This historic land was purchased by George Patterson in the late 1800s who moved to California to search for gold and ended up turning to farming. Ardenwood is home to many species of birds including waterfowl, cormorants, herons, egrets, eagles, hawks, falcons, doves, owls, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, shrikes, vireos, corvids, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, thrushes, mockingbirds and others. Monarch butterflies spend the winter in the Eucalyptus trees from December to mid-February. Volunteer to join the bird census effort. Birders of all abilities are welcome. For a complete bird checklist to use for your visit, please see: Bird Checklist
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 there is only limited parking.
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. No dogs allowed on beach. The Crab Cove Visitor Center is free and has many exhibits.
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. Park Naturalists take visitors on scheduled natural and cultural history boat tours of the lake.
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 with some trails used by dogs.
Perched on stilts above a salt marsh, the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is your introduction to the ecology of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. The Interpretive Center features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. After getting an overview of the park and its features, join a naturalist on one of the many weekend interpretive programs offered.
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.
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 walking trails alongside the lake that connect to the additional 70 miles of trails in adjoining Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Narrow single track trails are closed to bicycles.
An important habitat for migratory birds, Lake Merritt was declared a National Wildlife Refuge in 1869, making it the first such refuge in NortAmerica. The park spans 155 acres and the lake is 3.4 miles. One of the best spots for bird watching is nearby the five bird islands on the lake.
There are 5,342 acres with many interconnected trails, some with steep elevation changes and some more flat areas. The trails are shared by hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The most common vegetation is black sage, chamise and buck brush and trees are coast live oak and bay laurel. Animals that find their home in this area are raccoons, foxes, opossums, bobcats, skunks and squirrels. There are also cattle grazing in different areas to prevent forest fires. You may see different species of hawks.
This is 741 acre park with 50 acre Arrowhead Marsh that is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (dogs must be on leash at all times in the marsh). 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.
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 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. Kayak, paddle boat, row boat, electric and duffy boats can be rented with a valid driver license. For boat rate and rental information, call (925) 426-0197.
Sulphur Creek Nature Center is a wildlife education and rehabilitation facility whose mission is to promote the conservation of local environmental resources. There is a wildlife rehabilitation center, wildlife education, naturalists and docents are available along with local wildlife on display and a discovery center that teaches about watersheds and creek life.
The park is 6,859 acres with equestrian trails and cattle grazing throughout. There are 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.