The area surrounding the Iron Horse Regional Trail has an important history as part of the San Ramon Valley's agricultural and ranching past. Today, the Iron Horse Trail connects two counties and twelve cities. It runs through quiet residential neighborhoods, lively business and commercial districts and shady greenbelts. This popular and extensively used trail roughly follows Interstate 680, beginning in the city of Concord on its northern end and passing through Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon and Dublin before ending at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
A small disconnected segment runs from Santa Rita Road southeast to Busch Road; there are plans to join these segments. Plans also call for the trail to be extended farther south to Stanley Boulevard in Pleasanton, where an existing bike trail leads east to Livermore. On the north end, there are plans to continue the trail to Suisun Bay in Martinez.
At the northern end, the trail begins just south of State Route 4, near the northeast corner of Buchanan Airfield in Concord. The trail nears the Pleasant Hill BART station at about mile 5. A rest stop across the street from the BART parking lot features picnic tables, a drinking fountain and benches. The northernmost part of the trail, as well as the proposed area around Suisun Bay, follows a marshy area, which is a haven for ducks and geese.
As you head south, the area becomes increasingly more urban, especially nearby downtown Walnut Creek. (The Walnut Creek BART station is about a half mile off the trail). A bicycle and pedestrian overpasses spans Treat Boulevard near the Pleasant Hill BART and Ygnacio Valley Road in a congested section of Walnut Creek. South of Walnut Creek the trail passes under I-680 at Rudgear Road to the west side of the freeway. A staging area here features parking, a drinking fountain, benches and tables.
From this point the trail meanders through residential areas, crossing streets numerous timesthough traffic is typically lowand offers easy access to restaurants and shopping. Much of the trail in this section includes a dirt running path adjacent to the asphalt bike trail.
In Danville, the trail passes directly behind the commercial downtown area. Nearby at the corner of Railroad and Prospect avenues is the old Southern Pacific Depot, which is the only original depot remaining on the line. Just past the depot is a pleasant area, featuring restaurants with outdoor seating overlooking the trail.
Picking up the trail again, you cross under I-680 to the east side and traverse Bishop Ranch Business Park, a commercial section that parallels the trail for about 2 miles. Next you reach the San Ramon Golf Club. The trail bisects the golf course, with chain-link fencing providing protection from errant golf balls. As the trail slices through Dublin, the environment is urban once more. The southern endpoint is at the BART parking lot on the Dublin side of the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the northern trailhead, take State Route 4 westbound to Arnold Industrial Way. Turn left onto Arnold Industrial Place and left again on Solano Way. Follow Solano Way and go under SR 4. Turn right onto Marsh Drive. The signed trailhead is on your left. Street parking is limited.
To reach the southern trailhead, exit Interstate 580 at Hopyard Road. Turn right on Hopyard Road and proceed for 0.3 mile. Turn right on Dublin Boulevard and go 0.5 mile. Turn right on Demarcus Boulevard, which leads to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. The signed trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot.
Inline Skating review
I skate the portion from Dougherty Road to Bollinger canyon regularly. The pavement is in fairly good shape with few road snakes (Cracks). After Bolinger, heading north it turns to concrete with expansion joints and is not the most pleasant ride. North ...
Great trail for commuting and recreation
This trail goes through mostly suburban areas. On a weekend there are lots of bikers, joggers, dog walkers, and kids. This trail passes by lots of residential areas so its well used. North of Pleasant Hill the trail follows a wide creek. In March, there ...
"I have ridden this entire trail more than once and frequently ride parts of it. All in all, it's a great resource, but it can be clogged with pedestrians, dog walkers who refuse to keep their dogs close, baby strollers, and more, on nice days. There ...