East Bay village-to-village path Essay

Now you can hike, bike, or ride horseback between and through twocharming East Bay towns on the newly extended Lafayette-Moraga Trail.

The 9-mile paved pathway winds north from the hills above Moraga,then into town, past historic St. Mary’s College, along St.Mary’s Road, and climbs the grassy hills before dipping intoLafayette. Both towns offer good shops, bakeries, and restaurants whereyou might want to stop during or after your outing. There’s an exercise course near the trail’s south end(just before you reach the college); this is the steepest section, afterwhich it levels out.

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As the trail heads into Moraga, it skirts aconstruction site; loose gravel is a hazard. And since pedestrians,cyclists, and equestrians share the trail, exercise caution. For horseback riders, it’s best to start the trail at itssouth end, at the Valle Vista Staging Area, where there’s parkingfor trailers. If you’re on foot, you might set up a car shuttle.The trail’s north terminus is at Reliz Station Road and OlympicBoulevard.

To get to the south trailhead, take State 24 to the Orinda exit andhead southeast on Moraga Way 3 miles to Canyon Road; go southwest onCanyon Road; go southwest on Canyon Road 1/2 mile to the Valle VistaStaging Area. (East Bay Municipal Utility District trails also leadfrom here, but hikers need a permit; call 835-3000, ext. 574.)

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