The Alameda Creek Regional Trail stretches for 12 miles along its namesake creek through the Bay Area suburbs, connecting the mouth of Niles Canyon in Freemont to the San Francisco Bay. This smooth, well-tended fitness trail is one of the region's most pawpular dog-walking spots.
The ACRT is really two trails: one on the south bank of the creek and one on the north. The paved south-side trail is recommended for hikers and bikers, but the north-side equestrian trail offers a softer natural surface (and interesting piles to sniff). Note that pedestrians and paw-destrians are required to yield to horseback riders, but Fido and Fifi won't mind sharing if they like to frolic off-leash. The north-side ACRT allows dogs under voice control for most of its length. The leash-required segments of the trail are marked with signs.
On the more heavily-used south side, leashes are required. A 3.5-mile spur trail connects the southern trail to Coyote Hills Regional Park. Coyote Hills has an extensive trail network through coastal wetlands and Native American historical sites to explore, making it a furrific addition to your ACRT journey.
The ACRT makes exercise seem easy. Both sides of the trail are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, so bring the whole family, furry or not. The quarter-mile distance markers along the way make it simple to track your progress. Four bridge crossings give you the chance to switch from the paved to unpaved trail or back if Fido needs a change of scenery. Restrooms with running water are available at most trailheads, approximately every 2 to 3 miles along your journey. Trail parking is also available in several spots: The Alameda Creek Staging Area at the end of Lowery Road is the westernmost hop-on spot, and the Niles Staging Area on Old Canyon Road is the easternmost. While many local parks charge both human and separate doggy admission fees, the trail is entirely free.
Though the ACRT travels through a dense suburban area, the creekside setting attracts plenty of birds and other wildlife. You and your buddies will pass several ponds and parks that add to the trail's scenery. Alameda Creek is the county's largest waterway and a vital part of the ecosystem. Please preserve the beauty and convenience of the trail by cleaning up after your pups.