For some reason, not a lot of people come when we plan an Outside Kids trip to Coyote Hills. Maybe it is because we usually go there in July with hopes that the breeze by the Bay will be cooler than the parks inland. July isn't a good month to plan anything, I gotta say. Or maybe it's because there's not a lot of interest in Coyote Hills for some reason. Maybe without a promise of a creek to play in, you all say 'no thanks.' Maybe it's being confused with Coyote Point in San Mateo and there is a big group every time looking for our car and the hand-drawn maps on the back? I don't know what it is, but you're missing out.
Coyote Hills is big and wide and expansive. But with a little bit of time in one spot, all kinds of details emerge. My kids love returning to the salt flats to explore and stomp and dream of licking all that salt (they're weird like that). I love the birds - those huge American White Pelicans are so fun to watch soar. I'm not much of a birder, per se, but these Pelicans are awesome. And they're great for young birders because they're hard to miss with the 9 foot wing span (9 feet?!). The colors of the place are gorgeous - the blues and yellows and greens just pop. The geography dork in me loves that Alameda Creek, which we splash in at Sunol Regional Wilderness, empties out into the Bay at Coyote Hills. There's an Ohlone village worth visiting and the boardwalks over the water are fun to explore. I predicted that our kids would like the Visitor Center but they ranked it 4th out of 4 Visitor Centers we've been to recently. I still think it's cool.
Yeah, okay, there are some downsides. There's not much shade. Bikes whiz by on the sometimes narrow paved paths. And you'll find some bird poop. But we can overcome these things, right?