascent of the hike was only about a 1/2 mile. A half mile hike is nothing to us, but when it’s all uphill, it feels like a workout.

58 floors over a half mile.
58 floors over a half mile.

Here is a 360 degree. view of the top of the hill from Haibo Huang on a photo sphere. A little greener on that day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *