Location: Lafayette, Martinez, Pleasant Hill
- January 1–31, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- February 1–March 13, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- March 14 –April 10, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- April 11 –September 5, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- September 6–November 6, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- November 7–December 31, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fees: Parking – $3 per vehicle (when kiosk is attended). Dogs – $2 per dog (does not apply to guide or service dogs).
Briones Regional Park is conveniently tucked between five of the Bay Area’s eastern cities—Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek—making it an ideal stop any day of the week. Filled with lush rolling hills, active grasslands, and shady oak trees, the park’s 6,255 acres bring the joy of nature to life.
Take a hike, go for a run, have a picnic, watch birds, fly a kite, or ride horseback through the valleys to take advantage of the wide-open space. But whatever you do, make sure to keep an eye out for the brilliant wildflowers, black-tailed deer, coyotes, squirrels, red-tailed hawks, and turkey vultures that call the park home.
Diablo Foothills Regional Park
- November 1–February 28, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- March 1–May 31, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- June 1–October 31, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Leading into Mount Diablo State Park, one of the best hiking destinations in Contra Costa County, Diablo Foothills Regional Park is the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet alongside panoramic vistas. With views stretching across the Bay Area, interesting geological formations, beautiful wildflowers, and a diverse array of wildlife, there’s always something new to see.
Whether you’re looking for a place to go hiking, biking, or horseback riding, the Diablo Foothills have you covered, but this spot is particularly interesting for wildlife enthusiasts. Look out for bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, long-tailed weasels, mule deer, northern mockingbirds, quails, raccoons, rabbits, tree frogs, Western fence lizards, and a host of other creatures along the way. Stop by the Pine Creek perennial pools to catch a glimpse of green sunfish and largemouth bass, too.
Heather Farm Park
Location: Walnut Creek
Hours*: Dawn to dusk
When it comes to amenities at East Bay parks, it’s hard to beat Heather Farm Park. Featuring everything from tennis courts and baseball fields to a skate park and fishing ponds, this expanse has something for everyone. Sidestep the geese as you stroll along the pathways, relax beneath the shade of the trees, and wander around the rose garden to see one of the most picturesque locations in the charming city of Walnut Creek.
Heather Farm Park has become a regional favorite thanks to its family-oriented activities and its serene location about a mile from the heart of downtown. Aside from the walkways and sports facilities, the park is also equipped with extensive playgrounds and grassy areas where the whole family can run free.
Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve