Wild and scenic Coyote Hills Regional Park is probably best known for its birdlife—from hawks to herons, kestrels to kingfishers. But its 978 acres of marshland and grassy hills is also fringed with flowers now—wildflowers! Enjoy it all on a 5-mile loop hike. From the southeast corner of the visitor center parking lot, head into the marsh on Chochenyo Trail, lined with reeds and cattails.
Stay on Chochenyo Trail to loop around the fenced-off Tuibun Ohlone Village site and head back the way you came. A pair of rights gets you on the D.U.S.T. Trail, lined by purple thistles, and where the waterway teems with geese and ducks. At Alameda Creek Trail turn left and follow the paved path west to Red Hill Trail, which ascends into the low hills fronting the bay. This trail is fringed with sun cups, California poppies, and flowering fennel.
At the top, you’ll have spectacular 360-degree views that include San Francisco and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Turn left on Soaproot Trail and follow Bayview Trail back to the parking lot.
Coyote Hills Regional Park is located at 8000 Patterson Ranch Rd. in Fremont. The visitor center is at the west end of Patterson Ranch Rd. There’s a $5 parking fee. Find a trail map here. Note that seasonal rains can cause flooding on the marsh trails; check the status on the website or by calling the park supervisor at (510) 544-3217. No dogs.