A Chilly Hike at Garin Regional Park

February 18, 2013: We were aiming to hike at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, but I was still a little bit under the weather and our kids decided to give us a rough night of sleep, so we decided to do a shorter less strenuous hike Garin Regional Park's, Ukraina Loop in Hayward.  This was my second 2013 Trails Challenge hike and +Jesse Avery first on the challenge list.  To add to the fun, we also decided to take our two Shih Tzu's dogs, Rocky and Apollo.

This is a separate part of Garin Regional Park that is not connected to Garin/Dry Creek Regional Park, there are no trails connecting the parks.  The East Bay Regional Parks District website does not have this section of the park listed on the map either, but this section of the park is listed on the Trails Challenge.

The dirt fire road is still called Carden Lane and its just a slight uphill not too difficult for my toddlers.  This is how my family hikes, toddlers playing in the dirt rocks, throwing rocks down a hill and lots of standing around sometimes.  It took us a long time to get to the actual Ukraina Loop but I'm starting to get used hiking VERY slow.  This hike was even slower than normal since our kids were slightly cranky from not sleeping well the night before.  There was lots of trickery and chocolate bribing to get my kids up the hill.

As we hiked to the top of the hill, I saw some sheep off in the distance and kept on pointing it out to +Jesse Avery  and he just couldn't see them. A little while later I realized that the "sheeps" I was looking at were rocks.  I think I need to get my eyes checked again, we had a good laugh.  It was a very cloudy, windy chilly day and we had only brought the kids jackets so Jesse and I were a little cold when we weren't hiking.

It was time for our second break, so we parked next to a grove of eucalyptus trees and had some snacks.  We were finally entering the actual Ukraina Loop near the park residence.  We didn't stay too long here because the park personnel told us the Eucalyptus tree branches had been falling and it was just too cold to not hike.  The kids were warm but Jesse, the dogs and I were not!

Can you say, "Moo?".  I think this is the closest I've ever hiked with cows...I'm a little freaked out by cows but I really try to not be scared when I'm near them.  I remember the Dog Whisperer advice that animals can "sense" how you feel, plus can't you see my ferocious Shih Tzu, Apollo puffing his chest out protecting us?  My daughter was so ecstatic to see so many cows couldn't stop saying "moo" and "mas, mas!!" (Spanish for more).

I thought this was a very interesting "scary" looking tree.

Mommy and daughter hikers, Sophia really loves being held by me in particular.  My son could never sit still and Sophia loves to hike but doesn't have the energy like her brother so she's carried a lot.  Hiking at the top of Ukraina Loop was very nice, flat with view of the rolling hills and the entire Bay Area.  I could see the fields of yellow wild flowers miles away near Coyote Hills in Fremont, it was quite beautiful.  Sophia fell asleep  before we reached California Historic Landmark No. 1025, aka the burial site of Ukrainian patriot and exiled orthodox priest Agapius Honcharenko.

Never hiked to a California State Historical Landmark but I have I conducted a search warrant at one. That's a different story from a previous life...The burial site was a little ways down the path at the base of a giant tree. There were pine cones all along the way to the grave site.  The views of the Bay Area were beautiful and down below you could see the Garin/Dry Creek Regional Park.  We continue hiking on the loop which eventually looped back to where all the cows where and the "scary" tree.

There wasn't anything spectacular about this hike but I really do love hiking in the East Bay hills because of the all the amazing Bay Area views.  Rolling green hills, a California Landmark and spending good quality time with my husband, kids and dogs, I call that a good hike.


3.1 Miles, 2 hours 18 mins, Elevation Change 334 ft.

Ukraina Loop (a little hidden, follow the red arrows)

Happy Hiking!