Situated in the heart of Hayward, California, the Green Belt Trail System presents a fascinating interplay of urban surroundings and nature. Comprised of three main trails — the Wally Wickander Memorial Trail (1.48 miles), the Ward Cr. Rd. Trail (1.81 miles), and the East Avenue Trail (1.72 miles) — this system offers something for every intermediate rider.
Beginning the trail journey at Memorial Park, near the Hayward Plunge swimming pool, offers riders an integrated experience. From there, one can ride up the Wally Wickander Trail, ascend Ward Creek, and descend via East Avenue Trail. For those less keen on steep climbs, an alternative exists: riding up the road to evade the steeper sections.
Primarily a doubletrack with occasional singletrack segments, the trail demands some level of skill. Particularly in the upper reaches, the steepness might necessitate some hike-a-bike. Despite its urban setting, the trail offers a cooling canopy of trees, following several different creeks. Jumps and berms on the East Avenue Trail promise a thrilling downhill ride, with cyclists mentioning an elusive "dirt half-pipe" that hosts a few jumps.
Start at the Hayward Plunge swimming pool. Check Google coordinates for precise location details.
While some riders appreciate the Green Belt's urban camouflage, others find it suitable as a last resort. If you're aiming for a downhill experience without an exhausting climb, some recommend shuttle service to the top. Several cyclists laud the presence of jumps and berms, particularly on the East Avenue Trail.
The Green Belt Trail System may be hidden in the urban landscape, but it offers a fairly versatile riding experience. Whether a local looking for a quick riding fix or an out-of-towner exploring Hayward, the Green Belt presents an interesting, albeit intermediate, set of options. Just remember to pair up, especially if you're unfamiliar with the area. And keep those eyes peeled for hidden jumps!