Sycamore Grove is a park on the Southern edge of the Livermore Valley. The park provides both flat trails on the valley floor, roughly following the creek, and trails that wind up into the hills.
This park has some trails which are anticipated to be certified as part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. This is part of a long distance trail not only around The Bay Area, or indeed the length of California, but a trail which leads back to Arizona.
Tree cover is sparse, which is a blessing and a curse, amazing views, brutal climate. Once up the hill side a little you command extensive views of the Tri Valley, bounded by the Diablo Range and Pleasanton Ridge. To the North Mt. Diablo dominates the horizon. Looking to the East you will see the windmill topped hills either side of the Altamont Pass. The hills around are spotted with vineyards, and the valley floor a mix of wineries, agriculture, residential and gravel quarry, some of which are now lakes.
On sunny days there is virtually no shade, and temperatures can easily best 110°F. Evening winds can be swift, they often pick up in the last couple of hours before sunset with a stiff westerly.
There are areas where native plants have been re-introduced, including saplings alongside the creek to protect and restore the watershed. Artificial ponds which seem to be introduced by past livestock farmers now provide a residence for ducks, coots, and turtles. Some of the non native plants include a few random eucalyptus trees, and an avenue of olives. There is actually a working olive grove just outside the park too.
As well as the aforementioned ducks, the park is home to wild turkey and woodpeckers. We saw plenty of hawks and crows too. As always, be aware as this is snake country, and though it looked open, and lacking in larger prey, I would expect coyotes around here too.
I did not see a policy on dogs, but our party was not the only one accompanied by a canine friend. Cyclist seemed to keep to the flat, but we did encounter some mountain bikes, but all the trails were of generous width.
- Dog friendly
- stroller friendly trails
- blacktop alongside creek.
- Well maintained dirt trails on the hillsides – rugged strollers will survive.
- Bike trails
- Easy climbs