The parks and open spaces around Livermore are ideal for hiking. The trails are abundant and the venues are among the most beautiful in the area. This beautiful city in the Bay Area is within a short drive of more than thousands of miles of scenic trails. You’ll find trails to suit all levels of difficulty from novice hikers to seasoned backpackers. This area simply put, overflows with great hiking areas, including the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, Brushy Peak, Sycamore Grove Park, and others.
Livermore is considered part of the East Bay Regional Park District, which is a large expanse of open spaces, parks, and natural preserves. The statistics are amazing: 112,000 acres of land and 1,200 miles of trails. There also are more than 150 miles of paved trails in the park district. Recreational areas are open to the public for hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, and water sports.
Livermore also is a great place for people who enjoy active outdoor activities. There’s hiking, biking, camping and many opportunities for a nice picnic in the many open areas in and around the city. Livermore has dozens of neighborhood parks within the city limits with various facilities such as tennis courts and playgrounds.
Brushy Peak Regional Preserve is a an open space with a 1,702-foot peak situated at the California Delta and the Central Valley. The peak and its surrounding areas were once considered a sacred place by generations of native Californians. Due to its strategic location and access, the area was at the center of a network of ancient trade routes that linked Bay Area Ohlones, Bay Miwoks, and Northern Valley Yokuts, who came to the area for economic, social, and ceremonial events.
Brushy Peak Regional Preserve is rich in bird and wildlife. In addition you can get stunning views of the Central Valley toward the Sierra Nevada mountains from the peak. Sandstone rock formations are scattered in the area and have taken interesting shapes through time and erosion. Colorful lichens cover the rock surfaces, birds nest on them and a variety of creatures thrive in the rainwater that collects in the depressions in the rock.
The Morgan Territory Regional Preserve is part of the East Bay Regional Park District and ranges over 4,708 acres of open space. You can hike, ride horses, camp, and picnic here. The preserve is noted for its prolific wildflowers and amazing views of Mount Diablo and Mount St. Helena.
The Ohlone Wilderness Trail in Livermore also belongs to the East Bay Regional Park District. You'll find abundant wildlife here in the Ohlone Regional Wilderness, including endangered bald eagles, mountain lions, bobcats, and deer. This trail takes you into the regional wilderness totaling nearly 9,800 acres that can only be accessed by the Ohlone trail. The Ohlone Regional Wilderness includes Rose Peak that reaches up 3,800 feet into the air.
Sycamore Grove Park is a 775-acre expanse of trails, natural lands, and wildlife. If you are lucky you will see many of the animals in these areas.The park is a refuge for a variety of wildlife including frogs, pond turtles, dragonflies, ducks or even muskrats. Grassland and oak woodland form habitats that shelter deer, ground squirrels, butterflies, lizards and birds such as red-tail hawks, white-tail kites, scrub jays, magpies and meadowlarks. The park is open to leashed pets and horseback riders.
Holdener Park is an open-space grassland that erupts in a riot of colors in the spring with wildflowers. In the small ravines shaded by majestic blue oaks there are a variety of insects, mammals, birds, and reptiles. You may see deer, red tail hawks, great horned owls, a variety of butterflies, and western fence lizards.
Garaventa Wetlands Preserve is located in the Springtown area of Livermore. It is known for its unique habitat which supports unusual plant and animal life. Although it is open by guided tour only, you can get a good look at it from the Altamont Creek Trail located to the south of the preserve. Take a pair of binoculars to look for birds such as the burrowing owl, northern harrier, loggerhead shrike, red-winged blackbird and western meadowlark.
Special tours can be arranged for groups by calling the nature program at 925-960-2403.
These examples are just a few of the great hiking opportunities that make Livermore and its regional area a special place for recreation enthusiasts. For a broad overview of Livermore hiking maps, consult the East Bay Regional Park District’s website. You will find a variety of free maps that you can download to help plan your hike.