Trails of the Diablo Valley
East Bay Regional Park District Trails
East Bay Municipal Utility District Trails
Walnut Creek Open Space Trails
Great Northern California Trails
In addition to the numerous parks in the Diablo Valley there are also many miles of multi-use trails that serve several purposes. They offer wonderful recreation opportunities for cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, equestrians, dog walkers, new moms with baby strollers and walkers of all kinds. They also serve as important connectors between neighborhoods, schools, parks and downtown city centers. Many residents use these trails on a daily basis as they commute to school, work and play.
These trails are generally flat with the occasional slight hill. All trails cross numerous roads and can be accessed at any road crossing, as well as the many parks, city centers, business centers and schools they pass. The best place to park a car, if driving to one of these trails, is usually a public park as they have ample parking capacity.
As these trails are shared by many different types of users, it is important to obey all rules and to show common courtesy to other trail users. Keep to the right at all times, let others know when you are passing and please obey the leash laws.
Iron Horse Trail (15 miles)
The Iron Horse trail is a magnificent example of the Rails to Trails program. The trail follows the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way, established in 1890 and abandoned in 1977, in a north-south direction. Through a community-wide effort by many groups and individuals this right-of way was acquired as part of the Rails to Trails program. The trail will eventually traverse the entire 33 mile length of the Diablo Valley from Suisun Bay in Martinez to Shadow Cliffs Recreation Area in Pleasanton, through two counties and nine communities.
The 15 mile section currently open begins at Treat Boulevard, across from the Pleasant Hill Bart Station, and shortly intersects with the Contra Costa Canal Trail at Walden Park. It then crosses Ygnacio Valley Road passing Civic Park in downtown Walnut Creek. After passing through Walnut Creek and going under I-680 it crosses South Main Street and continues for another 4+ miles through Alamo and into downtown Danville. After crossing Danville Boulevard and going back under I-680 the trail crosses Crow Canyon Road and goes through San Ramon, past Bishop Ranch Business Park to Central Park. The trail continues on for 1.85 miles before ending at Pine Valley Road.
Note: Water and restrooms are available at Walden and Civic Parks in Walnut Creek and Central Park in San Ramon.
Contra Costa Canal Trail (14+ miles)
The Contra Costa Canal Trail is a 14.2 mile linear trail linking Concord, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek. The trail begins in Pacheco at Center Avenue and Hidden Lakes Drive and follows the Contra Costa Canal for it's entire length. It passes through Las Juntas Park in Pleasant Hill and continues south into Walnut Creek, where it passes a few blocks northeast of Larkey Park. At Putnam Boulevard the Briones - Mt. Diablo Trail, which goes through Larkey Park, connects to the Contra Costa Canal Trail. The trail then turns east and passes under I-680 south of Geary Road/Treat Boulevard. Just past Oak Road the trail passes Walden Park and intersects with the Iron Horse Trail. The Pleasant Hill Bart station is less than 1/4 mile north. The trail then passes Heather Farms Park, where there is a connection to the Ygnacio Canal Trail, and then Shadelands Business Park before turning north at Lime Ridge Open Space and ending at Willow Pass Road in Concord.
Note: Drinking water and restrooms are available at Larkey, Walden and Heather Farms Parks in Walnut Creek and at Willow Pass Park in Concord at the terminus of the trail. Water is also available in Las Juntas Park in Pleasant Hill.
Ygnacio Canal Trail (7 miles)
The Ygnacio Canal Trail is a 7 mile loop trail that starts at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek, and follows the Ygnacio Valley Canal to its intersection with the Contra Costa Canal. Pick up the trail north of the pool and go west onto Marchbanks Drive and south to Ygnacio Valley Road. Go east on Ygnacio Valley Road for 1/2 block and cross the street at the crosswalk. The trail then becomes a traffic free, paved muti-use trail all the way back to Heather Farms Park.
The trail first passes San Miguel Park as it turns east for several miles, passing Walnut Avenue and Oak Grove Road. At Arbolado Park the trail turns north and passes Boundary Oaks Golf Course and Lime Ridge Open Space before crossing under Ygnacio Valley Road. After following the boundary of Lime Ridge for about 1/2 mile and descending a short hill, the Ygnacio Canal Trail intersects with the Contra Costa Canal Trail. Go left on the Contra Costa Canal Trail for about 2 1/2 miles back to Heather Farms Park.
Note: Drinking water and restrooms are available at Heather Farms, San Miguel and Arbolado Parks.
Lafayette - Moraga Trail (7+ miles)
This is a 7.6 mile linear trail that parallels St. Mary' Road through Lafayette and Moraga. The northern trailhead staging area is located at Olympic Boulevard and Reliez Station Road just east of Pleasant Hill Road. There is parking available at the trailhead.
The trail goes in a general southerly direction for its entire length. After 3 miles it passes the Lafayette Community Center and crosses St. Mary's Road. It then continues for another mile through a particularly scenic stretch and passes St. Mary's College. Along the trail between St. Mary's and Moraga Commons there is a Par Course. The trail continues on past Moraga Commons and through downtown Moraga to the terminus at Valle Vista Staging area (parking available) on Canyon Road. Here East Bay Municipal Utility District trails lead to Las Trampas Regional Wilderness and Redwood Regional Park.
Note: Water and restrooms are available at the Lafayette Community Center (during the hours they are open) and Moraga Commons. Water is available behind the school just before mile one, and behind the fire station at about mile two (from Olympic Boulevard). Primitive toilets are also available at Valle Vista Staging Area.
Nimitz Way (4 miles)
This 4 mile linear trail is located in the Berkeley Hills on Skyline Ridge and is accessed from the Inspiration Point Overlook parking lot. From Walnut Creek take Highway 24 west to the Orinda exit and exit right on Camino Pablo Road. At Wildcat Canyon Road turn left and go to the Inspiration Point Overlook parking area on the right.
Uniqe in both setting and function this trail's only purpose is recreation. Formerly a Nike missile battery service road, it now provides hikers, joggers and cyclists a gently rolling trail with outstanding views of the entire North Bay Area as it passes through both Tilden and Wildcat Regional Parks. The Golden Gate, Marin and Sonoma Counties, San Pablo Bay, and Mt. Diablo are all visible from the trail.
Note: Drinking water, restrooms and a picnic area are located at Inspiration Point.