Explore the most popular trails near Castro Valley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.



nature trips



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kid friendly

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Castro Valley, California Map

Nice wide trail.

Holy tamoly. This hike is how my husband and I discovered the difference between “easy” and “moderate” trails.
The first half of this loop (leaving from the small parking lot heading straight up the hill) was nice. But all of the sudden once we crossed the bridge at the golf course ALL shade went away and it was COMPLETELY UPHILL. 22 degrees!!!! To be fair, my husband and I are not avid hikers, but we are also not out of shape. We were dying the 45 minutes it took to walk straight up.
SO my suggestion is to 1) walk the opposite way that we did (from the parking lot, walk TOWARDS/thru the golf course) and 2) pack a lunch so you can rest and make a nice trip out of it.
There is a comment somewhere on this thread that it is a “nice 1.5 hour hike” so we only had water with us...It took us 2.5 hours.
Anyways. We’re proud that we finished (not that we had the option of turning around), but won’t be doing this again any time soon!

Went from Five canyons to Stonebrae community and arranged a ride back to our car. This is a nice, very low traffic trail, The bottom of the canyon in the shaded areas has a good nature feeling. Be aware of the cows though, one attacked my wife, it was terrifying and I'm thankful she's okay. The hike took longer than expected since we had to go around the pathways, on the outskirts to avoid the cattle that we are now traumatized by.

A paved mostly flat trail along the lake’s edge with plenty of wide space for walkers. Just a couple of very short inclines. Also features info stands about the history of the lake—good opportunities for learning about how it came to be.

Good walk with Khaleesi.

It's not a very pretty hike. It looks more like a neighborhood motocross trail than a hiking trail. It is easy for a more active person because of the 3-4 steeply graded hills.

Nice workout and good amount of shade..but I think I took a left and right and ended up on other trails...

Most of the trail is alongside of roads and there are tons of bugs that you are walking through.

I walked this trail. Rating this trail MODERATE . For eager, energetic well seasoned hikers looking for a challenge who will enjoy the steep up and down hill trails; very narrow to non-existent on more than a few occasions. Sure footed hikers will experience pot holes from gophers, rain and erosion. Watch out for the ground is unevenly pocked in many areas.
Great respiratory workout. Sunny and shadowed areas. Be aware of the vicious barking dog: luckily fenced.

The last half of this hike is the wide and often dusty Brandon trail. On busy days mountain bikers come careening around corners — be prepared. It’s an interesting loop and I’m happy somebody put it together but I do feel that there are probably more creative and better loops for hiking this section of the park.

love this park especially if you take it from Estudillo entrance it has many beautiful shaded trails.

We started at the Skyline Trail, followed the Columbine Trail, Quail Trail, Brandon Trail, and finally hiked back to the Skyline Trail. Total distance was 8.4 miles with elevation gain 1,155'. Total time was about three hours. It was a good hike.

Perfect 1.5 hour hike with varied terrain and beautiful views.

I walked this trail with a jogging stroller and it was quite challenging. Trail would not work for a regular stroller and I recommend a stroller with a handbrake as well as a wrist strap. Trail is uneven from water damage and quite steep at times. However the entire trail was wide enough to accommodate the stroller and this is now a new favorite of ours.

To avoid the crazy steep hill that is not stroller friendly I start my walk on the trail at Winifred. As such I have l to walk up Center, but that is worth it!

Most of this loop was paved concrete. Entered it via the marina dock as opposed to the trail head noted in the app. Very nice views of the lake.

Nice Sunday wake up

Good trail. Nice hike - a little elevation change, but great hike.

I went on this hike today. It was a great way to spend the day. It was peaceful and beautiful.

Late summer the lake gets a little stagnant and can smell a little.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

We started at Redwood Canyon Public Golf Course parking lot. Followed the Ten Hills Trail, Cameron Loop Trail, East Shore Trail and Honker Bay Trail up to the family campground. From the campground we continued to th Towhee Trail, Brandon Skyline Trail and back to the parking lot. Total distance was 7.1 miles with elevation gain 965 feet. This hike was rated as Moderate with panoramic views along the Brandon Skyline Trail.

Monday, July 17, 2017

This is a very easy trail although marked easy. Usually, easy as marked by AllTrails is moderate and moderate is hard.
It is a paved trail for about 1.5 miles and there's a spectacular view of the lake around for a mile. Then the view turns into marshland for a half mile and through woods the next half mile as you loop around the hill. As we had planned a shorter hike today, we just hiked back out to complete a 4 mile hike. There are trails cutting across to the other side of the hill and we plan to take up those trails on our next visit.

If you're looking for a challenging hike that takes you off the beaten path, then look no further. This was the missing link in the east bay portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. If you're working on hiking the entire ridge, then check out the adjacent trails - Macdonald Trail to Proctor Gate and Garin to Don Castro via High Ridge Loop Trail.

I started at the Proctor Staging area so as to pick up where I left off from one of the aforementioned trails. But you can do an abridged version of this hike by starting at the Chabot Staging area, which will shorten it by 3 miles. If you've already hiked on Brandon Trail, you're not going to miss anything on Willow View Trail except for a bunch of spider webs from the lack of hikers, so starting at Chabot Staging area can be a good option. And you'll be in the EBMUD watershed for part of this hike, so make sure to have a permit.

This trail will start at Anthony Chabot Regional Park, take you through the Cull Canyon Regional Recreational Area, and then finish at Don Castro Regional Recreational Area. It's great how these regional trails connect everything together. You'll see a lot of activity close to the parks and then nobody in between. I crossed one person walking his dog on Rampage Peak Trail and then I didn't see another soul for about 4 miles until I got close to Cull Canyon. The people I encountered were just as surprised as I was to see another person.

Most of the trail is shaded, which is perfect for those hot summer days when the temps are in the triple digits on the other side of the Dublin grade. The only parts where you are exposed are along the steep Dinosaur Ridge fire trail and on a few sections after you exit Cull Canyon. And it's well marked and easy to follow, which is great because Chabot to Garin doesn't show up at all on the All Trails map layer.

You're going to work your way through open space, deep forest, recreational and residential areas. It was July, so there were a lot of people picnicking and swimming at Cull Canyon and Don Castro. There is a tunnel that you'll go through underneath Columbia Drive that is impassable during the rainy season, so you'll have to go over the road in the winter. There are also a few stream crossings north of Cull Canyon where you'll have to hop over some rocks. All in all, it was a great four hour adventure and my longest hike yet since I moved to the Bay Area.

Easy hike

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The starting point was not very convenient to get to. It would have been better to start at the Grass Valley Road end. Not very scenic compared to other trails in the area.

road biking
Monday, October 31, 2016

There's no track, so I wasn't sure where to go. I found a few markers for the Chabot to Garin Trail, but the tunnel was flooded from the rain and heading south I couldn't follow the trail. Then I saw some bikers coming down Cull Canyon Road, so I'm assuming the track is to take Cull Canyon until it ends then come back to the parking lot, which is about 11-12 miles. It was a pay up, play down ride, with some local traffic to contend with. I saw some deer and a group of pigs cross the road. A couple of the drivers were flying, so be careful. The posted speed limit is 30.

This is a nice place to take a picnic. When you get to the meadow there are picnic tables and a beautiful open space full of green grass and beautiful wild flowers. Go in the spring. Its the best time to see it. Diring the summer they allow campers with horses to camp in the meadow. Very horse and dog friendly. But keep your dog on a leash so it doesnt roll around in cow patties which there are a lot of.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nice little trail with some good connectors away from Chabot's asphalt walkway.

Some nice spots but not the most scenic. It's a fire trail. Convenient but Redwood is nicer. Definitely gets hot! Bring water.

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