The East Bay is a great place to explore nature by bike. The combination of the BART system and the amazing regional trail network can get you easy access to many of the parks in the East Bay Regional Park system. The Park District operates 65 parks and more than 1,200 miles of trails, covering over 113,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
There’s no need to start up the car to access these amazing parks. Many are within an easy bike ride from a BART station, and a Clipper Card is just as useful a tool to explore the East Bay Regional Parks as a car. Here are a handful of spectacular East Bay Regional Parks that are easily accessed from BART. All have great options for easy to advanced hikes and excellent mountain biking.
Not sure how to take your bike on board BART, or some other East Bay transit service? Find all the info you need in our guide to bikes-on-transit here.
Combine the Alameda Creek trail, a short mile away from the Fremont BART Station, with a visit to the Coyote Hill Park for an easy and relaxing bike day trip. The paved Alameda Creek trail takes you through Fremont along the marshy creek to the Bay. The creek trail and Coyote Hills park both offer great bird watching. Don’t miss a visit to the Coyote Hills Visitor Center with an excellent exhibit on the Ohlone way of life. Park details here.
This popular San Leandro Park has two hilly loops around Lake Chabot, a nine mile loop for hikers and a 15 mile loop for mountain bikers. The park is also a great destination for fishing, camping and boating. An easy 3 mile bike ride connects San Leandro BART via bike lanes on Estudillo Avenue to the start of a bike path that leads to the Lake. Be sure to continue left on Estudillo after the 580 undercrossing, rather than taking the right on Lake Chabot Road. Park bikes in the parking lot or pedal up the hill to the start of the hiking and mountain bike loop. Park details here.
Briones is a popular road biking destination with hundreds of cyclists riding through the park every weekend on the famous Three Bears loop or on Happy Valley Road. This semi-secret entrance makes for an easy bike ride from BART, leading to a very strenuous hike or mountain bike ride. From the Layfayette BART station ride north on Happy Valley Road for just over a mile until you reach Panorama Drive, where you can lock your bike. It’s not marked as a park entrance, but Panorama Drive leads to a fire road that ascends over a thousand feet into the park. Park details here.
In the hills east of Hayward the Garin and Dry Creek Pioneer parks provides miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, exhibits on early farming equipment, an annual Apple Festival and much more. A 2 mile bike ride from South Hayward BART, via Dixon St and a short but steep climb up Garin Ave, brings bicyclists to the park entrance. Pick up a map to see the many options for hiking and biking in the park. Park details here.
Looking for the ultimate bike and dog adventure? Riding the Bay Trail from Oakland or Emeryville to Point Isabel in El Cerrito is it! Even if you don’t have a dog to bring along this park makes for a nice bay side hike with great dog and people watching. Good access points to the Bay Trail for a ride to Point Isabel are at 40th Street in Emeryville and Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. There is plentiful bike parking on the Bay Trail and at Mudpuppy’s Cafe. Park details here.
Bordering Tilden Park to the north, Wildcat Canyon boasts amazing views of the north bay, and a meandering creek canyon that feels hundreds of miles away from the neighboring cities of El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante and Kensington. A flat 4.2 mile bike ride from El Cerrito Del Norte BART station via the Ohlone Greenway and the signed I-80 Bikeway leads to the Park Avenue entrance of the park. Park bikes in the parking lot, or continue to ride onto the Wildcat Creek trail. Park details here.
For more on reaching the outdoors by transit go to the Transit and Trails website, or download the app. Take full advantage of the wealth of parks available in the Bay Area by making the entire trip part of the adventure, and combine your two wheels with BART.