San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

Redwood Bike Ride 018The San Francisco East Bay has an abundance of paved trails, all excellent for stroller walks, runs and bike rides with the kids.  Here are ten of my favorites!

  1. Nimitz Way, Inspiration Point, Tilden Regional Park:  This was a favorite of ours during our stroller-walking days.  The trail over rolling hills begins at the Inspiration Point parking lot, on Wildcat Canyon Road (between Orinda and Berkeley).  The paved path, providing gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay, is four-miles long, so you can walk as long as you’d like, up to eight miles out-and-back.  For more information about Tilden Regional Park and a map of the area, see www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden.htm.
  2. Lafayette Reservoir, Lafayette:  One of the most popular trails in the region for stroller-walkers, the Lakeside Nature Trail is a 2.7 mile path that loops around the lake.  Be sure to save some time for your child to play at the super-fun play structure here!  Cycling hours here are limited (currently to Tuesday and Thursday afternoons).  Also note that there is a fee to park in the lot (either $7.00/day or, if you’re lucky, hourly via the limited number of metered spots).  For more information about the reservoir… www.ebmud.com/recreation/lafayette-reservoir.
  3. Iron Horse Trail, Concord to Pleasanton:  This 26-mile paved trail runs all the way from Concord to Pleasanton.  My favorite place to walk on the trail is the shade-covered section from Danville north towards Alamo, beginning at the parking lot behind the Danville Railroad Museum.  Another nice starting point is the Rudgear Road Staging Area in Walnut Creek, and then heading south on the path towards Alamo.  For more information about the Iron Horse Trail, visit www.ebparks.org/parks/trails/iron_horse.
  4. Sycamore Grove Park, Livermore:  The 2.5 mile (one-way) path, easy and flat, stretches from the parking lot at the Wetmore Road Park Entrance to the Arroyo Road Park Entrance.  There is a $5.00 fee to park in either lot, payable via the machines (coins, $1 and $5 bills).  For more information about the park, go to www.larpd.dst.ca.us/open_space/sycamore.html.
  5. Pleasanton Sports Park, Pleasanton:  The 2.2 mile path loops around the park.  For the kids, you’ll find three different play structures, located throughout the park.  There’s plenty of parking along Parkside Drive.  For a map of the park, see www.cityofpleasantonca.gov/pdf/recsportsparkmap05-2010.pdf.
  6. Lake Chabot Regional Park, Castro Valley:  This is another one of my favorite places to walk in the East Bay.  You’ll find paved paths on each side of the lake, each 1.5 miles long, providing two alternatives for a three-mile walk.  Both paths are hilly, so be prepared for a good workout.  Parking in the lot is $5.00, or park on Lake Chabot Road and walk in.  For more information, www.ebparks.org/parks/lake_chabot.
  7. Redwood Regional Park, Stream Trail, Oakland:  The one-mile Stream Trail takes you into the redwood forest.  I like to head here when I’m looking for serenity and solitude.  It’s also a great place to go to escape the summer heat.  It’s relatively short (two miles out-and-back), but provides some nice hills.  Park in the Canyon View Staging Area (enter through the Redwood Gate on Redwood Road).  There is a $5.00 entry fee during summer weekends.  For more information and a map of Redwood Regional Park, see www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood.
  8. Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda:  This is a lovely, completely flat 2.5 mile path along the bay.  To park in the lot, there is sometimes a $5.00 fee.  You can also find street parking nearby.  For more information, www.ebparks.org/parks/crown_beach.
  9. Coyote Hills Regional Park, Bayview Trail, Fremont:  The Bayview Trail is a four-mile loop with rolling hills takes you through the park, by the marsh and along the bay.  Park at the lot in front of the Visitor Center.  There is a $5.00 entry fee.  For more information, www.ebparks.org/parks/coyote_hills.
  10. Lake Elizabeth, Central Park, Fremont:  Central Park has a nice 2 mile path around the lake, with a fun play structure for the kids.  For more information, www.fremont.gov/index.aspx?nid=317.

Bonus!  For even more paved paths in Alameda and Contra Costa County, check out this list from East Bay Regional Parks… Paved Regional Trails (www.ebparks.org/activities/biking/paved).

What’s your favorite paved trail in the East Bay?  Please let us know in a comment below!

7 thoughts on “San Francisco East Bay: 10 Great Paved Trails for Stroller Walks, Runs and Kid Bike Rides

  1. This is terrific information Linda… too bad my granddaughter is not in SF!! I spent September and October with her family and pushed her in the stroller around many streets, up hills and down dales…. great fun.

    • It’s a great age… I have many fond memories of running around with my son in his stroller. We’re fortunate here to have so many trails that are stroller accessible.

  2. I love that photo of the kids riding off down the road on the way to an adventure. How awesome this place must be for kids of all ages 🙂

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