Back to the East Bay: Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve
Hello, Oakland! I’m so excited to spend more time in the East Bay and more specifically at one of my favorite hiking destinations–Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve. This lovely, peaceful trail is just short of 3 miles and boasts streams, easy accessibility, and dogs and kids alike will love it. Spring is the perfect time to visit too, because all the flowers are popping up.The first thing I love about this trail is how many dog walkers and dogs there are. I bring Gus and he loves meeting new friends. There are obvious posts on dog etiquette and you’ll find plenty of dog waste bags if needed.
The first entrance is a little confusing to find–When you turn left onto Campus Drive from Keller, you’ll go through the first apartment complex on the right and the entrance is behind the parking lot. You can also enter from the opposite end of the trail through Merritt College’s parking lots.
If you’ve never gone hiking before, this is a good first-time experience because there are no steep climbs–even the gradual slopes are doable for the most novice hiker. It’s also a great place for toddlers wanting to walk more and explore on their own because it’s nice and flat for the most part.Leona Canyon is smack dab in the suburbs but has everything you’d want to experience in the outdoors, a stone’s throw away from where you live. I’ve come here with friends and family and each time is a new experience.
Poppy ended up hiking the middle part of the trail for about a mile. The streams were flowing and the echo through the canyon was hard not to notice. We saw a couple of college kids playing their guitar and singing in unison with the trail-side water flow. In between stops to check out flowers, there are open pathways which lead to the streams if your child wants to throw some rocks in. There are signs for some parts of the stream that prohibit dogs to take a swim.If you want to extend the hike or add in a challenge, you could check out the Artemesia trail which is a bit of a climb to some awesome views of Oakland. You’ll see the trail post after half a mile or so. What’s your favorite trail nearby where you live? Are any of them particularly kid-friendly or a place your dog loves? Share them in the comments and be sure to let us know if you decide to hike here by tagging us on Instagram #raisingkidswild.