There is exercise, and there is exercise. You can stare at a blank wall in a gym, or you can surround yourself with the beautiful views that are readily accessible in the East Bay.
The trick, of course, is knowing where to walk or jog. The Bay Area has no shortage of jogging and walking trails that allow everyone to get some exercise while enjoying the scenery. Here are just a few:
Along the Coast:
*Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline, at Doolittle Drive and Swan Way. Enjoy the natural beauty of the San Leandro Bay’s marshland, as well as the enjoyment of watching airplanes take off from nearby Oakland International Airport. Bird watching, particularly for rare species, is a favorite pastime here.
*Robert W. Crown Memorial Beach and Crab Cove Visitors Center, Alameda. The vast majority of Alameda’s western shoreline is actually a regional park. For an active workout, walk along the beach. Those wishing a less intensive workout for their calves can enjoy the paved path, which runs the length of the area and is shared with bicyclists. The area is adjacent to a bird sanctuary, which is on the southern end of the shoreline.
*Coyote Hills, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont. This park features bayside views as well as the 12-mile Alameda Creek Trail. Biking, wildlife, and early area history round out the offerings, allowing visitors to exercise their bodies and minds simultaneously.
*Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, 18012 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon. With nearly 4,000 acres of wilderness interlaced with hiking trails, it is hard to find a spot that doesn’t lend itself to the word “scenic”. The trails are also horse-friendly, and there are nearby areas that can be reserved for picnics or other gatherings.
*Shadow Cliffs, Stanley Boulevard, Pleasanton. While the water slides are closed for the winter, the view along the Levee Trail is tranquil. Bike paths and the ability to swim outdoors (for the hearty and at your own risk, as no lifeguards are on duty) provide additional exercise options.
You can find other outdoor hiking areas at the web site of the East Bay Parks Recreation District, www.ebparks.org.