Coyote Hills Escape

Biking Wildlife-Filled Wetlands
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Excerpted from East Bay Bike Trails by Conrad J. Boisvert

Home to Ohlone Indians for over 2000 years, Coyote Hills is today a unique place to experience the wetlands of San Francisco Bay. Ringed with a network of hiking and biking trails, the grassy hillsides of the park stand out against the flat low-lying land all around. The marshes and mudflats along the coastline are home to the many insects and marine animals, which serve as the food supply for the wide variety of birds frequently seen in the park.

Region: Southern
Total Distance: 15 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Type of Bike: Mountain Bike 
Ride Rating: Easy 
Riding Time: 2 hours 
Calories Burned: 300 


The ride is very flat along mostly paved trails, except for some stretches on loose gravel. A mountain bike is suggested, but a road bike with sturdy tires will work fine.

This route takes you into the park and immediately heads south along the shore of the bay toward the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where you can get off your bike and explore the wetlands and tour the informative visitor center there. Back at Coyote Hills, the route leads north along Bayview Trail and then out into the bay along the Alameda Creek Regional Trail. Riding along the Shoreline Trail past the salt ponds, you can experience the magnificence of the bay while you view the Dumbarton Bridge in the distance. The return to the park puts you again on the Bayview Trail as it follows the shoreline. Through the marshes and past the Indian Mound Archaeological Site, you return to the parking lot.

Starting Point

Start the ride at the parking lot at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park. To get there, take Highway 880 to Newark and get off at the exit for Highway 84. Head west on Highway 84, toward the Dumbarton Bridge and exit at Ardenwood Boulevard. Proceed north on Ardenwood Boulevard, turn left onto Paseo Padre Parkway, right onto Patterson Ranch Road, and follow this road into Coyote Hills Park.

Ride Details and Mile Markers

0.0 Proceed WEST out of the parking area into Coyote Hills Regional Park on the paved trail that runs parallel to the roadway.
0.4 Turn LEFT onto Bayview Trail and cross the road.
0.9 Bear LEFT to stay on paved trail.
1.1 Bear RIGHT toward Shoreline Trail and Apay Way.
1.2 Turn LEFT onto San Francisco Bay Trail (Apay Way)—dirt trail.
2.4 Operating quarry on left side.
2.6 Cross Highway 84 on bridge overpass.
3.0 San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge visitor center. Be sure to stop for a visit and a walk through the wetlands. When you are finished, return the way you came.
4.8 Turn LEFT back onto paved Bayview Trail.
6.5 Turn LEFT toward Alameda Creek and then turn LEFT again onto Alameda Creek Regional Trail, heading west toward the bay—unpaved trail.
8.7 Begin Shoreline Trail in S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Dumbarton Bridge is visible ahead.
9.6 Continue STRAIGHT toward Coyote Hills. Shoreline Trail turns to the right at this point.
11.5 Turn LEFT onto paved Bayview Trail back in Coyote Hills Regional Park.
13.2 Continue STRAIGHT on Bayview Trail at the point where Alameda Creek Trail access is to the left.
13.6 Turn LEFT onto Lizard Rock Trail toward Chochenyo Trail.
13.8 Turn LEFT onto unmarked trail.
14.0 Turn RIGHT onto unmarked trail through the marsh and then turn LEFT onto Chochenyo Trail toward Indian Mound.
14.3 Turn RIGHT to go around the Indian Mound archaeological site—closed to the public.
14.4 Bear RIGHT at the far end of the site.
14.8 Back at the parking lot.

© Article copyright Penngrove Publications. All rights reserved.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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