Magazine article Sunset

From the Bay to Foothills, 12 Fairly Level Miles along Alameda Creek

Magazine article Sunset

From the Bay to Foothills, 12 Fairly Level Miles along Alameda Creek

Article excerpt

From the bay to foothills, 12 fairly level miles along Alameda Creek In summers past, Fremont's Alameda Creek often dwindled to a mucky trickle where its channelized end meets San Francisco Bay. But temporary dams are now capturing water in lush pool, and birds, fish, and cattails have returned--and with them, pretty views along Alameda Creek Regional Trail, the East Bay's longest unbroken bike path.

Cycling along the paved trail is at its best now, before weather turns warmer and seasonal afternoon winds stiffen. Along its fairly level 12 miles, you wind east from the edge of San Francisco Bay into grassy foothills. You roll past fields that, this month, are painted yellow, orange, and pink with blooming gladiolus.

A good place to begin your ride is toward the bike path's western end, inside Coyote Hills Regional Park. You can park here (entry $2.50), fill your water bottle, and pick up free trail and park maps at the visitor center (open 10 to 5 daily).

Heading east on the path, you soon pass flower fields and a creek pool; watch for noisy Arctic terns swooping overhead, herons standing silently in the shallows, shorebirds poking beaks in and out of the mud like miniature oil rigs.

After about 4 miles, you reach a residential area with small parks where you can take a break. …

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