Ann Sieck wants to make sure people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, can find parks and trails they can enjoy.
Forests and Woodlands
This park’s oxymoronic name applies in summer, when the terraced ridges are tawny and oak trees crowded down cracked clay streambeds are the only evidence of moisture. But after fall rains you’ll find lonely trails here crossing and recrossing active waterways edged with willows or climbing steeply to high green ridges with views all the way across Hayward to the bay.
Dry Creek Pioneer Park is accessible via its twin Garin Park to the north, but the May Sreet entrance is convenient to transit, invites you to picnic in an interesting garden, and requires no entry fee.
Take Meyer’s Ranch Trail north for an easy and very pleasant one-mile stroll along “Dry” Creek to an oak-dotted meadow where rusting antique farm machinery marks the site of the old ranch. From there it climbs (steeply!) to the High Ridge Loop Trail, which offers several tough five-plus mile loop options, or you can stay by the stream on a single-track path for one more gentle mile to Jordan Pond and the other attractions of Garin Park’s developed area. A comparatively easy loop option from there is to return over the southwest hills of the park (via another part of High Ridge Loop Trail); what with the views across Hayward I didn’t find this route very appealing.
Details: Bikes and dogs on leash are permitted. The entrance is actually .3 mile east of the bus stop at Mission Blvd and Whipple, just past the Dry Creek Garden. The trail has a few ups and downs right at the outset, then is pretty level along the creek to Meyer’s Ranch. After that, in a wheelchair you can’t use Stream or Pioneer Trails (too narrow). I was able to continue on Meyer’s Ranch Trail only because my power chair can handle very steep hills. Even so I wouldn’t have tried it without very competent assistance (my husband). The southwest section of High Ridge Loop Trail is a little easier, but still very tough. If you want a longer hike in a chair, I suggest going south on Tolman Peak Trail (reviewed separately).