Oct. 17, 2020 message: Due to the large fire complex many sections of this park were burned and currently the park is close.
Please check at the park website (at the end of this post) if it is open.
Where? : The large park, part of the East Bay park District, is located 40min drive from the valley when road are open, take why 680 east and turn left on Calaveras Rd. exit.
What? : large park that start at the Alameda Creek lower section and climb up the east hills and mountains. The hills are mainly open grassland with large Oak trees.
When? : The best time to visit this park is nice winter day or spring where all is green, at summer all is yellow and hot.
Due note 1: Because this park hills are with a lot of open space grassland it is not recommended to come at a rainy windy day where you do not have a lot of places to protected from the rain.
Due Note 2: Most of the park open space is being use as ranch land for cattle grazing so when encounters cows keep on going creating a safe distance between you and the cows.
My thoughts: I really like this park at spring when it is full of flowers and all is green. Many are hiking only in the main valley and along the river all the way to the little Yosemite section (that is nice) but my favorite part of the park is going up to the hills and enjoy the surrounding hills view.
When you are getting to the park you can visit the small visitor center on your left, park nearby or go and park down the road.
The Alameda Creek with its running water, large trees and vegetation mark the south side of the park and the rest of the landscape is mainly open grassland hills and creeks with oak trees.
You have many hiking options to choose from based on your preferred trip length or difficult level. Most of the park trails are based on wide, well maintained dirt roads that enable a lot of hike options. Most of the trails cross the open landscape without any shade so during summertime it can be hot (not to mention all is dray and yellow), during windy and rainy winter day you will not find many places to be protected from the rain.
Below is a list of recommended trails, starting from short to longer one, for the longer loop trails you can also do them at the opposite direction.
Very short Shady Glen trail (Blue in the map):
Take Camp Ohlone Road along the Alameda Creek, you can take the single track near the water that has some shad or the exposed dirt road on the slope of the hill.
If you are coming with a hiking stroller the dirt road will be good.