Address:37°42'00.1"N 121°58'31.5"W (Donlon Point Staging Area: Dublin Blvd and Marshall Canyon Dr, Dublin, CA OR 37°42'28.2"N 121°57'22.1"W (Entrance off of Dry Creek Drive) OR 37°42'15.8"N 121°56'46.7"W (Entrance off of Bay Laurel Street) Parking: Free parking at the staging area. The nearby neighborhoods have access to the park via the Martin Canyon Creek Trail. Please be respectful of residents. Hours: Jan 1 - Feb 13: 8:00am - 4:30pm, Feb 14 - Mar 12: 8:00am - 6:00pm, Mar 13 - Nov 5: 8:00am-7:00pm, Nov 6 - Dec 31: 8:00am - 4:30pm Type: Hike (moderate) Regulations: Dogs allowed off-leash in undeveloped areas if under voice control Best time to visit: Anytime of year, except a very hot day Don't miss: The Martin Canyon Creek Trail
Description: This is a beautiful 654-acre park with shady trails and ridgetop views. The shady trails are lined with green ferns and tall, moss-covered trees. Even in summer the ponds and creek still have some water remaining. The grassy ridge offers views of the surrounding cities and hills.
During our first hike, we started at the beginning of the Martin Creek Canyon Trail, which is a shady, fern-lined trail that reaches the park in about 1 mile. If you're looking for a longer, easier hike, I recommend beginning with that trail.
Once you officially enter the park, the shady trail continues a gradual uphill climb, through a vibrant green forest above the creek. I cannot even count how many deer we saw during our hike, as they were abundant. After about a mile you will emerge from the forest onto the grassy hillside. We noticed a pond to our right, but continued uphill. At the peak you have a panoramic view of the surrounding cities, and the trail snakes down below you. We explored the hillside trails for almost a mile and then turned back, for a total hike of about 5 miles.
During our next hike, we started at the Donlon Staging Area. We headed up a dirt hill, which snaked along the housing developments until you reached the first bend. It then continues up the hillside and through a cattle gate. If you take the trail to your right, you'll reach Donlon Point, at 1,138ft, with a bench overlooking Dublin. It's a great view and worth the detour. Head back down, and you can see views of SF in the distance to your left. Continue straight, along the other fork, and down to your left near the housing developments. You'll soon reach another fork, with the trail to the right leading down to a large pond, or the trail to the left heading up to the ridge. You can take either for a 1.5 mile loop. You can also explore the Martin Canyon Creek Trail from here. During our last visit, we spotted several coyotes on the Donlon Loop Trail. They appeared to be coming out of the Martin Canyon Creek Trail. They spotted us, paused briefly, and continued along. Although they didn't seem like a threat, keep your eyes out for them, especially if you have a small dog. The staging area has picnic tables, trash cans, restrooms with running water and water fountains. The entrances beginning on the Martin Canyon Creek Trail only have trash cans. Bring plenty of water.