Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4519
Coyote Hills Regional Park was dedicated to public use in 1967. Comprised of 1,266 acres of marshland and rolling grassland covered hills, this busy park is located along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, northwest of the cities of Fremont and Newark. The most popular visitor activities by far are bicycling, walking, bird watching, jogging, nature exploration, and picnicking. Well used every season of the year, spring, summer, and fall tend to be the most popular. But the park's winter beauty is wonderful to behold.
Restoration and Public Access Project
The Park District has completed a Land Use Plan Amendment and Park Development Plan to incorporate 306 acres of the former Patterson Ranch property into the Park. The Project’s design phase has commenced and future updates will be posted to the project website.
To Reach The Park
There are two disabled parking sites at the Visitor Center's parking lot. Both of the public restrooms at the Center have an accessible stall. Drinking fountains located near the Visitor Center have been upgraded to meet current ADA standards. There is one wheelchair accessible chemical toilet in the Center's parking lot and one at the Quarry Staging Area. Public transit information.
Coyote Hills Visitor Center contains educational displays and exhibits as well as the Possum's Pocket Nature Store. The exhibits portray the Ohlone way of life and include a tule reed boat constructed by park staff and volunteers using Native American methods. Other exhibits cover the park's natural history and wildlife.
Naturalist-led programs, including tours of the marsh and surrounding area, highlight the park’s cultural and natural history. An annual Gathering of Ohlone Peoples highlights the ways today’s Ohlone's are bringing their cultures into the future. To learn more about the park’s history and natural wonders, or naturalist-led walks and other programs, visit the Visitor Center Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am - 4pm
A bird and butterfly nectar garden is located adjacent to the visitor center. Currently, the garden is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. Several naturalist-led educational programs are offered in the garden during the year. Contact the interpretive staff at (510) 544-3220 for additional information.
The park offers two first-come-first-served picnic areas. One located at the visitor center, the other at the Quarry Staging Area. Both have picnic tables, barbeque braziers, water, and shade. A reservable group picnic area is also available at Hoot Hollow. Hoot Hollow picnic area is located on the upper lawn area, in front of the Visitor Center.
One reservable group camping site is available at Dairy Glen. Picnic tables, braziers, a campfire ring, water, and shade are available. Chemical toilets are also provided.
One reservable group camping site is available at Dairy Glen. This 50-person group camp, named after the dairy farmers of the 1800s, has recently been completely upgraded and renovated thanks to funding from the Regional Parks Foundation. The group camp now includes three shade structures, additional picnic tables, a drinking foundation, fire pit, hand washing station, and vault toilets. Upgrades created greater accessibility so the campsite is now fully ADA compliant including a new hardened path that makes it easier for guests using wheelchairs and mobility devices to access the shade structures and other components of the camp.
The waters to the west and south of Coyote Hills are part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Shoreline, No Name, Apay Way and Alameda Creek trails provide access to the Refuge for hikers and bicycle riders. Apay Way leads to the Refuge Visitor Center via a bridge over the top of the Highway 84/Dumbarton Bridge toll booths.
Alameda Creek Trail
This 12-mile trail stretches from the Bay east to the mouth of Niles Canyon and borders Coyote Hills on the park's north side. It is actually two parallel trails, with an equestrian trail on the northern levee and a bicycle trail on the southern levee, connecting with the Coyote Hills' Bay View bike trail. Hikers are welcome on both trails. Motor vehicles are not permitted on the trails--citations will be issued to violators.
Other attractions at Coyote Hills include the Marsh Boardwalk, and 3.5-mile Bay View Trail, a paved loop trail for hiking and bicycle riding. There are scenic views of the South Bay from the park's hilltops.
Environmental Education: Ohlone Youth Summit
Learn more about the Great Work that Native People are Doing Throughout the Bay Area [PDF]
The park's naturalist staff conducts a variety of programs for both organized groups and the public. Programs are offered on a variety of subjects including, Native American history and culture, birds and butterflies, marsh and grassland ecology, and general nature exploration. Public programs, usually on weekends, are publicized in the Park District's monthly newsletter, Regional In Nature, which is available in the visitor center and posted on park bulletin boards. Weekday programs are available for schools and organized groups by reservation. Call (510) 544-3220 for further information.
Detailed descriptions of the Coyote Hills Naturalist Programs.
In addition to taking part in the naturalist programs publicized on park bulletin boards and in the Park District's monthly newsletter, you may want to strike out on your own. Bringing along a magnifying glass, camera, a pair of binoculars, and maybe a sketchbook will help to enhance your experience. Remember to wear sturdy walking shoes and bring liquids and a snack. Information about what to see and where to go is available in the visitor center.
Numerous picnic tables are located at the visitor center and at the Quarry Staging Area on a first-come-first-served basis. Cooking fires are limited to the metal braziers provided at each site. The Hoot Hollow picnic area, located above and behind the visitor center, is a reservable group picnic site. Telephone 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757 (press option 2, then 1) for further information.
The Dairy Glen reservable group campsite is available for overnight camping through the Park District's Reservations office. Call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757 (press option 2, then 1) for reservations. All reservations must be made at least 14 days in advance.
Hikes through Coyote Hills afford scenic vistas of San Francisco Bay and surrounding areas of Southern Alameda County. Ramble 'round a marsh or climb to the top of Red Hill to catch the breeze. For detailed information on trail lengths and terrain, see the park map or talk with staff in the visitor center. Other attractions of interest include the Marsh Boardwalk and the 3.5-mile Bayview Trail, a paved loop trail for hiking and bicycle riding. There are wonderful scenic views of San Francisco Bay and the peninsula hills to the west from the park's hilltops.
Bike riders may take the 3.5-mile paved Bayview Trail within the park. Bayview connects with 12 additional miles of trail along the south levee of the Alameda Creek Trail, and to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
The East Bay area's original inhabitants were the ancestors of the Ohlone Indians, hunters, and gatherers whose skills enabled them to live well off the land's natural bounty. In those days, tule elk roamed the land, condors soared overhead, and sea otters and fish were abundant in the Bay. At Coyote Hills Regional Park, some of this rich wetland is preserved, along with 2,000-year old Tuibun Ohlone Indian shellmound sites with fascinating archaeological resources.
The park's rich and varied history also includes Mission and settler ranching and farming activities, salt production, a duck hunting club, a dairy, rock quarrying, a military NIKE missile site, and a biosonar research facility. Now a Regional Park, this area is preserved for recreation, and educational and nature experiences for all to enjoy.