Contra Loma Regional Park might not have a lot to offer serious hound-dog hikers, but it’s still well worth a visit if you and your pooch find yourselves seeking a short and scenic stroll in the Antioch, CA area. You’ll find plenty of parking at the parking lot on Fredrickson Lane, but if you’d like to avoid the $5 fee, you can always leave your car across the street at Antioch Community Park and walk up from there. Contra Loma is almost always pretty busy, particularly in summer when the (unfortunately not Fido-friendly) swimming lagoon fills up with families, so those seeking solitude should definitely search elsewhere. You might want to give this one a miss if your furball gets nervous around crowds.
By far the most pawpular walk at Contra Loma Regional Park is the three-mile East/West Lake Shore Trail, a gorgeous, level loop around the serene reservoir. Be sure to keep your pooch on a tight leash so that they don’t stray into the swim lagoon area! Along the way, you’ll find lots of pawesome places to picnic or just sit and take in the view.
To get a little further from the madding crowd, consider taking the Old Ranch Loop Trail, another three-mile stretch that takes you over rolling, grassy hills and other oak groves, and features grrreat views of the lake. Four-pawed fitness freaks might find it a little difficult to find something that piques their interest, but the Contra Loma Reservoir Ridge Trail has a couple of decent inclines and continues on into the more challenging territory of the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. Once you stray from the lake, expect to see plenty of wildlife, including jackrabbits and gophers -- you might want to keep an eye on your tiny tearaway if they’re the type to tear after small, scurrying critters!
Contra Loma Regional Park is a pretty accessible place, and the paved loop around the lake is certainly wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and even a stroller! There are plenty of restrooms in the park, as well as a couple of drinking fountains. Remember to bring waste bags for your buddy, and have a furrific walk!