We live in a pretty amazing area. The weather is mild and allows for outdoor activities pretty much year-round. We've gathered some outdoor areas that are perfect for walking, hiking, biking, and more for you to explore.
Tips: Always carry plenty of drinking water, wear sunscreen, a hat, and appropriate footwear. And remember, always carry out what you bring in.
Two articles with more tips:
Alameda Creek Trail
The Alameda Creek Trail follows the banks of Alameda Creek from Niles Canyon to the San Francisco Bay for about 12 miles. The south-side trail is a paved trail that makes it great for bicyclers and joggers. The north-side trail is gravel and designated for horseback riding.
Fees: Free entrance.
Coyote Hills Regional Park
Coyote Hills Regional Park is nearly 978 acres of marshland and rolling grassland covered hills and is located along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. Activities include bicycling, walking, bird-watching, jogging, nature exploration, picnicking, and free programs and activities for all ages.
The park features a visitor center that is open 10am to 4pm, Wednesday through Sunday, Tuibun Ohlone Village Site, Nectar Garden, Picnic Areas, Group Camps, and Wildlife Refuge.
Fees: Parking is $5 per vehicle, $4 per trailered vehicle. Dogs are $2 per dog - guide/service dogs are free. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
Address: 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont, California (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4519.
Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge protects and restores habitat for wildlife and endangered species. You will also find hiking trails, kayaking, free fishing on the Dumbarton Fishing Pier, free weekend programs, environmental education programs, volunteer opportunities, and special events throughout the year. The Visitor Center is open 11am to 4:30pm, Wednesday through Friday; 10am to 5pm, Saturday, and closed Sunday through Tuesday and all federal holidays.
Fees: Entrance is free.
Address: 2 Marshlands Road, Fremont, California (510) 792-0222 ext. 363.
Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park
Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park has many hiking trails through the parklands. The trails are not paved, yet many are still suitable for bicycles. Dogs must be leashed. You will also find Dry Creek Garden, a beautifully restored two-acre garden with something in bloom just about every day of the year. The garden is open to the public from 10am to 4pm, Thursdays through Saturdays and is located at the end of May Road. Dry Creek Regional Park is adjacent to Garin Regional Park.
Fees: Entrance is free.
Address: 550 May Road, Union City, California (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4530.
Eden Landing Ecological Reserve
Eden Landing Ecological Reserve is about 6,400 acres of restored salt ponds and marshes. Enjoy wildlife viewing and hiking. Enjoy a few different trails and a seasonal loop trail (typically closed from March through September to protect nesting birds). You can launch non-motorized boat (kayak) at Mount Eden Creek to explore portions of Eden Landing and San Francisco Bay by water.
Fees: Entrance is free.
Address: Eden Landing Road near the intersection of Arden Road
Garin Regional Park
Garin Regional Park has many hiking trails through the parklands. The trails are not paved, yet many are still suitable for bicycles. Dogs must be leashed. You will also find the Red Barn Visitor Center which is open weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 11:30am to 6pm, picnic areas, kite flying in the kite field, and fishing at the Jordan Pier. Garin Regional Park is adjacent to Dry Creek Regional Park.
Fees: $5 per vehicle, $4 per trailered vehicle. $2 per dog - no fee for guide/service dogs.
Address: 1320 Garin Avenue, Hayward, California (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4530.
Lakeshore Park is a lovely paved trail surrounding a lake and fishing is available also.
Fees: Free entrance
Address: Lake Boulevard, Newark, California (510) 578-4000.
Mission Peak Regional Preserve
When hiking Mission Peak, you should plan for at least four hours to reach the summit and return. The trailhead to Mission Peak is accessible from several parking lots at Ohlone College. Please note that hours are strictly enforced. Visitors found inside the park, entrance area, and parking lot after posted hours will be subject to citation and/or arrest. Citations cost a minimum of $300.
Fees: Parking is free at the college on Sunday and holidays, $2 per day Monday through Saturday until 5pm. There is also limited parking at the Stanford Staging area at the east end of Stanford Avenue in Fremont which is a steeper hike to the summit.
Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area
Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area is a beautiful, water-oriented recreation area offering boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and more. There are great picnic areas and a paved trail. Please check the water conditions before planning to swim as they do close at times due to quality of water.
Fees: Parking is $5 per vehicle, $4 per trailered vehicle. Dogs are $2 per dog - guide/service dogs are free. You can find free parking a few blocks down at the Isherwood Staging Area.
Address: 2100 Isherwood Way, Fremont, California (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4552.
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is a hidden redwood forest that lies off Redwood Road just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland. Enjoy the park's 1,830 acres while hiking through the park. There is a children's play structure as well.
Fees: Parking is $5 per vehicle, $4 per trailered vehicle. Fees are collected on weekends and major holidays April through October and only at the Redwood Gate entrance. Dogs are $2 per dog - guide/service dogs are free.
Address: 7867 Redwood Road, Oakland, California (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4553.
Sunol Regional Wilderness Area
Sunol Regional Wilderness Area features 5,859 acres of wilderness. and you can camp, picnic, hike and backpack throughout the area. The naturalists lead hikes and other special events and activities. You will find a Visitor Center which is open year-round except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Be sure to explore Little Yosemite - a scenic gorge about two miles upstream from the Visitor Center.
Fees: Parking is $5 per vehicle, $4 per trailered vehicle. Dogs are $2 per dog - guide/service dogs are free.
Address: 1895 Geary Road, Sunol, California (510) 544-3249.
Vargas Plateau Regional Park
Vargas Plateau Regional Park provides tremendous views from the Fremont hills. You will find more than six miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
Fees: Entrance is free.
Address: 2536 Morrison Canyon Road, Fremont, California (888) 327-2757, option 3, extension 4568.
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