Garin and the neighboring Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park are in the hills east of Hayward/Union City in Alameda County.
Autumn is the next-best time to hike the East Bay hills (spring with the green/flowers being the best), and Garin/DryCreek has a promising network of moderate trails; none of the peaks top 1,200 feet, near as I can tell. Garin is the more civilized section while DryCreek is mostly former ranch land and largely undeveloped except for the trails.
I have at least one twisted-wreckage rationale for checking Garin out: It’s the site of a 1951 DC-6 crash that killed 50 people. What’s left of the crash lies deep in a poison oak-choked canyon of the park, so it’s doubtful I’ll see much of the ruins.
The park also has a scenic fishing pond and hosts the annual Garin Apple Festival. Here’s a Flickr slide show:
More Garin/DryCreek links:
- Bahiker.com profile.
- Yelp reviews (Yelp Empress of the Outdoors Ann L. wrote the first one, natch).
- East Bay Regional Parks page.
- Apel Mjausson has some lovely pictures.
Finally, the required Google terrain map: