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French Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (10)

A unique trail that has some sections of challenging hills and other sections of rolling terrain.


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Map Key

3.7

Miles

6.0

KM

Point to Point

1,318' 402 m

High

935' 285 m

Low

519' 158 m

Up

874' 266 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

38%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Bicycles are not permitted on this trail.

Description

French Trail extends between West Ridge Trail near the northwest end of the park and Orchard Trail near the southeast end. Along the way, it crosses Tres Sendas Trail, Redwood Peak Trail, Star Flower Trail, Madrone Trail, Mill Trail, Fern Trail, and Chown Trail. Trail users will travel along a steep hillside under a redwood canopy on this unique East Bay Trail. The northwest end of this trail, between West Ridge Trail and Madrone Trail, features some significant ascents and descents. Between Madrone Trail and Orchard Trail, this trail "contours", not changing very much in elevation.

Route-finding note: this trail's junctions with Tres Sendas Trail, Star Flower Trail, Fern Trail, and Chown Trail have "offsets" in which the intersecting trails join together for a short distance–so there are really two junctions at each of these locations. Note the junction posts and their trail name and arrow disks to be sure you remain on course.

Flora & Fauna

The central portion of this trail (between Tres Sendas Trail and Chown Trail) is shaded mostly by coast redwoods, with some California bay laurel, oak, and madrone. The understory includes lots of ferns. The northwestern and southeastern ends have few redwoods and bay laurels, and the understory is drier and includes some poison oak. You may see deer, hawks, and turkey vultures, and sometimes an owl.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Rabold

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 10 votes

#5197

Overall
  4.5 from 10 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
30%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#442

in California

#5,197

Overall
44 Views Last Month
1,606 Since Jan 9, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

A cluster of Ladybugs navigates a downed branch along the Tres Sendas Trail.
May 29, 2017 near Piedmont, CA
Beginning of French Trail after dropping down Madrone trail.
Jun 20, 2015 near Moraga, CA
Running up Orchard Trail.  Steep!
Jun 20, 2015 near Moraga, CA
Everyone has fun on this trail.
Nov 22, 2016 near Moraga, CA

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Check-Ins

Apr 15, 2020
Ashlyn McFadden
Nov 29, 2019
Abraham Mitchell
Trail life hike 3.7mi — 2h 00m
Jul 8, 2018
Elizabeth O.
Jul 8, 2018
Madhav S
Mar 15, 2018
Craig J
Feb 17, 2018
Christopher Ardalan
Did a mix of trails, but loved the French trail the most. Best scenery, especially compared to East and West ridge 7.9mi
Feb 16, 2018
Kirill Mazin
Dec 17, 2017
David Chen