Talk of the Town

Hike to Gossip Rock in the East Bay's Garin Regional Park

We're spilling the tea on this bountiful 5.5-mile loop to Gossip Rock in Hayward’s Garin Regional Park (currently whispering all the right springtime notes).

From the Garin parking lot, head south toward Jordan Pond. This is a perfect picnic spot for families, and kids can spot frogs, newts, and coots from the wooden pier. Kite Field is located on the eastern shore of the pond and is a great place to kick back and watch colorful kites soar through the sky.

At the southern tip of the pond, turn right onto Dry Creek Trail. This path winds through the creek, cow pastures, and mossy forest. (Keep your map handy. There are some false trails along this section.)

At the intersection, turn left onto Meyers Ranch Trail, then right onto Pioneer Trail. Enjoy the last stretch of shady, wooded pathways before emerging into the open grasslands. Turn left on High Ridge Loop Trail to begin the steep ascent to the ridgeline. At the intersection with Gossip Rock Loop Trail, turn right to reach Gossip Rock. This massive boulder is a shady oasis, the perfect spot to soak up the views of rolling green hills or dish some dirt with a friend.

When you’ve gotten your fill of good gossip, head back to the intersection, and turn right on High Ridge Loop Trail. This scenic route offers beautiful views of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It’s also a bird-watcher’s paradise, home to colorful western bluebirds and red-winged blackbirds.

Continue along High Ridge Loop Trail as it passes Kite Field and the historic Garin Barn Visitor Center (open June 18 to Labor Day) The trail leads directly to the parking lot.

Garin Regional Park is located at 1320 Garin Ave in Hayward. Map. The park’s springtime hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is a $5 parking fee, and $2 per dog. Bikes and horses welcome on marked trails.

Story by Heather Werner,

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