The Contra Costa Canal Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in the East Bay area of California. Spanning 13 or 6 miles, depending on the route taken, it is a point-to-point trail that takes an average of 4 hours and 9 minutes to complete. It is generally considered an easy route, making it a great option for those looking for a leisurely outdoor experience. The trail follows the path of the Contra Costa Canal, an artificial waterway originally built in 1930 to transport water to irrigate local crops. Realizing its potential, the Contra Costa Water District, the Office of Reclamation and the Park District teamed up to turn it into a paved walking path.
This trail is now an integral factor in the county's non-vehicular transportation and provides significant recreational opportunities in central Contra Costa County. A friend and I recently rode this trail as part of a two-day bike ride in the East Bay, riding the Iron Horse Trail and the Contra Costa Canal trails. We started at the Contra Costa Center, where there is a BART station and access to schools, shopping areas and public transportation. From there, we took the Iron Horse Trail heading south to the Contra Costa Canal trail. We then followed it until it intersected with Diablo Trail and Iron Horse Regional Trail. The Contra Costa Canal trail is known for its utility and strange semi-industrial beauty.
It is a great option for those looking for an easy outdoor experience in the East Bay area.