Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
This trail features views of the canyon below, the surrounding hills, and the Delta to the north. On a clear day from the top of the ridge, the Sierra Nevada can be seen in the distance.Most of the trail is quite steep and the terrain is mostly open grassland. Note there are no shaded areas beyond the willows along Markley Canyon at the bottom of the trail loop
Park in the first lot on the left, just past the entrance kiosk, near the Sidney Flat Visitor Center and park office. There are restrooms at the back of the parking lot. Cross the road and go through the cattle gate onto the Lough-er Loop Trail. You will pass the park residence and some historic structures, including a windmill and water tank on your right. Behind the fenced area is a shady path adjacent to the creek. At the first trail marker continue straight. Soon the trail curves to the right and begins to climb. After roughly 0.5mile, go left at the junction on to Lougher RidgeTrail. Continue along the ridge for another 0.5 mile.At the next trail intersection, take a left to rejoin the Lougher Loop Trail as it begins its steep descent back into Markley Canyon. Stay to the left to continue on Lougher Loop Trail. This will take you back to the park residence and cattle gate. Follow the trail back to the road where you started.
Black Diamond Mines contains many interesting and unique natural and cultural resources in its 8,533 acres of parkland. Once home to Bay Miwok people, ranchers and coal miners, the park today offers underground mine tours, opportunities for nature study, camping, and picnicking.In Spring, some of the best wildflower displays inContra Costa County can be found.
Take Highway 4 East to the Somersville Road exit in Antioch, then drive south (toward the hills) on Somersville Road to the preserve entrance.