Spanning from Concord to Dublin, the Iron Horse Trail offers a 33-mile stretch perfect for outdoor exercise. Easily accessible to many East Bay residents, the trail beats being cooped up in the gym, or dodging cars while jogging on the road.
Since the Iron Horse Trail passes through almost a dozen town and cities, it has no main staging point. Where you enter the trail really depends on where you live. Some people may drive to a nearby parking area, while others can bike or walk to one of many trail-street intersections near their home. I suggest consulting a trail map to see what works best for you.
With a well-maintained 20-foot-wide path, the Iron Horse Trail can comfortably accommodate its high volume of visitors. It doesn't matter what your athletic ability may be, the trail is a welcome spot for the fitness guru and casual stroller alike.
Walking and running aren’t the only things the trail is good for though. Biking, horse backing riding, and bringing the dog out are also popular. There are plenty of signs outlining trail etiquette along the way, so all activities are able to co-exist peacefully.
Squirrels and a variety of birds frequent many stretches of the trail, giving you the feeling of being out in the wilderness. Different tree varieties also shroud many sections of the route, providing much appreciated shade. You will often find benches in these cool spots where you can take a breather.
Depending on which section of the trail you traverse, several different settings pop up along your journey. On minute you may be walking under tall oaks, only to stumble into a bustling downtown area a short distance later. The terrain of Iron Horse Trail is never boring, as it is always changing.
Aside from the exercise aspect of the trail, it can also be used as a great outing for the family. It’s a wonderful spot to bring the kids for a weekend bike ride or a family dog walk. With the trail bordering so close to many towns you can even map out your route to pass by a favorite breakfast or lunch destination.
Iron Horse Trail is a great multi-use trail that is hard to beat as far as convenience goes. And while it may not be a lush regional park, it offers a nice deviation from your regular exercise routine, and gets you outdoors. Give it a visit and it may just become a part of your weekly routine.
Further trail information can be found at the East Bay Regional Park District website.
At a Glance:
Iron Horse Trail
Address: Consult a map for parking areas and trail access points.
Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Best time to visit: Anytime, weekdays if you want a less crowded trail.
Great for: Walking, running, biking, dog walking, horseback riding.
Could be better if: Bikers, hikers and horseback riders all adhere to the rules of the trail.