Started this trail at 8:28am on a Tuesday morning during the summer. I finished this trail at 11:01am with my Apple Watch marking it as 6.29 miles and 1,540 feet elevation. I did the trail clockwise. At about mile 3 there is a fork in the trail near Ziele creek. In order to stay on track you should do lower trail, I did not realize this and ended up doing the upper trail. So I may have hiked maybe a quarter mile to half a mile more. This was my first time going this way and the trail in person is pretty easy to stay on track beside this fork. It was early in the day so it wasn’t too hot but If done on a hot day one should be mindful that a large portion of this trail is without shade and there is lots of elevation gain. The majority of the trail had great views of either hills (currently a nice burned/golden color), view of Hayward/Coyote Hills, or of the “forest”/creek. Bring plenty of water. Edit for COVID purposes: as mentioned I did it on a Tuesday morning so there’s probably not as many people as there typically is more in evenings and weekends. The majority of the people I encountered/crossed paths with were near the parking lot or Garin Park picnic areas. Once I went beyond the hill, I only saw a group of 2 man and woman walking a dog but I was well over 100 feet from them.

7/6/2020 about 30 feet from the parking lot, right beside the trail we’re the beginnings of a fire. Smoke, embers in the leaves. I stomped it out, spread the dirt. What the actual freak. Fireworks or cigarettes I don’t know but the types of people you get in Hayward, it’s just unbelievable. Unbelievable.

*Bay Area Ridge Trail - Five Canyons to Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park* This completes my last contiguous Ridge Trail section in the East Bay, having attempted it recently in reverse on a day that was too hot! Starting off the 95 bus from Hayward BART on Fairview Avenue near Lone Tree Cemetery, a shallow winding ascent leads through a hilly residential neighbourhood and past its cute retro fire station. Upon reaching Five Canyons Park at the top of Fairview, wide views open up across Castro Valley towards Dinosaur Ridge and beyond. I followed the road turning off Five Canyons Parkway (a continuation of Fairview Avenue), although there were lots of Private Property signs on the fences and gates down the road and a True Detective-esque shipping container shack down the canyon. Had to hop over a locked EBRPD gate onto the Bay Area Ridge Trail / Garin-to-Chabot Trail. This section of the trail headed south is shady and ascends alongside a trickling tributary of Palomares Creek which appears to be a cattle thoroughfare—if the hoof marks and cattle trough were any indication. Soon enough the trail opens up onto the grassy Walpert Ridge and its stunningly beautiful undulating rolling hills. It reminded me a little of San Pablo Ridge above Wildcat Creek to the north but far less populated - I passed only a handful of hikers and cyclists along this route. As the trail ascends Walpert Ridge, the views inland and across the bay increase and its really quite astonishing how much can be seen! It was a gusty sunny day so the lack of any tree cover whilst walking into the sun caused a lot of squinting! Behind the radio tower atop Grove Peak was a herd of very docile cows resting, and the Ridge Trail continues downhill towards Stonebrae Country Club. The golf course is kind of conjoined to the trail itself so be ready for hiking right beside residents golfing. Beyond the housing-golfing interface, the Country Club also fits in a few tennis courts next to a car park where the Bay Area Ridge Trail should run. The trail proper begins again as a fire road and runs alongside a few fairways and construction sites until a gate announces the exit from the country club. The Ridge Trail starts descending from the ridgetop here giving glorious vistas across the South Bay and to Mission Peak over the rolling yellowed hills. I’m looking forward to this being connected to the next Ridge Trail section! Taking the High Ridge Trail down around the top of Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park is pretty steep but affords expansive views across the bay to the peninsula, and offers a little shade beside Dry Creek. Soon enough the trail reaches the convergence of other paths at May Trail which leads down to Mission Boulevard beside the Hayward Fault to the 99 bus stop.

Nice trail, and once you get away from the parking lot, there aren’t many people (we saw a couple dozen). You get a nice view of the bay and I would recommend doing the loop clockwise to maximize the view. Not much shade so bring a big hat. Some pricklies along the trail.

hiking
14 days ago

I’ve never seen the parking lot so packed. These crowds don’t know hiking etiquette. Like, don’t walk side by side with your friends and take the whole width of the trail when I’m walking towards you, maybe?

a lovely trail! if you are looking for a gorgegous and moderately challenging hike, this is the way to go! stunning views of the bay on a clear day. bring water and wear sunscreen and a hat! about 75% is in the open, so not one to do on a super hot day.

hiking
21 days ago

Great trail for dogs. Some shade, but even without nice in the morning.

hiking
24 days ago

Easy hike with lots of sun

6/13/2020 hike / trail run: This one is a nice mix of views of the bay with some woods. You're out in the open with no shade for the Vista Peak loop and the hills will be green or golden depending on the time of year. You'll get some views of the east bay and surrounding area on the western side of the loop. Then you get into the woods around Ziele Creek and the Garin Woods loop. On the way back I couldn't resist going up the Newt Pond Trail switchbacks. It worked out to be a nice alternative to loop back to the parking lot.

The overcast and breezy conditions made this an average trail for the month of June. The shade greeted us around the 4th mile and was a nice welcome break from the sun. I’d come back in the spring when the hillsides are green and lush. A plus: There weren’t many people on this trail, hike ended around 1pm.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This good trail for kids and dogs.. but no shade. I like that you can see the cows.

on Garin Peak

hiking
1 month ago

Steep climb at first then it’s down hill and in the shade

mountain biking
1 month ago

This Trail is AMAZING it is beautiful, challenging, inspiring and just plain good for the soul. Be aware of the cows who generally move as long as you slow your speed and hold your nerve. If there are young calves around, I suggest you pause and let the calves get clear (if they are on your path). I actually took the route from Castro Valley to Garin. I was using my phone GPS and of course lost signal in some places so it is a good idea to download the map. As it just rained yesterday, I only came across to other mountain bikers. Be aware of the area where the cows drink water (under trees) as it was completely muddy and my shoe came off walking over it (par for the course)

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Garin: shady and some steep hill upfront, 6 miles

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Extended the hike with a brief loop around the steep hill by the visitor's center – which ended up being the best part! When combined with that, the variety of terrain was excellent. A path by an orchard, wide-open rolling hills with views of Hayward, a shady stroll across several bridges, ducks and coots at the pond, and a steep hike amongst wildflowers and birds. Good times.

mountain biking
2 months ago

only half of the trail is bike friendly

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail with a beautiful lake and some shade until about halfway through when the loop turns back (after that point, completely open unshaded and some cows around). Plenty of parking here (as opposed to the regional park next door) with a fee of $5 plus $2 per dog. Fee was waived for us because of the COVID - no one at the pay station. Not super busy but not empty either... Most of the trail except maybe the middle part - right after the lake but before the loop turns - had enough space where you could keep your 6 feet distance. Pretty views during the second half of the surrounding bay one side, hills on the other side. Would definitely recommend and do again!

1) This trail starts off with a quite steep incline, then gets easier almost to normal walking flat ground. 2) It then has an abrupt downward decline, and another one ahead..be careful of leaves when you go through the trees. 3) When you come out, you ascend for a steady incline (although not as steep as the last one) where you see the amazing scenery of cows and the whole view of buildings, etc. Then you go down, and have 2 options, either jumping/crossing over logs to get to the other side of the mini pond or just go by the longer route (although more boring route) i got my shoe wet jumping over it though cause i wasn't quick enough. 3 parts of the trail

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Everything about my dog and I’s time on this trail was perfect! Quite, peaceful, healing and there’s no foot traffic! If you go early enough, you’ll have this place to yourself! We got our dose of soul medicine and fresh air to clear the mind.

hiking
3 months ago

More people than I’ve ever seen on a weekday afternoon because of shelter in place. Very green from last week’s rain. Needed the fresh air after being in my room all week.

hiking
fee
4 months ago

It was a great hiking trail, very well maintained, with visible signs to find your way through. There are cattle roaming around, it was so green this time of the year, with great views of the bay. There was plenty of parking available, with a fee of $5. There are also grills and picnic table available at the park. Highly recommmed it!

great workout starts off with no shade but when u get pass the farm house u have a nice trail in the shade. great scenery too what a beautiful trail to clear your mind

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