Margaux Miller

Probably Better for Biking

We arrived at Walnut Creek around 9 am on a January Saturday and were happy to find a map with about 200 acres of criss-crossing trails, most of which allowed dogs off leash. Not many cars were in the parking lot, which we figured was due to the threat of rain and cooler temperatures. The trails were beautiful with scenery varying from dense trees to the limestone creek bed to open grassy areas. Based on the trailhead map, we aimed to follow a designated 5 mile trail, but the trails were poorly marked and we ended up on lots of smaller side trails. It was fun to explore these different trails and our dogs seemed to enjoy the varied terrain. However, around 10 am and with the sun coming out, the trails become crowded with mountain bikers. We found ourselves frequently stopping to let bikers pass. We put our dogs back on leash lest they encounter an unsuspecting bike around a corner. I can imagine the vast network of trails and terrain would be fun to explore via mountain bike, but I am rating Walnut Creek based on our intention to hike with our dogs. If you go during non-peak bike hours, Walnut Creek is an easy and enjoyable way to escape the city with your dog and explore numerous different trails. I would also suggest this site for trail-runners, again go early so as to avoid crowds.