Trails and Ales: 5 Stunning Bay Area Hikes, And the Breweries to Hit Up Afterwards

Question: What is the best complement to a beautiful hike in the wilderness? A loved one by your side? Perhaps the setting sun on the horizon? Maybe finding a plastic bag of unmarked bills in a tree trunk stashed in a drug deal gone awry?

While all of these are reasonable answers, the only one I’ll entertain for the purposes of this post is actually what happens after the hike. That’s right—I’m suggesting you chase your hike with a frosty beer.

If you’re like me, the answer to most situations in life is “a beer afterwards.” That’s why after every trip to the dentist, I hit the nearby bars in search for a nice smoked porter to wash down the residual fluoride.

But when it comes to hiking, there’s nothing I love more than a cold one afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, I love experiencing the outdoors and all the benefits that come with it: fresh air, vitamin D, the opportunity to prove to my friends via Instagram that I’m both interesting and adventurous. But more importantly, I’m hoping to burn some calories so I don’t feel as guilty about overindulging in what’s basically liquid bread later. It’s all about balance, after all.

Anyway, enough about my insecurities. Here’s my list of some great places to go hiking in the Bay Area and the breweries to hit up afterwards.

Brendan Baker

Tilden Park and Fieldwork – Berkeley

The Hike: Seaview/Big Springs Loop (4.3 miles)
There are a lot of great places to go hiking in Berkeley and Oakland if you’re looking for an easy/moderate trail with some gorgeous views. While I haven’t visited them all, you can’t go wrong with Tilden Park.

The park itself is gigantic and filled with everything you come to expect in a big park: picnic spots, lakes, gardens, trees, grass, dirt, and so on. But more than that, you’ll find some choice trails that are guaranteed to satisfy.

If you end up taking the Seaview/Big Springs Loop, you’ll be treated to some spectacular views of the city (assuming, of course, the sky is clear). In fact, from certain vantage points you’ll be able to gaze upon all the major landmarks in The Bay and even see as far as Marin County.

All in all, the hike is very doable if you are a run-of-the-mill human. Not a fan of walking but still enjoy a solid view? There’s an option for people like you to simply drive to Grizzly Peak to experience the scenic beauty of the Bay without, you know, exerting any effort.

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