Itching to take our fifth wheel out for a spin, but constrained by holidays, appointments, and other commitments, a multi-week trip was out of the question. So, on February 15, 2022, we packed up the trailer and drove a mere 24 miles to Dumbarton Quarry Campground on the Bay in Fremont, California.
Dumbarton Quarry Campground on the Bay, Fremont, California
East Bay Regional Park District opened the Dumbarton Quarry Campground on the Bay in Fremont, California, in 2021. It is adjacent to Coyote Hills Regional Park and a short drive to Ardenwood Historic Farm, also East Bay Regional Park District properties.
Sixty paved sites with full hookups and 3 unpaved sites with water/electric only await RVers to reserve their spots. Campsite lengths range from 35 to 65 feet. Restrooms, hot showers, Wi-Fi, and picnic tables are also available. Reservations are required through Reserve America.
A quick 9-mile trip across the Dumbarton Bridge brought us to The Fish Market in Palo Alto so we could satisfy a craving for seafood. We came for the Dungeness crab only to learn they had sold out. Our second choices did not disappoint, and we walked away with our seafood cravings satisfied.
At night, the ribbit, ribbit, ribbit of frogs drowned out any residual freeway noise, and the occasional high-pitched barks and yips signaled coyotes were on the prowl.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm kept us busy for a few hours the next day. As a part of the East Bay Regional Park District since 1985, Ardenwood preserves not only the farmland but George Patterson’s House.
Volunteers keep the farm running, and the public is invited to see the farm in action. With cattle, farm animals, crop fields, and equipment, within 205 acres, there’s plenty to see and do.
The Farm is open year-round Tuesdays through Sunday from 10:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon. Starting in April and running through mid-November, docents conduct tours of the Patterson House, which was built in 1857 and added to in 1889 with Queen Anne architecture. Also, in season, train enthusiasts can ride the farm train.
Ardenwood was a great place to walk around, visit with the chickens, say hello to the goats and sheep, peek in the greenhouse, and wander through the hay barn. We didn’t see the eagles or the nest, but we heard one, off in the distance.
Coyote Hills Regional Park
We couldn’t pass up a hike at Coyote Hills Regional Park since we were so close. Before the hike, we checked out the visitor center. The educational displays and exhibits portray the Ohlone native way of life and present the park’s natural history and wildlife.
There are several trails to choose from, including trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. We started off on the paved Bay View trail, then transitioned onto a few intersecting unpaved trails and captured quite a few views.
Along the west-facing shoreline are salt evaporation ponds and Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Refuge. The egrets and raptors kept their distance while the wild turkeys pretended to ignore us when we walked by.
When we finished our hike, The Nectar Garden enticed me to take a peek and see what flowers might be blooming. I wish I hadn’t been so tempted. Even though I didn’t see them attacking while taking photos, the itching made their presence known. The mosquitos must have been intent on my blood to go through my long-sleeve shirt and leave their mark on my arms and torso. I wasn’t sure the bites were worth the photos, yet the results pleased me.
I once ate lunch at Papillon Restaurant some 15 years ago. Each time since then, whenever we passed by, we’d say, “We need to go there for dinner sometime.” Well, we finally made it and it was the perfect place to enjoy dinner after our hike. I hope we don’t wait another fifteen years to eat there again.
More about East Bay Regional Park District
We count ourselves lucky to live where the largest system of parks and open space in the nation is located. East Bay Regional Park District got its start through a ballot measure that passed by 71% in 1934. The purpose of the ballot measure was to protect and manage 10,000 acres of future parklands. Celebrating its 86th year of operation, the district now operates 73 parks and manages over 125,000 acres of land in the Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Dumbarton Quarry is one of three campgrounds within the park district. We did a shakedown cruise at Del Valle a few years back and now stayed at Dumbarton Quarry. Since our visit to the quarry, we’ve booked reservations at Anthony Chabot Regional Park Campground. We can’t wait to tick off the third campground in the Bay Area.
Although we’d love to take off for a month or two and explore different states, for now, we’re content to explore near our home. Perhaps fuel costs will decrease by the time we’re ready to explore farther afield.