Open Space

Walnut Creek Open Space is open during COVID-19 

Walnut Creek Open Space remains open for hiking, walking, running, bicycling, dog walking, and equestrian use while practicing proper social distancing. 

Picnic areas are now open and picnics will be allowed in accordance with County regulations. Gatherings and all other activities not listed above are prohibited.

For more information on the Stay Home Order see the Stay Home FAQ or call the Contra Costa Health Services Call center at (844) 729-8410 between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Please visit Contra Costa Health Services for the latest updates.  Additional City of Walnut Creek updates are available here.


The City of Walnut Creek Open Space division manages over 3000 acres of Open Space in four unique areas and over seven miles of neighborhood trails. These areas have been set aside to preserve natural resources, protect wildlife habitat and corridors, and provide recreation opportunities.

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  • Shell Ridge

    1. Address:1035 Castle Rock Rd
      Walnut Creek, CA 94596
    1. 1420 Acres
    2. 31 Miles of trails
    3. Biking
    4. Borges Ranch & Howe Homestead park
    5. Equestrian trails
    6. Multiple trailheads with parking
    1. Open Space

1420 acres
31 miles of trails
Multiple trailheads with parking
Borges Ranch and Howe Homestead park

Shell Ridge is located in the heart of Walnut Creek beginning just a short distance from downtown and continuing all the way to Mount Diablo. It is the city’s largest open space area and is made up a series of parallel ridges and valleys. Shell Ridge gets it name from the marine fossils left behind when the ocean waters that once covered it receded. There are plenty of hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities along ridge tops, creek ways, and hillsides.

Shell Ridge is also home to the Borges Ranch, a historic cattle ranch; and Howe Homestead Park, the former home and orchard of James P Howe of the Associated Press

Dogs: Dogs? Rangers recommend dogs remain leashed at all times. If they are off leash, dogs must be under positive sight and voice command.(please keep in mind there is abundant wildlife in the area, including coyotes, as well as cattle)

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