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Contra Costa Trails Office
Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4517
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Open between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. unless otherwise posted or permitted
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Contra Costa Canal Trail
About The Trail
One of the most popular trails in the Park District system, this multi-use, whole-access trail (accessible to persons in wheelchairs) is a paved pathway suitable for bikers, runners and equestrians. Created through a cooperative effort by the Contra Costa Water District, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Park District, this trail provides a safe off-road corridor connecting Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, and Concord.
Meandering along the Contra Costa Canal, following a horseshoe-shaped path through central Contra Costa County, the trail intercepts a number of local parks in Pleasant Hill (Las Juntas Park), Walnut Creek (Larkey Park, Heather Farm Park), and Concord (Lime Ridge). It also makes important connections to a number of regional trails, including the California State Riding and Hiking Trail, Briones-to-Mt. Diablo Trail, and the Iron Horse Trail, and will connect with the Delta De Anza Trail when it is completed to Martinez.
With access to schools, commercial areas, and public transportation (BART, County Connection), this trail is an integral factor in county non-vehicular transportation and also provides significant recreation opportunities in central Contra Costa County. From urban access to rural open space, the Canal Trail provides a pleasant recreational experience and transportation opportunity.
Contra Costa Canal
The Bureau of Reclamation began construction of the canal in the 1930s to supply irrigation water for local crops. Delayed by World War II, construction was completed some 20 years later. The canal is maintained by the Contra Costa Water District.
Water is pumped into the canal from the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta near Rock Slough. The water flows to Martinez, where it is treated to become the water supply for that city and several other cities. For this reason swimming and fishing in the canal are not permitted.
Trail Mileage GuideDownload: California Riding and Hiking Trail
Contra Costa Canal Trail is wheelchair accessible.
Safe multiple use of this and other multiple use trails requires everyone's cooperation. Each trail user is asked to exercise common courtesy. BICYCLES YIELD to horses and hikers. HIKERS YIELD to horses. Stay to the right of the trail except when passing. NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES are permitted on the trail, wheelchairs excepted.
Violations of any of the following may result in citation.
All Trail Users:
- Be safe, considerate and aware of your impact on the trail and other trail users.
- For everyone's safety, keep to the right. Proceed single file around blind curves.
- For your safety, headphones are not advised.
- Safety helmets are required by law for bicyclists under age 18, and are strongly recommended for all bicyclists and equestrians.
- Dogs must be on leash where posted, and under full verbal control elsewhere. Please clean up after your dog.
- Bicycles are not permitted, either walked, ridden or carried, on trails marked "No Bicycles."
- Bicycles shall not be ridden at an unsafe speed, or greater than the posted speed limit. Be aware of how you are perceived by other trail users.
- Bells are required on bicycles on Park District trails.
- Bicycles always yield to pedestrians. Before passing, SLOW DOWN, ring bell and establish verbal contact.
- When approaching equestrians, call out, ring bell and STOP, whether you are seen or not. Ask for instructions on how to pass safely.
- On blind turns, SLOW DOWN, call out, ring bell and ride single file.
- Keep to the right when approached by others.
- Always yield to equestrians.
- Look behind and to both sides before changing course.
- Keep your horse to the right or where safe when encountering other trail users.
- Communicate. Let other trail users know how to pass your horse safely.
- Please clean up after your horse on paved trails.
Trail conflicts or violations should be reported to the Trail Hotline at (510) 733-6991. For an immediate response, call (510) 881-1833. In case of emergency dial 9-1-1.
Contra Costa Canal Trail map side (365 Kb, 8.5 x 11)