Trailhead: The parking lot next to the restrooms in Pinole Valley Park.
Route: Downer Trail (called Pinole Valley Connector Trail in some maps) → Sobrante Ridge Trail to water tank close to 'North End'. Then return by Sobrante Ridge Trail and Downer Trail, making a side trip to Broken Oak Trail, which offers a picnic area amid a pleasant grove.
Downer Trail starts to the right of a beautiful grove called Hazel Downer Thornton Memorial Grove, right across the restrooms shown on the trail map. There is a prominent sign warning hikers of poison oak, which is abundant along the trail. Downer Trail climbs from 100' to 650' in one mile.
Sobrante Ridge Trail provides panoramic views of lush green valleys and residential complexes. Make sure you visit Broken Oak Trail, where a pleasant grove with picnic tables awaits you.
From I-80 E, take exit 22 for Pinole Valley Road, turn right at Pinole Valley Road and drive for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Adobe Road and drive for 0.1 miles to reach a parking lot adjacent to restrooms.
Parking Fees: None (last visited: December 2010)
Capacity: About 4-5 cars may be parked here. There is a bigger parking lot on the other side of the park: Instead of taking a right on Adobe Road, continue along Pinole Valley Road, then turn right into a parking lot for Pinole Valley Park. This parking lot is next to the "Sports Field" shown on the trail map.