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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Just a short walk from downtown is Howe Homestead Park and the western access to Shell Ridge. Crossing over the old stone bridge from the Howe Homestead parking lot one gets an impression of the area as it appeared in the late 1930’s. Hikers can start on the Kovar Trail and walk to the crest of Mount Diablo 10 miles away. A small picnic area is available on a first come, first serve basis and a restroom is located in the central part of the park.

The park is the former home of James Howe, an Associated Press correspondent from the early 20th century. He was born in Kansas and traveled the world and reported on events such as the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and World War 1, and interviewed many people who influenced the world including Stalin, King George V, and Gandhi. After retiring to Walnut Creek in 1935 he had the house remodeled and established his estate. He was a winemaker, breeder of pigeons, nut grower, gourmet, and collector.


Community Gardens

One feature of the park is the Community Gardens. There are 48 gardening plots rented to residents of Walnut Creek for growing vegetables and ornamental plants. It is very popular with a multi-year waiting list.


Whom to call: For tours, special events, or information on the community garden, call Open Space Ranger Art Janke, 925/943-5899 x3521. 



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