January 18, 2020
Contra Loma Reservoir Shore Trail
Total distance walked: 2.69 miles
Once a month I leave our cozy home in the foothills and head to my parents’ house in the suburbs for a one- or two-night visit. This year I hope to incorporate hiking into those mini trips. With that in mind, I contacted my sons who live in the Bay Area and invited them to hike with me during my January visit.
I wanted to hike at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. There, miles of trails weave through the verdant hills. But the park ranger told me the trails were sloppy with sticky mud. After a flurry of texts between my sons and me, we decided on the shore trail around Contra Loma Reservoir, a short loop hike. It is an easier trail that has paved sections.
That cold, January morning, the sky was grey and bumpy. Surrounded by rolling hills, the 80-acre reservoir may not have been the ideal place for a serious hiker, but it was perfect for a nature walk with family.
A recent rain left the nearly flat trail filled with muddy puddles. We avoided the shiny mud, the deepest and stickiest kind and continued our tromp around the water.
Tucked between the tulles at Quail Cove were weekend fishermen out to get their catch of the day. From what I’ve read, the water holds striped bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and rainbow trout.
The south end of Contra Loma has a lagoon with a sandy beach open for swimming during summertime. East of the lagoon a bridge to Loma Island—a picnic site—spans the water of Channel Point.
After riding in the stroller for a while, my adorable 2-year old grandson got out and walked the rest of the way. He grabbed my finger—melting my heart—and pulled me along the trail saying, “I’m going uphill, Damma” (his word for Grandma).
We passed Cattail Cove and Locust Grove.
Picnic tables were strategically placed around the lake. We sat and enjoyed the best views of the common marshbirds that make Contra Loma their winter home including egrets and great blue heron.
We finished the hike around noon, a little happier, a little hungry, and with a little mud on our shoes. Sometimes that happens when you’re having fun.