Parks in East Bay
Acalanes Ridge is located on the northwestern edge of Walnut Creek above the Interstate 680 and Highway 24 intersection. It is a relatively small natural area serving as a greenbelt between Walnut Creek and Lafayette. The ridgeline provides incredible 360 degree views with the Carquinez Strait and delta to the north and Mount Diablo to the southeast. There are a number of short hiking opportunities with four miles of trails including a hidden sylvan creek and spectacular spring wildflowers. The starting elevation is 380 feet and ending at Sugarloaf summit is 520 feet. The trails are dog-friendly. There is limited parking and no facilities.
Anthony Chabot Park is 5,067 acres where visitors can explore miles of hiking trails through grasslands, chaparral, and shady eucalyptus groves or along the shores of Lake Chabot. The East Bay Skyline National Trail, which traverses 31 miles of East Bay hills from Richmond to Castro Valley, runs the length of the park. Chabot is connected to Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area by a six mile section of the Chabot to Garin Regional Trail.
This is a 26 acre park open from dawn to dusk. There are walking trails. Amenities include a childrens playground area, barbecue pits, picnic tables, soccer field, tennis courts, restrooms and orchard.
This park is 237 acres and is open access. Facilities include picnic tables, restrooms. The hike up the Valley View Trail features panoramic views of the city of Pleasanton. The park is connected with the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. Access to the park is through the gate of the Golden Eagle Estates at Golden Eagle Drive.
The park has 33 land acres and 68 water acres (one mile long Aquatic Park Lake) which is home to the Berkeley Paddling and Rowing Club. It is a location for model boat racing, picnicking, bird watching (no fishing), rowing, motor boating, water skiing, with hiking and biking along the trails around the lake. Limited parking is available on the east side of the park. Restrooms are available.
The preserve gets its name from the 1700 foot Brushy Peak. It hosts a great variety of wildlife including amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. The area is also home to many wildflowers, shrubs, woodland habitats, spring-fed ponds and coast live oak. The area lies at the center of a network of ancient trade routes that linked Bay Area Ohlones, Bay Miwoks, and Northern Valley Yokuts, who were drawn to the area for economic, and social events. There are about ten miles of dirt trails for hiking, bicycling and horses. Bring water with you since there is none on site.
This park is 60 acres built on the site of a former landfill and offers views of the three bay bridges, Alcatraz, and Angel Island. Picnic areas can be reserved. There are hiking trails throughout the shoreline and wetland areas including a 1.25 mile paved trail around the parks perimeter. At the north end of the park is a wildlife sanctuary. Portable toilets are available but only limited parkting.
There are approximately 24 miles of paved and unpaved trails and paths for hiking and bicycling within Pleasanton including some separate bike paths.
Contra Loma Regional Park has 780 acres that includes an 80 acre reservoir that has shoreline trails as well as other trails that can be used hikers, horses and bicycles and six picnic sites.
The park is home to 978 acres of marshland and rolling grassland covered hills. It is popular for walking, bicycling and bird watching. On site is a 2,000-year old Tuibun Ohlone Indian shellmound sites and its archaeological resources. There are trails through the marsh and trails with views of San Francisco and the South Bay. At the visitor center, there are restrooms and drinking fountains. A bird and butterfly nectar garden is near the visitor center.
This is a 2.5 mile beach with sand dunes. The beach hosts Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary at the east end of the park which harbors aquatic birds and other salt marsh creatures. Crab Cove at the north end of the park is a marine reserve where all plant and animal life is protected.
This 360 acre park has about two miles of unpaved trails around the the fishing lake with trails to the east for hikers only and trails to the west for hikers and bicycles. Picnic tables, drinking fountains, and restrooms are plentiful.
The park is 5,000 acres where visitors can explore miles of hiking in a valley surrounded by oak trees and hosting a lake five miles long. There are many paved paths such as west shore trail and a portion of the east shore trail but very few flat trails.
Don Castro Regional Park is 101 acres with a fishing lake, swim lagoon and paved and unpaved trails for pedestrians and bicycles. The trails around the lake and lagoon are for hiking only. There is wilderness around the two water areas that is home to turtles, frogs, ducks, raccoons and deer.
The Wildlife refuge hosts over 280 species of shorebirds and waterfowl as well as other wildlife. It covers 30,000 acres and a variety of habitats including open bay, salt pond, salt marsh, mudflat, upland and vernal pool. There many miles of dirt trails throughout the refuge. Trails are open to hikers and bicycles.
The park is 4,763 acres with 20 miles of multi-use dirt trails that comprise these parklands. Trails are easy to moderate with up to an 800 foot elevation change. There is a large dirt parking lot. There are restrooms near the Garin Barn and drinking fountains in the picnic area.
The 102 acre park has walking trails (Iron Horse Trail), bike paths, fishing pond, nature pond and restrooms.
The main trail of the 241-acre preserve is a 1.7-mile, self-guided nature loop trail with total elevation change of about 300 feet with a view of Mt Diablo on a mostly shaded trail. It highlights the continual display of blossoming plants that are rare to the East Bay due to the unique climate and soil conditions in this area. Explore a variety of ferns, toyon, gooseberry, creambush, currant, California hazelnut, manzanita, monkey flowers, live oaks and bay laurels. You can sample the huckleberries along the trail in the summer. Dirt lot parking for 12 cars. Portable toilets are on site.
Situated in the Oakland Hills, Joaquin Miller Park contains one of the only Urban Second Growth Redwood Groves in existence. The park is 500 acres and is used for picnics, hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, bicycling, dog walking and jogging. Park elevation ranges from about 800 feet to 1500 feet. There is a mix of shady and exposed trails.
Lake Chabot Reservoir is a 315 acre lake that was built in 1874 as a primary source of water for the East Bay. Services include boat rentals, the Marina Cafe, picnicking, grassy play area, horseshoe pits, hiking, bicycling, jogging, and running trails, and seasonal lake boat tours. Lake Chabot offers over 20 miles of hiking trails that connect to the additional 70 miles of trails in adjoining Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Narrow single track trails are closed to bicycles. Enjoy scenic walks on the 280 acre Fairmont Ridge or take the Lake Chabot History Walk. For a preview of the walk, please click here
The Park is set on 450 acres with an 83 acre lake. Amenities include picnic areas, walking paths, tennis courts, fishing, snackbars and a golf driving range. People walk, run and jog the two mile paved path around lake perimeter.
The park has 26 acres and features a 1.25 mile scenic, flat, paved and walker and wheelchair accessible walkway that circles the lake. The path is for walking, jogging and a place to sit and fish.
Lakeside Park spans 155 acres and there is a 3.4 mile loop around Lake Merritt. It is best known for Lake Merritt and its related boating activities. Other activities include jogging or biking along paved trails, or bird watching nearby the five bird islands on the lake that serve as the oldest Wildlife Refuge in Northern America.
This 13 acre park has walking trails, childrens play areas, picnic areas, restrooms, a sand volleyball court, swimming, tennis. Larkey Park is also home to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society.
Las Trampas Wilderness Regional Preserve ahs more than 5,700 acres of wilderness and an expanded trail system that for hikers, bicycles and horseback riders. This park is home to the Las Trampas and Bollinger faults and their related geological formations including remnants of ancient shoreline, fossil-bearing rock layers, and a volcanic tuff. The Bollinger staging area has a chemical toilet and picnic site. There is no water within the park.
This protected land has over 2700 acres of oak woodlands, grassland savannah and chaparral and is one of the largest city owned open spaces in the Bay Area. The land is home to Lime Ridge (chaparral). Mountain biking (on paved trails or dirt trails over 8 feet wide) are available in the open space. Street parking is available. There are no restrooms or drinking water.
This is 741 acre park with 50 acre Arrowhead Marsh that is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. There is plentiful birdwatching here as well as Doolittle Pond. There are paved trails that are shared by pedestrians and bicycles. There are picnic areas, restrooms and drinking fountains.
This 307 acre park has a one mile and a five mile hiking trail with a total of 700 feet elevation change that enables the hiker a view of the San Francisco and San Pablo bays on a clear day. There are a number of drinking fountains and restrooms in the park.
This preserve has trails that go straight up from sea level to the 2500 foot Mission Peak or to other nearby peaks. There are a total of 29 miles of trails and 3000 acres with views of the North, South and West Bay. The trails have very little shade so bring water with you. Most of the trails are very wide and you share them with bicycles, horses, hikers, runners and dogs. There are many cattle grazing near the paths. This park is very popular so if the parking lot is full, you can park on Vineyard Ave. There are restrooms at the entrance to the trail.
This mountain state park is a total of 19,000 acres of oak woodland, grassland and chaparral with knobcone, digger and Coulter pine as well as wildflowers. It has a 3,849 foot summit. There is an extensive trail system for hiking, bicycles and horseback riding with wildlife and sandstone rock formations and small caves and fossils. They have an observation deck with telescopes.
Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park is a 5,271-acre park in the East Bay Regional Park District overlooking Pleasanton and the Livermore Valley.
This park contains four bodies of water: Horseshoe Lake, Rainbow Lake, Willow Slough and Lago Los Osos. There are many paved trails open to pedestrians and bicycles that surround the water as well as Alameda Creek trail that moves alongside the park.
The park's 1,829 acres is home to a forest of coast redwood, other evergreens, chaparral, and grasslands. Wildlife includes rare species such as the golden eagle and Alameda striped racer snake. You are likely to see deer, raccoons and rabbits. Redwood Creek runs through the park and is home to the world-famous rainbow trout that spawn in the creek and migrate from a downstream reservoir.
This 82 acre area has an entrance and parking area that are in a grove of redwoods. There is about two miles of shared pedestrian and bicycle trails throughout the park that connect to much longer trails in the neighboring Redwood Regional Park. There are eight picnic areas, five drinking fountains and five restrooms throughout the park.
This 266 acre park hosts an 80 acre lake and an arroyo with a chain of smaller lakes and ponds. Numerous waterbirds may be sighted throughout the year in the smaller lakes and ponds. There are paved and upaved trails for hiking, equestrian and bicycling trails as well as hiking only trails around the park and water areas.
The Sugarloaf Shell Ridge Trail is at the Youngs Valley Road entrance to the park.
This short parkway strip extends along the waterfront just off Marina Village Parkway in Alameda, opposite the mouth of the Lake Merritt Channel. The park is located on the Estuary and may be accessed from the Marina Village Plaza or the Pacific Marina. It has appealing views of the marina, estuary, opposite shore, and downtown Oakland, expansive lawns and pedestrian and bike paths along the water which are part of the Bay Trail. There are restrooms and a drinking fountain.
There are about ten miles of trails including a trail leading up to Round Top (elevation 1763 ft.) that is made up of lava and volcanic debris left over from a 10-million-year-old volcano. Other trails pass through ridgelines and ponds. The visitor center offers a self-guided brochure for observing the local geology. There is a bathroom and drinking fountain by the visitor center.
Majestic trees shade much of the 4.2 acres. One of the amenities of the park is a manicured mini course and putting green which allows patrons to play golf.
It is a small natural area with one of the last black walnut orchards in the city. The ridgeline provides views of Mount Diablo, Shell Ridge, and Las Trampas Ridge. Along with opportunities for several short hikes, there are several picnic areas, a native plant garden, and an amphitheater. The recommended trail is Bridle Lane to Sugarloaf Hill. The starting elevation is 380 feet and ending at Sugarloaf summit is 520 feet.
The park is 6,859 acres with a large variety of trees, flowers, birds and other wildlife to be found in the park. This is a great place for bird watching with at least 20 different bird species. Visit the Old Green Barn Visitor Center for information about Naturalist led programs and the self guided Indian Joe Nature Trail.
The land around Temescal Lake has a perimeter of under 10 miles. There is one parking lot, multiple drinking fountains and picnic tables, restrooms and a fishing dock. There are multi use paved trails on the eastern shore of the lake and unpaved hiker only trails along the western shore of the lake.
Tilden is a 2,079 acres park with many miles of trails that are shared by equestrians, hikers and bicyles with some hiker only trails. There are multiple drinking fountains and restrooms throughout the park. For a map of the north side of the park, please click here
The park extends 2,430 acres along the Wildcat Creek watershed and the surrounding hills and ridges. There is a total of 22 miles of trails consisting 13 miles of fire roads, 6 miles of single track trails and 3 miles of paved trails. There is a large variety of brush and trees as wildflowers and wild animals and many bird species. There are picnic tables in different areas.