BARTable by bike: Delta de Anza Trail

Where:

1200 Frederickson Lane
Antioch, CA 94509
United States

BART Station:

Pittsburg/Bay Point

The Delta de Anza Trail connects you to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve and Contra Loma Regional Park in the Delta region. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Editor's note: BART is currently running reduced service with dispatched long trains to ensure riders have room to socially distance. If you plan to ride BART, see our feature, Tips for riding BART during COVID-19.

Before heading out, please be aware of local requirements on social distancing and wearing a mask. Alameda County and San Francisco city health officials require residents to wear face coverings any time they leave home and get within 30 feet of anyone not living in the same household. If you need a mask, check out our feature, Bay Area businesses selling masks during COVID-19

Difficulty

• Beginner-intermediate

Terrain

• Short route: Mostly flat with some small rolling hills, about 13 miles with 600 feet elevation gain.

• Long route: Follows the short route with the addition of a steep climb into Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, about 18 miles with 1,200 feet elevation gain.

Cautions

• The route includes rolling hills. Make sure your gears are in good working order and that your brakes are tuned up for a more pleasant experience.

Delta de Anza Trail

The Contra Costs Canal runs along the trail. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Introduction

With this ride, we'll explore the rolling hills of East Contra Costa County along the Delta de Anza Regional Trail. Follow the route taken by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza during his 18th century expedition through the Delta region where the present-day cities of Pittsburg and Antioch are located. Our ride takes you to the serene reservoir of Contra Loma Regional Park, and if your legs are feeling up for it, tackle the steep climb into Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve to experience even more natural beauty along with the former sites of thriving coal mining towns.

What to bring

Comfortable riding shoes, helmet, water bottles, sun protection (hat, sunscreen), extra layers or rain gear (just in case). A smartphone is handy for maps and looking up information or taking photos. And, of course, your Clipper card. Make sure to download the Ride with GPS app so you can easily reference the route.

How to get there

The ride begins directly outside of the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station. Exit the station, follow the road down to the traffic light at Bailey Road and you'll find the beginning of the trail on the southeastern corner of the intersection next to the Highway 4 on-ramp (don't get on the freeway!).

Short route

Long route

Highlights of the ride

Rolling hills

The trail starts out flat and runs along Highway 4, but quickly moves into quieter pastures and the rolling hills begin. Most of the hills on the trail are preceded by a descent, so as long as you keep your momentum up, they're not particularly taxing. 

Delta de Anza Trail

The trail has plenty of twists and turns and ups and downs to keep things interesting. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Contra Loma Regional Park

Contra Loma's 775 acres include a peaceful 80-acre reservoir with many trails surrounding it for year-round bike rides, walks, and hikes. In the summer, the swim lagoon (currently closed as of January 2021) is a popular way to cool off. Additionally, family-friendly music events with food and beverages frequently take place.

Contra Loma Reservoir

Take a snack break near the Contra Loma Reservoir. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Originally populated by the Chupcan, Volvon, and Ompin Native Americans, after the arrival of the Spanish, Mexican and American settlers in 1772, life in this area changed rapidly. Cattle ranching was the major industry here until coal was discovered in the mid-1860s. Today, little sign of the past remains.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Trail

Venture off the trail for a trip through Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Somersville Townsite

Within Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, at the end of the paved road, is the former site of an active coal mining town called Somersville. At the peak of operations in the 1850s-1900s, Somersville was the largest community in Contra Costa County. By the late 1800s, mines began to close due to increased production costs and competition from higher quality Washington Territory coal. The town of Somersville slowly died. Today, mine waste rock piles, exotic trees planted by the former residents and Rose Hill Cemetery are all that remain.

Somersville Townsite

At the end of the paved road, you'll find the former site of the town of Somersville. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

The short route ends a few easy miles from Contra Loma Regional Park at the Antioch Station. The long route adds a climb of about 600 feet elevation gain (the vistas are worth it!) into Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, and then continues to follow the short route with a stop at Contra Loma Regional Park and a finish at Antioch Station. 

Visit bart.gov/bikes to check BART’s bike rules, then strap on your helmet and get out there!

Let's be bike buddies. 

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