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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that unites volunteers and agencies to plan, build, maintain, and promote the 550+-mile multi-use Bay Area Ridge Trail on the ridgelines around San Francisco Bay Area, USA. When complete, the trail will connect over 75 parks and open spaces. The Ridge Trail serves the recreation needs of diverse communities, providing close-to-home recreation for all Bay Area residents and countless visitors. However, the Ridge Trail offers more than recreation for hikers, runners, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians: it provides an opportunity for people in the densely populated Bay Area to reconnect with the natural environment. The trail is both accessible to everyone through well-located trailheads, and remote, because users can quickly leave the urban environment and get out to unspoiled places.

The Council partners with local governments, public agencies, nonprofit land trusts, community members and trail advocates in all nine Bay Area counties. In 2009, the Council celebrates over 315 miles of dedicated Ridge Trail and the 20th anniversary of the first trail dedication (May 13, 1989).

All of the trail in San Francisco has been completed, as have large portions on the Peninsula and in Marin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Much of the remaining mileage is on private property, and may require easements to continue the expansion of the trail.

The acquisition of land to form Crockett Hills Regional Park in Contra Costa, which opened in June 2006, pushed the trail past the 300 mile (483 km) mark.

The Council also offers a variety of events each year including two major trail events (Ridge to Bridge in Marin County in spring and the Ridge Trail Cruz in the Santa Cruz Mountains southwest of Palo Alto in fall), volunteer work parties to build/maintain/restore Ridge Trail, outreach, and a variety of others. Please see the Calendar & Events section of the website for a complete listing.

The Council puts out a monthly eNewsletter and bi-annual printed newsletter, Ridge Lines.

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