Walnut Creek and the neighboring East Bay area account for a variety of wildlife, sweeping landscapes and nature trails that draw visitors to the vicinity. Find your ideal terrain and hiking trails in the Bay Area amongst the regional parks listed below:

Mount Diablo State Park

Mt Diablo

Mount Diablo is seen from miles around and is a unique identifier in Walnut Creek, California. Discover the extensive trails, distinct scenery and beautiful wildlife that the East Bay Area has to offer at the Mount Diablo State Park. Explore remote areas by horseback, bike along widespread rock formations or hike to the park’s 3,849-foot summit. Visitors to the observation deck at the Summit Visitor Center (open daily 10AM – 4PM) can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the area, including the Farallon Islands that lie beyond the Golden Gate Bridge to the west. Take the family to the Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center in order to further explore the geology, wildlife and plants from the surrounding area. The park’s 20,000 some acres include a variety of trails for skill levels ranging from the moderate Mount Diablo’s Grand Loop to the difficult 10 mile North Peak at Mount Diablo State Park trail.

Diablo Foothills Regional Park

Diablo Foothills

These beautiful foothills cover 1,060 acres of striking landscapes and geological formations at the threshold of Mt. Diablo State Park. Other than wonderful views, the area contains a variety of vegetation from wetlands to oak savanna and oak woodland in the valley. This diverse habitat supports an equal variety of wildlife. The East Bay hiking trails in this regional park also offer a great foundation for bicycling, horseback riding and jogging.

Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area

Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area

Located amongst over 18,000 acres of public lands at Mt. Diablo State Park and Walnut Creek Open Space, this scenic canyon area is an ideal destination for hiking in the Bay Area. Castle Rock Trail winds through the oak woodlands, sandstone structures and Pine Creek. After a day on the hiking trails, stop with the family at the other park activities including volleyball courts, softball fields, a swimming pool complex and public picnic sites.

Shell Ridge Open Space

Shell Ridge Open Space

Named after the remnant marine fossils from the ocean that once covered the area, Shell Ridge offers about 31 miles of open space perfect for hiking, biking and horse riding. Roam throughout this area on the Bay Area hiking trails that slither through these woodlands and grasslands near Mount Diablo. Shell Ridge also is home to Borges Ranch, a working cattle ranch, and the Bob Pond Picnic Area.

Briones Regional Park

Briones Regional Park

Hiking in the Bay Area has never felt more majestic than amongst the black-tailed deer, turkey vultures and other animals that call this 6,117-acre space home. Easily plan your next picnicking, bird watching, photography and recreational trip in these rolling hills. Although the park is close to neighboring Contra Costa County towns, Briones Peak and summits allow visitors to see panoramic views of the hills and surrounding wilderness.

Sycamore Valley Open Space Preserve

Sycamore Valley Open Space Preserve

This East Bay preserve encompasses nearly 697 acres of space along two major ridges south of Mt. Diablo. The park’s Sherburne Hills Unit is almost entirely grassland and the Short Ridge Unit is similar with a scattered oak savanna. Hike amongst a wide array of wildlife that live amongst the various elevations in the area.

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness
  • Hikers and horseback riders of all kinds will enjoy the ruggedness of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness. The 5,342-acre park is bisected by Bollinger Creek with Rocky Ridge and Las Trampas Ridge on either side. Hike along the west side to the 2,024-foot summit or take the eastern trails to enjoy striking views of Mt. Diablo, Carquinez Straits and other points of interest. The park also includes Little Hills Picnic Ranch for groups of up to 1,500 people and the Las Trampas Stables for horse boarding and lessons.

Howe Homestead Park

Howe Homestead Park
  • This 6.5- acre area nearby the Shell Ridge preserve is a unique space named after well-known world correspondent James P. Howe. Begin your next Bay Area hike to Mount Diablo ten miles away at this Walnut Creek Park. Open daily from sunrise to sunset, this park also offers tours, special events and a community garden for residents.
    • Park Entrance: 2950 Walnut Boulevard, Walnut Creek, CA 94596