Fossils, Flowers, and Fun! Dublin Hills

I thought we’d head to a museum today, but my son asked if we could go hiking instead.  Great!  When I asked him where he wanted to go hiking, he said, “Dublin Hills!”  I liked that answer, as the official trail head (Donlon Point Staging Area) is only a few miles from our home.  Easy!

For those of you who may not know, I have a few beliefs about hiking with kids (in more detail here)…

  1. Keep it short
  2. Avoid steep hills
  3. Forget about the destination
  4. Let the child lead
  5. Bring lots of snacks

So… that’s the kind of hike we did this morning.  Short, unstructured, with snacks.   Hills, however, are unavoidable at Dublin Hills Regional Park.  When we started the hike, we had no specific destination in mind and simply went out to explore, so I let my son lead.  It turned out that today, he was in the mood to do the Donlan Point Loop Trail, which is a short 1.5 mile outing.  Also, half of the Donlon Point Loop trail was overgrown with tall grass, so our hike turned out to be an out and back instead.  I’ve heard from a representative at the East Bay Regional Park district that the trails will be cleared in a week or two.  The grasses are drying out, but the hills are still a bit green.  There are still some wildflowers.  And there are always fossils (clam shells) to be seen here.  Photos below!  Letting my son lead meant we stopped about forty times to check out insects, birds, coyote scat, and rocks.

For more information about Dublin Hills Regional Park (location, trail map, etc.), check out the website:

My view while hiking with my son:

Wildflowers along the trail…

And fossilized clam shells.  Collection isn’t allowed!  Take pictures instead…


    1. Exactly. My son is almost five, and he’s getting better with the hills. He’s been good for hikes of three miles since he was a young three. But only if we don’t push him! My husband and I enjoy longer hikes (up to 12 or more miles), so I guess “short” may be a matter of opinion, too. In general, for kids three and four, I think a mile or two is plenty.


    1. Looks lovely! I’d like to check out this path sometime (can’t beat “the oldest road in Britain!). The founders of our city were from Ireland, and I believe they chose it because it reminded them of home (though I haven’t seen this documented anywhere). I’ve traveled through Northern Ireland, and the hills there reminded me a lot of California in winter and spring (for the short period when our hills are green).


      1. Awesome. The Irish have a strong connection to their roots, so I can see they would choose a place that reminded them of home.

        I have been to Ireland once (Dublin) for an international running event, and Ireland has character.

        Another ancient trail in the UK is the Ridgeway, which at a certain point meets the Icknield Way path.


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