2013 Trails Challenge Hike - Coyote Hills

Last weekend we did not have a chance to go hike, so by Monday morning my kids were a little too energetic for this stay-at-home-mom.  I had been contemplating for the past couple of weeks to go hiking alone with my toddlers (three and one year old) because sometimes the children's parks and neighborhood walks are not enough for my kids.

I decided to "bite the bullet" and take my kids, David and Sophia, to Coyote Hills Regional Park and might as well complete my first hike of 2013 Trails Challenge of the East Bay Regional Parks District.  I decided to do one of the hikes marked as "Easy-2.5 miles" since I've never been hiking alone with my kids.  It took me almost all morning to get ready, tummies needed to be filled before we left and as well as preparing lunch for the hike.  One of the many important things, I have learned as a parent is it takes a really long time to leave to go anywhere, so if I can mentally prepare myself for it then preparation time is not stressful.

The drive into Coyote Hills was beautiful, the hills were green, skies were blue and a beautiful field of yellow flowers filled the street that turned down to Coyote Hills entrance.  I wanted to stop and take pictures but Sophia looked a little sleepy and I wanted to start hiking before she fell asleep.  An eternity to pack up to get out of the house also leads to an eternity to get out of the car to start hiking.  I wanted to pick up our Trails Challenge T-Shirts but I did not know that Coyote Hills Visitor Center was closed on Monday's.

We started our hike as listed on the Trails Challenge on Bayview Trail near the Visitors Center, but did the trail in reverse order.  I brought our double jogging stroller just in case the kids got tired but after this hike I will no longer bring it along, my kids are hikers not sitters.

Sophia taking the view of the Main Marsh and Mission Peak in the background.  We hiked along Bayview Trails towards Lizard Rock Trail but on the 0.17 miles there Sophia got cranky, wanted to be carried and David wanted a snack.  I convinced my kids to sit in the stroller with some banana chips, one of their favorite snacks. 

A view of the North Mash and in the very far off distance in the Hayward hills is California State University Hayward, (my alma mater) now CSU East Bay.  There are two Lizard Rock trails one for hikers only and the other for hikers and bikers.  Is a jogging stroller considered a bike? Either way I just followed the tire marks in the trail and took the wider Lizard Rock Trail.

Sometimes I can not believe I'm a mother of these two beautiful kids.  I truly love them so much.  I saw this beautiful big tree on Lizard Rock Trail and and to plop them right in front of it for a picture. The trail was bumpy so the kids really enjoyed all the jostling and it made them down right sleepy.  We headed down towards the Main Marsh again where I found something new that caught my eye. 

Granted this is our second year doing the Trails Challenge but it was nice to see the trail markers marked as part of the trails challenge.  Bright green to catch my eye!

Tried to take a picture of myself with my kids but they can never sit still, so here's a solo one of myself.  The Visitor Center is to the left of the picture with the Main Marsh right behind me.  We made a quick right onto Muskrat Trail where we spent a very long time.  The kids saw the marsh that followed along the D.U.S.T. Trail and both screamed "Me Stuck!! Out!!"  A fellow hiker told me there were large fish in the water and the kids excitement went through the roof.

We sat there near the marsh as Sophia "threw rocks" into the marsh, lets just say the rocks never made it to the water.  That morning David had watched "Go, Diego Go" and watched Diego save a whale, therefore he asked me to see the whales and I told him maybe we could see the Bay (the ocean) and see some animals.  David was determined to see a whale.  The imagination and hope of a three year old is quite refreshing sometimes.

As we sat by the marsh all of a sudden five large fish started splashing just underneath the surface of the water.  The kids didn't know what to make of it and I explained that the fishes were swimming, but a few minutes later one large fish literally jumped out of the water three times in a row right in front of us.  David nearly died of excitement, I've never heard him squeal so much before.  It almost brings tears to my eyes remembering his face and him squealing, "Mommy a BIG fish, it's a whale!!"  Sophia also saw the fish and was more scared than anything else, she needed a big hug.

After the excitement of the "whale" subsided, David wanted to move on but Miss Sophia could sit near the marsh all day long so I convinced to sit in the stroller for five minutes with some cheese sticks.  Down Muskrat Trail towards Chochenyo Trail, where the cotton tail plants were as tall as I am, five feet tall.

There were "fuzzies" floating in the air from the cotton tails and some other flowering plant, which looked like snowflakes drifting.  David comes to the realization that it's "snowing" and Sophia starts babbling, "snow, snow, snow..." Who am I to burst their bubble and agree that it's snowing in 70 degree weather in Fremont.  Mother's love.

Sophia was being silly, she does not have the energy level as our son so she took a break by laying down in the trail, face in the ground on Chochenyo Trail.  Everyone wanted a little break so I decided to break out the good stuff, Trader Joe's Salami, some more cheese, cherry tomatoes and banana chips.

David taking a break and apparently sunning himself on the trail.  After lunch time we made it down to the end of the trail at the far end of this picture above.  Sophia got really cranky by this point so I put her in my baby sling and tried to convinced David to get in the stroller.  It was so obvious that David was really tired but every time I asked if he wanted to sit down he would say, "No, Mommy.  I walk."

This is when I decided that I would no longer take our jogging stroller on hikes.  It was absolutely useless, David sat in it for 10 minutes and Sophia an additional 5 minutes.  The rest of the time they hiked and I really realized that my babies are outdoor kids.  Hence we nickname Sophia "Mountain Baby" last summer after we visited Highland Lakes in Northern California.

Sophia quickly fell asleep in my sling and David and I continued onto Tuibun Trail which turned into Bayview Trail which followed along the Main Marsh.  I didn't bring any chocolate on this hike so I  bribed him to keep hiking with the promise of chocolate when we got home.  It was a very fun hike and more importantly the kids had a blast and burned some energy.


My GPS Garmin had a little difficulty but we were not 250 feet below sea level.  We hike 2.6 miles or an average 1.8 mph in 3 hours.  Hiking with little ones is really slow.

Hardly any elevation change, started at sea level and barely reach 50 ft elevation.

My first "alone" hike with the kids!
Bayview - Lizard Rock - Chochenyo - Muskrat - Chochenyo - Tuibun - Bayview

Happy Hiking!