Ramage Peak

On Saturday morning, I was up early and I found myself in the East Bay with Jen, Jess and Angela for our next trail adventure. Jen’s birthday is coming up so this was her birthday treat and she got to choose the location.

She chose Ramage Peak.

‘Where the flip is Ramage Peak?’ I asked myself as I frantically googled it last week. Somehow, this park is pretty much unknown even though it’s a decent size and is nestled in the middle of various motorways and cities. It’s part of the East Bay MUD watershed and as such is pretty much deserted. We were joined by Layla and Kristen and Kristen’s gorgeous little three-month old baby who was out for her first hike! I investigated the pit-toilet there on behalf of the interwebs (totally fine) and then we set off. All hikers and runners need a permit and need to sign in and out of the preserve as it’s on private property.

layla kristen ramage
The Hiking Girls – Kristen, Layla and little Miss Gorgeous in the sling
Birthday Girl and Permit Holder signs us in

There’s only one real trail – the Ramage Peak trail, which is sometimes sign-posted as the Rampage Peak Trail. There are various fire-roads which veer off at various intervals but just keep going straight ahead. The trail is beautiful – we ran through lovely shady forest and then out onto hilly meadows waving with golden grass.



There were some wildlife sightings. A giant owl swooped in a wooded glade and I stopped up short at a tiny, very cute black and white Californian Kingsnake. We ran/hiked up the hills and ran the flats and the downhills comfortably, chatting away. It was great.

ramage snake kingsnake
See him?
ramage angela
Angela heads uphill


Angela was running at the front of the group as we ran up a hill in some woods. She rounded a corner and literally bounced off thin air back towards us, yelping. My heart jumped through my chest. Mountain Lion!

‘Cow’ she gasped. ‘Cow on the trail’.

It sounds funny now, and it is, but cows are BIG and stupid and it turns out we’re all pretty wary of them. We spent some tense moments trying to work out if it was a male or female. Luckily it had an udder, but she stared at us for a bit and we were frozen, ready to dash if necessary. Eventually she mooooved along (sorry) and we gazed after her and then casually decided that we’d run far enough, so we headed back.

A bad picture of a big cow
A bad picture of a big cow
Ramage trails
Beautiful trails
Photo credit: Jen

The run back obviously included me falling. I twisted my ankle (again, yawn) on a giant rock and fell to the floor as agonizing pain shot through my leg. I knew instinctively that it was broken.

me trails ankle falling
Photo credit: Jen


Just kidding. It hurt a bit, but I knew it would be okay before too long and it was and I was able to run back comfortably enough. Traditionally, I twist my right ankle – this was my left. Awesome. Matching weak ankles. We got back to the trailhead after about two hours and six WHOLE miles which is kind of hilarious but we’d had a great morning.

Love this shot! Angela, Jess and Jen heading home
Love this shot!
Angela, Jess and Jen heading home
ramage me jen jess
Look how fast I am!
Photo credit: Angela

Trail runs should always be followed by food and we headed to Doug’s in Castro Valley for awesome eggs.

Layla and Jen refuel
Layla and Jen refuel

My ankle was pretty painful for the next 24 hours but seems to be mending now. I’ll be careful for a few days. Flipping ankles.

All in all, a cracking morning’s run! Ramage Peak is remarkable  – it feels so remote and so empty, we didn’t see anyone on the trails apart from us. I was glad we were in a good-sized group as it was pretty lonely out there. Good choice, Jen and Happy Birthday!

Birthday cakes...but no candles due to the wildfire risk. Photo credit: Angela
Birthday cakes…but no candles due to the wildfire risk.
Photo credit: Angela

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Thanks for trekking out to the East Bay and exploring these trails with me! It was so much fun!

  2. Layla says:

    Oh, so I wasn’t just hallucinating when I thought I saw “Rampage Park” signs! Honestly, I think it “rampage” is a great word, and I would whole-heartedly rampage through Rampage Park. Maybe that’s what the cow was doing?

    Anyway, thanks again for organizing — you find the best places! And I approve of the candle-free cupcakes. 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      All the organising credit goes to Jen but we’ve chosen well so far, haven’t we. So glad you and Kristen came – it’s great to have hikers and runners. Just more fun. I liked Rampage Peak as well – I think they should rename it!!!

  3. Grace says:

    After seeing three blog posts about the same run I’m wildly jealous! Y’all make me wish I lived in the Bay Area. Though some of those poor trails look so dried out (that and I’m just used to soggy tropical rainforest).

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, that’s the downside of three bloggers running together – three blogposts about the same thing 🙂 But never mind – these girls are fab and the run was fab too. I honestly think you should relocate to the Bay Area and join us!! Gutted you’re moving so far away still! Yes, our trails are tinder-dry, thus the lack of candles. The risk was negligible but if I started a wildfire I would have felt awful!

  4. Angela says:

    Let’s do it again soon!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yes!! We should do the coastal trail or somewhere nearer you.

  5. Paulette says:

    Man trails can be hard on the body. I have had a few twists too, luckily only one bad one so far. Love the photos, someday I will join…

    1. Cathryn says:

      Part of me thinks I should just quit the trails as my ankles are so clearly not cut out for them. But that would just be horrific. I need to do more physio and strengthening on a regular basis and be more careful out there.

      Can’t wait for you to join us one day. We’ll keep inviting.

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