jagatjorajaal.com Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, California
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The San Francisco Bay area is very rich with regional parks and wildlife refuges, more than any place I have ever seen. These parks are publicly funded and are maintained well. What makes them internesting, and it is perhaps due to the special geography of this region, is that from a completely urban surrounding one can transition to very close to nature in a very short time.
Coyote Hills Regional Park is located in Fremont, California, not too far from the eastern end of the Dumbarton Bridge which is the southernmost bridge that crosses the Bay. In the East Bay the Dumbarton Bridge (Hwy 84) is the continuation of Decoto Road. If you are coming from the East Bay on Hwy 84, you have to exit at the final exit (Thornton /Paseo Padre) before the toll plaza. At the exit ramp, turn right on Paseo Padre, and within two minutes and after two crossroads (Dumbarton Court and Kaiser Road) the park entrance road (Patterson Road) will be on your left side. If coming from west, take the exit immediately after the toll plaza (Thornton/Paseo Padre), althought you don't need to pay toll coming from West. At the exit ramp, turn left, go over the highway overpass, and within two minutes turn left on Patterson Road. Note that I-880 directly connects to Hwy 84.
Coyote Hills Regional Park has a number of trails including the Bayview Trail, Red Hill Trail, Nike Trail, Quail Trail and Soaproot Trail. The Bayview Trail is probably the longest trail in this park. It starts from the parking area at the Visitor Center and heads to the north with the Main Marsh on the right. It continues within visible distance of the North Marsh (so that you can see the birds) all the way to the Alameda Creek Trail and at the intersection of the Red Hill Trail where it bends left and heads south. You can now see the Salt Evaporation Ponds on the right. As you walk, you will encounter intersections of the Nike Trail, the Soaproot Trail and further south, the Apay Way. Near Apay Way interscetion, the Bayview Trail turns left, AND further left near the intersection of Meadowlark Trail, past the Dairy Glen, and eventually emerging out at the parking area of Quarry Staging. The trail then turns right, parallel to the road and heads back to the Visitor Center.
The Apay Way trail continues as a pedestrian walkway above the toll plaza on Hwy 84, connects to Don Edwards Fish and Wildlife Refuge and continues as the Quarry Trail. From the pedestrian walkway you can enjoy the mesmerizing view of a long line of cars passing by underneath. Apay way winds around an old quary, currently a giant hole on the hillside, and partially filled with green water of the shape of South America continent.
Coyote Hills Regional Park is rich in wildlife, especially birds. I have spotted many many types of birds, the names of most I do not know, but still, mallard, duck, heron, grey egret, pelican, kestrel, falcon, hawk, hummingbird, turkey vulture, bluejay, seagull, goose, raven and owl. Other than these I have spotted mule deer, red fox, salamander, giant spider, squirrel, skunk, opossum, kingsnakes, and once a two feet long fish. Of course, there are monarch butterflies. I have heard that a few years ago pugmarks of mountain lion were spotted here, which apparently caused brand new "Mountain Lion" boards to pop up in a few places of this park, and also in nearby Don Edwards Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
I have been going to this park for several years now, at all times of the day and and during all seasons.
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Last Revised June 8, 2009
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