3 Lunar New Year hikes

Jan 17th, 2020

Get out for Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year (January 25) is a big day of excitement and celebration. It’s an important time to reunite with family, have fun with friends, and start a new journey of growth. This “year of the Rat” brings opportunities for new beginnings, growth, and prosperity.

Some qualities “rats” have are friendliness, prosperity, and curiosity. Take advantage of new opportunities to build healthy habits, (getting outside, spending time with family) with these 3 hikes.  Each hike embodies a “rat-like quality” in its essence. The Lynch Canyon hike in the North Bay embodies curiosity due to its irregularly shaped rocks along the trail.  The trail at Coyote Creek in the South Bay embodies friendliness in all the birds and wildlife “friends” you could make on the trail. The trail through Five Canyons Open Space in the East Bay embodies prosperity by the abundance of stunning views of the bay and surrounding mountains.

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1. Lynch Canyon Open Space and McGary Road
County: Solano
Mileage: Lynch Canyon segment, 4.3 miles one-way (plus 4.3-mile return to trailhead)
Difficulty: Moderate
Rat-like quality: Curiosity

Go as far as you like on this out-and-back or make a loop with some of the the adjacent trails. In Lynch Canyon, the Ridge Trail climbs and descends a series of grassy hilltops, and offers stunning 360-degree views. A distinctive feature along the spine of the preserve is a loose aggregation of irregularly shaped rocks graced by wind-sculpted live oak and bay trees.

Solano Land Trust is offering a docent-led hike on Lunar New Year, Saturday, January 25,  to discuss plant communities, landforms, and birds at Lynch Canyon.  Free registration here.

Lynch Canyon Map
More info on Lynch Canyon Open Space

Recharge at some of our favorite nearby spots:*
Chaats Cuisine Indian Food
The Loft Thai Fusion
Hinata Japanese Steakhouse

2. Coyote Creek Parkway North
County: Santa Clara
Mileage: 9.3 miles one-way
Difficulty: Easy
Rat-like quality: Friendliness

Coyote Creek travels 31 miles from the Diablo Range to San Francisco Bay. On this trail segment, follow the creekbed through shady riparian cover, parks, developed areas, and open fields to Metcalf Park’s freshwater lagoons, the habitat for many year-round and migratory bird species. The wide paved trail travels a nearly level course and is an excellent bike ride, popular with families on bicycles, especially on weekends.

Coyote Creek Parkway North
More info on Coyote Creek Parkway

Recharge at some of our favorite nearby spots:*
Julio’s Fresh Mex
Niji Sushi and Ramen

3. Don Castro and Five Canyons Parkway to Garin or Dry Creek Regional Parks
County: Alameda
Mileage: 10.6 or 11.2 miles one-way (includes a 0.2-mile connector on northern end and a 2.9- or 3.5- mile connector on southern end)
Difficulty: Moderate
Rat-like quality: Prosperity

This long stretch of trail is primarily on old ranch roads along the main ridge above Castro Valley, Hayward, and Union City. Mostly on open grassland, the trail offers unparalleled views of the bay and its surrounding mountains, as well as views out to the east. This section is best done as a car shuttle as it is about 11 miles one-way. Two miles of the trail’s midsection pass through the Stonebrae Country Club on golf paths and roads. Because Stonebrae is a gated housing development, it cannot serve as a trailhead for the general public.

Don Castro and Five Canyons Parkway to Garin or Dry Creek Regional Parks Map
More info on Don Castro and Five Canyons

Recharge at some of our favorite nearby spots:*
Boulevard Burger
The Burrito Shop
Pad Thai Cusine

*Do you have a favorite spot we missed? Let us know! Email us at info@ridgetrail.org

Looking for more curated adventures? Check out the Official Guide Book to the Bay Area Ridge Trail – it’s packed full of useful information for planning hikes, backpacking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trips with maps, detailed trail descriptions, curated trips and more.


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