July is dry but beautiful.
Coyote Hills is the place to go under a few conditions:
- It's hot inland and you want to be near the Bay.
- You're looking for a meeting place for friends who live in Silicon Valley or the South Bay.
- You dig birds like wintering ducks or the ginormous White Pelican.
- You want to learn something about the Ohlone people who lived here before us.
- Some little legs want to ride a bike somewhere new.
Coyote Hills is a beautiful park to explore. It's where Alameda Creek meets the Bay and has lots of bike trails to ride. It's also on the east side of the Dumbarton Bridge, out in the Bay.
The park is big for little legs so if you plan to go far, bring wheels of some kind. There are flat and wide and paved trails throughout and so you could spend the day riding around in big circles.
But you don't really need to go far or bikes to enjoy this place. The visitor center is one of my favorites and there's a great picnic area right at the parking lot. It's shady there with some beautiful old oak trees. There are wooden boardwalks over the marsh that give you some fun ways to see the birds. The marsh at Coyote Hills is one of the pit stops on the Pacific Flyway and so in the winter you will be overwhelmed with birds. Birds, birds, birds! You could easily spend a few hours within a half mile of the Visitor Center.
Salt flats = fun.
This picture was taken on a trip there in July. We walked to the northern part of the park and walked out onto one of the salt flats. It was like being on the moon. The salt is crunchy with mud beneath it and various levels of wetness. Our shoes were filthy, but it was a lot of fun to explore.
Also there's an old Ohlone shellmound that is totally worth visiting. The Park District has done a good job of preserving (or recreating) it so we can get a sense of how our predecessors lived in the area.
That's my son imitating a Great Blue Heron. Can you tell?
Coyote Hills is an expansive and stunning place to visit. What you find in July will be different than what you see in November. Just like what you will do with a 5 year old there will be different than what you do with a 2 year old. The good news is that there is something for all ages and all seasons.