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From the bay to foothills, 12 fairly level miles along Alameda Creek.

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. Soon you pass a greensward that was once a quarry; you'll find picnic tables and drinking water here, on the opposite side of the creek. (To reach it, leave the path where it passes under Decoto Road and cross the creek on the sidewalk along Decoto.)

About 1/2 mile farther on are ponds from another old quarry; you might see model boaters sailing their tiny yachts here. Then you reach Alameda Creek's largest pond along this stretch; it's at trail's end, at Old Canyon Road and Niles Canyon Road--a good spot for a breather before backtracking to Coyote Hills. (From Coyote Hills, you can add a 3-1/2-mile loop on the paved Bay View Trail, or take Apay Way trail south 2 miles to San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.)

Just outside the entrance to Coyote Hills park is Oak Tree produce stand, open 9 to 5 daily June through October.

Coyote Hills Regional Park is in Fremont, 25 miles south of Oakland via I-880 and State 84. From State 84, take the Newark Boulevard/Ardenwood exit and go northwest on Ardenwood. Turn left on Paseo Padre Parkway, and go almost 1/2 mile to Patterson Ranch Road and the park entrance.
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Date:Jun 1, 1991
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