I moved to Fremont in 1975. As a kid, we went to different parks each weekend. We explored a lot of parks in the bay area but it wasn't until 2020 that COVID got me to try a local park called Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park. Located at the base of Mission Blvd in Union City, it is about a 10 minute drive from Brookvale or Northgate, or 5 minutes from the Union City Bart Station. I guess I avoided visiting Dry Creek because I imagined it would be dry. I was totally wrong, compared to Mission Peak, Dry Creek is lush, with running water, large ponds and a varity of microclimates.
The park is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, with over 20 miles of trails to explore. Parking is most impacted on Saturday and Sunday mornings but if you get there early or late you'll get a spot. Overflow parking is on Mission Blvd. Places to eat afterwards, House of Dumplings, Din Ding Dumpling House, Mexico Tipico
Here are some of the best hiking trails to check out at Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park:
High Ridge Loop Trail: This moderate 3-mile trail takes you to the highest point in the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Along the way, you'll pass through oak woodlands and grassy meadows, and may spot some wildlife such as deer and coyotes.
Pioneer Trail: This easy 2-mile trail takes you through a historic orchard and past several old farm buildings. You'll learn about the park's pioneer history and see how early settlers lived and worked in the area.
Dry Creek Trail: This moderate 4-mile trail follows the meandering Dry Creek through oak woodlands and past several ponds. It's a great spot for birdwatching and offers plenty of shade on hot summer days.
High Ridge Loop to Garin Peak: For a more challenging hike, try the High Ridge Loop Trail to Garin Peak. This 6-mile trail takes you to the park's highest peak and offers breathtaking views of the Bay Area. The trail is steep in places and requires good hiking shoes and a moderate level of fitness.
Stonebrae Trail: This easy 2.5-mile trail takes you through the Stonebrae Country Club golf course and past several residential neighborhoods. It's a good spot for a leisurely walk or jog and offers views of the Bay in the distance.
No matter which trail you choose, be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat, as the park can get hot in the summer months. And don't forget your camera - there are plenty of photo-worthy moments to capture along the way!