Wildlife and Hiking Trails in Wilder

(S.K. Gupta, Photographer)
The Wilder trails, many of which are open to the public, are available from dawn to dusk, and with the arrival of warmer weather, the trails are expected to fill up with walkers and hikers.

    With the arrival of warm weather, we expect both wildlife and trail hikers to boom again in Wilder development like last year. Wilder is a master planned development that is located in Gateway Valley, surrounded by lush hills.
    Orindans and residents of our neighboring cities have walked and hiked across Wilder for decades. However, now as a planned development, there are many rules which govern this community, from plants to parking and from trees to trails.
    Wilder is currently private property and owned by the home owners or the builders. All of the open space parcels are still owned by the developer, OG Property Owner LLC (OG LLC). The trails in Wilder are planned and were designated in an agreement between the City of Orinda and the developer in 2018 and many are open to the public. 
    Most of the area has been declared to be a wildlife preserve with the wildlife conservation easement held by the non-profit Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF). The resident California Red-legged Frog and the Alameda Whipsnake are federally listed as threatened species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Coyotes, deer, rabbits, wild turkeys are in abundance in the valley. Red-tailed hawks, swallows, eagles and other birds thrive in the valley.
    “Wildlife preserves and people can co-exist, but it is critical the people respect that the primary occupants in preserves are the wildlife. Please stay on existing trails and also observe limits for uses in some areas,” added Dr. Darla Guenzler, Executive Director of WHF.
    The large parking lot near Wilder fields is ideal for accessing Sibley. The Brookside Road trailhead can accommodate 10 cars. When completed, the Red-tailed Hawk Staging Area at the end of Wilder Road will include a gravel parking lot and a restroom.
    The trails are open from dawn to dusk. “Other than service vehicles, motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails,” added Bruce Yamamoto, Project Director for OG LLC.
    Trail maintenance demands everyone – hikers, bikers, dog walkers, equestrians – comply with regulations and trail etiquette and stay on authorized trails. “That way, trail users honor those hundreds of citizens who worked to ensure open space is forever protected in the Gateway Valley,” said Amelia Wilson, of Save Open Space – Gateway Valley.
    Plans are underway for installing signage on the authorized and designated trails. In the meantime, all are welcome to enjoy nature responsibly.

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