Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The Chaparral Loop Trail at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch is a great trail to hike with kids.  First, the trail starts at the Greathouse Visitor Center, which, alone would be a great destination for a family with kids.  The visitor center is located within the mountain!  After exploring the visitor center for a bit, head out onto the trail.  The trail is relatively short, at about a mile in length.  Though be warned… there is a lot of climbing during the first half.  It didn’t seem to bother my son and his friend, however, who handled the uphill section as if it were a trail run!  What will you see along the way?  Gorgeous views of the surrounding valley and the backside (to us) of Mount Diablo, a forest of manzanita, sandstone rock formations, hidden caves, mine openings (gated for safety), and the entrance to the Hazel-Atlas Mine (now closed for the winter season).

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Interested in going?  You’ll find the trailhead by the Greathouse Visitor Center.  Climb the staircase to the right of the visitor center.  The trail begins at the top of the staircase.  The trail is well marked.. simply follow the signs for the Chaparral Loop Trail at each trail intersection.  For more information about Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve (driving directions, hours, more things to do, etc), see the official website… http://www.ebparks.org/parks/black_diamond .  If you’re interested in a tour of the Hazel-Atlas Mine, check the website for current hours hours and ticket details before you go.  The Mine is closed during the winter.  Also note, children must be age 7+ to go on the tour.

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