When complete, the five-hundred-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail will form a loop around the entire Bay Area, connecting more than 75 public parks and open spaces in the North, South, and East Bay. The newest stretch in the East Bay -- due to debut in late summer or early fall -- is just south of Crockett at the former C&H Sugar property that has been used as grazing land for at least the last century. The East Bay Park District bought this parcel in the mid-1990s and has almost finished developing its sixteen-mile trail system, four and a half miles of which will be linked to the Ridge Trail. For a system that usually gains one mile at a time, this is a significant chunk. Like many other parks in the East Bay, the trails in this new one, to be called the Crockett Hills Regional Park, will follow old ranch roads through classic East Bay landscape -- oak woodlands, rolling hills, and a riparian corridor. But don't plan your circumnavigation of the bay just yet. While nearly three hundred miles of the trail are open, the remaining segments will not be complete until after 2010. For updates on this and other trails on the system, contact the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, or pick another section of the trail described in The Official Guide to the Bay Area Ridge Trail by Jean Rusmore.