Diablo Foothills is an impressive entrance to Mt Diablo State Park and Walnut Creek Open Space parklands. The 1,060-acre Foothills are admired for their stunning geological formations, their expansive panoramas of the city of San Francisco Bay and the rural character of the surrounding rolling grasslands. Castle Rock Recreation Area is near park Diablo Foothills.
The rock formations at Pine Canyon are temporarily closed for protection of breeding peregrine falcons effective February 1, reopening August 1. This protected species is highly territorial and disturbance sensitive, especially during nesting season. While the rock pillars, known as the Castle Rock, are in Mt. Diablo State Park, they are accessed by most tourists from Diablo Foothills Regional Park. Several other park areas are affected. We thank the assistance of the public in helping us preserve birds of this genus.
Castle Rock Recreation Area is adjacent to Diablo Foothills and is situated in a scenic canyon near Pine Creek. Oak woodland and prominent sandstone formations dominate the landscape. Historically Castle Rock specializes in planning picnic activities for large gatherings of 300 or more people. Apart from panoramic views of the range and its surroundings, the 1,060-acre Diablo Foothills has fascinating geographical formations, spectacular seasonal wildflowers and a variety of bird and animal life.
The flora in the valley ranges from grassland and oak savannah on the hills to riparian and oak woodland. Pine Creek runs through Pine Canyon and lies within the eastern part of the watershed of Walnut Creek, which drains 150 square miles from central Contra Costa County into San Francisco Bay.
Various types of forest support a variety of species, including mule deer, bobcats, coyote, gray fox, long-tailed weasels, raccoons, gophers, rabbits, and ground squirrels. The park is used for breeding and foraging purposes by birds such as red-winged blackbirds, northern mockingbirds, scrub jay, California quail and brown towhees. Rock outcrops hide garter and gopher snakes, lizards from the western barrier, lizards from the southern alligator, tree frogs and salamanders from California Pine Creek’s seasonal bodies of water help green sunfish, mosquitofish, and largemouth bass thrive.
Diablo Foothills provides plenty of accessible land for horseback riding, climbing, cycling and observing nature. There are no facilities built within the park.
There are wheelchair accessible paths throughout the Castle Rock Recreation Area. Other wheelchair accessible facilities in the Castle Rock Entertainment Area include a toilet and a drinking fountain, and an open lift into the lake.
Image courtesy of Jeffreymendel Jeffrey Nash – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50308966
This amazing trail is located near the following must-see trails in Walnut Creek, California:
- Shell Ridge Open Space
- Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area
- Lime Ridge Open Space
- Heather Farm Park
- Sugarloaf Open Space
- Acalanes Ridge
- Arbolado Park
- Mount Diablo State Park
All of these trails are located just a short distance from our location in downtown Walnut Creek, Spaulding Concrete on Locust Street.