Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alameda Creek, Niles - Sept. 17, '11

Walking Distance: 5.9 miles
Walking Time: 2 hrs., 31 min. (1:29 - 4:00 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Public parking lot, Niles Community Park, Niles district of Fremont, CA

Today was a Saturday (a non-work day), which meant I could take a longer walk, during daylight hours. I headed east from Niles Community Park. It was hot in the mid-day sun, but it wasn't quite a "death march" hike. It would have been much more comfortable if I'd remembered to bring some water. I did see a lot more daytime creatures, such as lizards -- some very small -- and a turtle, sunning themselves on rocks.

After walking the Alameda Creek Regional Trail (shown as a pair of solid red lines near the Bay, and a pair of purple lines further east on the Bay Trail map) a few miles at a time for the past month or two, I finally reached the eastern end of this 12-mile Trail -- and walked over the Old Canyon Bridge (built in 1948) from the north to the south side of the trail -- where I walked west on the return trip.

I continued walking a few miles west until I reached the Sequoia Road bridge, where I could cross back over to the north side, and back to Niles Community Park.

The south side of the Alameda Creek Trail was paved (asphalt), whereas large sections of the north side trail were packed dirt. Both are fairly wide, with plenty of room for shared use. Equestrians are encouraged to ride on the north side; however, I saw no sign of horses or horse traffic while I was walking this past week.

There were interesting things to see along the way, including the usual birds (ducks, cormorants, egrets, etc.) a green heron, a turtle, and several large fish (carp?) in Alameda Creek, visible from 40 feet from the trail. These fish were big enough (2 feet long I'm guessing) that I doubt birds fishing along the shore would pick a fight with these guys.

And there were also model mariners races going on in an adjacent pond/lake. All in all, an interesting day for a walk.

Wildlife Sightings:
3 little brown jobs (LBJs); 2 great egrets, 2 snowy egrets; 17 lizards (including 3 tiny ones); 44 ducks; 6 cormorants; 7 orange and brown/black butterflies, 5 white butterflies; 12 black-necked stilts; 5 unidentified brownish shorebirds (UBBs); 3 blue jays; 17 Canada geese; 4 tree squirrels and 3 ground squirrels; 2 grebes/divers; 6 pigeons; 11 dragonflies; 7 coots; 1 turtle; 1 snail; 11 white pelicans; 5 turkey vultures; 4 sea gulls; 5 crows; ~20 large fish (carp?) in water

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