Springtime at Coyote Hills

Last Sunday after a rainy week in the Bay Area, we headed over to Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont to get in some bike riding/hiking, and to see if any wildflowers had made an appearance. California poppies were making quite a showing on the brilliant green rolling hills, and the purple lupines, although harder to find, were also beautiful against the lush greenery. As usual, the main parking lot near the Visitor center was packed on a weekend afternoon, but it never seemed crowded when we were out on the trails. We parked at the Quarry Staging area and headed out on the Bayview Trail (map of Coyote Hills from the East Bay Parks website) on our bikes. We always dress in layers because the weather is so unpredictable, especially here. Sure enough there were some pretty strong bay winds, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We probably made the bike ride harder by riding into the headwinds (you could do the loop trail in the other direction), but it made for a good workout.

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California poppies!
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Bayview Trail definitely delivered what it promised
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Lush green rolling hills for days
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San Francisco Bay view
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Place to stop and check out the expansive views

From here we had the option of continuing back towards the park, but we wanted to extend our bike ride some more so we headed on to the Alameda Creek Trail (map of Alameda Creek Trail on the East Bay Parks website). Alameda Creek Trail has about 12 miles of paved trail that extends from the SF Bay to Niles Canyon. We headed east towards Niles Canyon since we wanted to take a break from the winds. If you go west, there is still 2 miles of trail until you reach the end on the Bay side.

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Alameda Creek Trail
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Coyote Hills (North Marsh) as seen from the Alameda Creek Trail

Once you’ve explored the Alameda Creek Trail, you can go back to Coyote Hills on one of the connector trails that leads to the various trails in the marsh area (D.U.S.T. Trail, Crandall Creek/Willows Trail). The trails in the marsh area are tightly packed gravel trails.

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D.U.S.T. Marsh with lots of birds
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D.U.S.T. Trail
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Heading towards the Main Marsh

If you make your way on to the Chochenyo Trail, you can see replica structures from a Tuiban Indian Village through a chain linked fence.

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Tuiban Village site (replica structures) behind the chain linked fence (the rain clouds were closing in on us)
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Replica of a sweathouse

Knowing the rain clouds were going to descend on us, we headed back on the Muskrat Trail to where we parked, loaded up our bikes, then headed to the Main Marsh area to take a quick walk along the boardwalk and hike up to the top of the hill to get a good last view.

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Boardwalk on the Main Marsh
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Stair run to the top
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View of the Main Marsh and parking lot from the hill
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California poppies were everywhere at the top
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You have to look for them, but the lupines are there also
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Worth walking to the top to see beautiful views all around
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South Marsh and more wildflowers
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I can’t get enough of the poppies!
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We felt the first raindrops as we reached the van
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The misty rain brought with it a rainbow
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A grand finale to a very fun afternoon at Coyote Hills

Coyote Hills Regional Park will always have a special place in my heart, having spent a good portion of time on the trails pushing my infant/toddler daughter in her stroller and contemplating being a new mom. There are so many worries for a new mom, but when I walked the trails at Coyote Hills, the worries seemed to disappear and be replaced by an overwhelming sense of happiness that I had this moment with my daughter. Being outdoors surrounded by nature is powerful! Those were different times, but I’m grateful that I can still get back those feelings…

 

As she got older, we explored the Visitor Center, the Nectar Garden (open Wed – Sun, 10 am – 4 pm) and eventually rode our bikes on the trails. We introduced all our family and friends to this park, there is something here for everyone. Love this park!

 

 


11 thoughts on “Springtime at Coyote Hills

  1. What a delightful Preston journey through the park. Areas totally new so happy for pictures. What a nature workout among the green and poppies. Hey—- older pics brought back loving memories for me. Thanks. Time together is priceless. Happy trails to your crew.

    Liked by 1 person

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