3 Best Hikes Near the Carquinez Strait

Formed during the last Ice Age — and shaped by the California Gold Rush, extensive logging, and two world wars — the Carquinez Strait is at the historical core of the East Bay Area. It’s the backdrop for Benicia, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hills, and Concord — and a lifeline for both the ecology and industry of the greater San Francisco Bay.
Whether you have the luxury of owning real estate near this historic body of water, or you’re just passing through on your way to wine country, the recreational areas listed below will help you get in touch with this critical corner of the Bay Area.

Carquinez Overlook and Benicia State Recreation Area

Located on the Northern bank of the Carquinez Strait, the small-town of Benicia captivates residents with a slower-paced lifestyle and convenient access to the city of San Francisco. Benicia's homes are known for their charismatic architecture and convenient access to the Carquinez Strait, and the eclectic styling brings a unique charm to the town. Just minutes from the front steps of any Benicia real estate, homeowners can find some of the best treks in the East Bay at the Benicia State Recreation Area. The area caters to hiking, fishing, equestrian trails, picnicking, bike paths, and birdwatching. It’s also a great place to get out for a daily workout and some fresh air away from other residents. 

Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline Park

Located on the opposite shore of the Carquinez Strait is the ever-growing and equally attractive enclave of Martinez. New real estate for sale in Martinez features a variety of property types, including condos, single-family homes, and townhomes. Martinez’s most coveted real estate is located in the historic downtown area, which provides homebuyers with larger, distinctive homes within walking distance of the trendiest parks and restaurants in town. Practically nestled inside the Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline Park itself, the city of Martinez is a tight-knit community set against a distinguished California backdrop. A few of the attractions Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline Park has to offer include a horse arena, saltwater marsh, boating, bocce ball, soccer, and baseball. The waterfront views are great, but they only get better when you reach the top of the surrounding hills.

Briones Regional Park

Located further inland from the Carquinez Strait, Pleasant Hill is an intimate community ripe with lush green spaces. Pleasant Hill estates maintain an old-fashioned feel, alongside a vibrant downtown area with all the charm of a small town, but with the added amenities of a trendy city. Pleasant Hill is popular among luxury real estate investors, as it strikes a perfect balance for young professionals and growing families in the East Bay Area.
The Pleasant Hill community brushes up against the spectacular Briones Regional Park, a gateway to California’s hill country and an obvious hint at how the town got its name. Briones’ meandering peaks and valleys provide the ideal backdrop for a day spent exploring the Northern California landscape. From rolling fields of grass to sheltered canyons, Briones offers some of the best views in the entire Bay Area. Beyond the staggering landscape, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Briones, including horseback riding, camping, archery, nature study, and photography tours.
Briones Regional Park is conveniently accessible from Pleasant Hill, as well as a handful of other sought-after communities, such as Walnut Creek. Walnut Creek’s luxury homes are where high-profile tech moguls, families, and retirees alike enjoy more of the big city culture and atmosphere without sacrificing a sense of community. 
Another close neighbor is Concord. Concord homes are popular among Silicon Valley professionals, families, and commuters of the San Francisco area. This flourishing region comprises a stylish array of homes, from charming Cape Cod-style to expansive California ranch homes. In addition to taking in the local restaurants and annual festivals, be sure to make time for the exceptional hiking trails of Mount Diablo.

Which Region Is Right for You?

These East Bay communities have plenty to offer homeowners in terms of luxury amenities, access, and premiere outdoor access. They all offer easy access to San Francisco, Oakland, and Silicon Valley, and each is within minutes from some of the best state parks in California. Whether you’re looking at Concord ranches, townhomes in Walnut Creek, new homes in Pleasant Hill, Martinez condos, or historic Benicia real estate—choosing the right community for you and your family can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a team of experts dedicated to this corner of California’s booming real estate market can help guide your search.

Ridge Real Estate

Steve Ridge and the Ridge Real Estate Group is second to none when it comes to making the correct decision on where to buy or sell property in the distinctive East Bay real estate market. For over three decades, Steve has been a resident of the Benicia area and a Broker Associate, helping hundreds of families and individuals achieve their real estate dreams. 
Jessica Evans grew up in a family of realtors, holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and offers a unique and valuable perspective to the Ridge Real Estate Group. Jessica can guide you throughout your entire search or sale and ensure you get precisely what you’ve been looking for. 
No matter who you work with on the team, you’ll be sure to find the best possible listings (with the least possible stress) when you work with the Ridge Real Estate Group. Contact them today to begin your real estate journey along the Carquinez Strait.

*Header credit: Stav is Lost, Mount Diablo State Park

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