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Proposed Niles Canyon Trail would link Sunol and Fremont

Original post made on Apr 27, 2021

Tri-Valley residents may one day be able to travel on foot or bike through Niles Canyon on a nearly six-mile proposed trail that would link the eastern end of Fremont and the unincorporated community of Sunol.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 26, 2021, 2:41 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by Duncan
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2021 at 10:04 am

Duncan is a registered user.

This trail is a great idea. A safer route than the road will let more folks enjoy the canyon.


Posted by Mike Vandeman
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 27, 2021 at 1:59 pm

Mike Vandeman is a registered user.

1. We've been misled. We were told that the trail would be elevated (using the "secret sidewalk"), and that no habitat would be destroyed. It's not true. The preferred option destroys a huge amount of habitat with a 14' wide clearcut including 10' wide pavement, especially at the start and end of the road (10' of pavement is a road, not a trail).

2. The proposal touts a "wildlife friendly fence", but I doubt that all deer, for example, can jump over it. It (and the presence of humans on the road) would prevent animals from getting to the creek to drink.

3. The proposed railroad fence would block all animals larger than a lizard. No deer could jump over it. The huge vertical cuts would interfere with animals' need to travel.

4. The proposal claims that Niles Canyon is the only east-west travel option. That's, frankly, a lie! Calaveras Road runs roughly parallel to Niles Canyon and provides access from Milpitas (just two BART stops from Fremont - the west end of the canyon) to Sunol. Bicyclists and anyone else can use it safely, since there is no high-speed traffic. I drove the road this morning, to see for myself. There were dozens of bicyclists riding the road, in both directions, including many gray-haired men and ladies and one guy on a recumbent bike. I attached a couple of photos. The cars and motorcycles were going from 10-20 MPH, due to the many curves. The scenery was just as lovely as Niles Canyon, including the huge Calaveras Reservoir, and because of everyone's slow speed, you could actually enjoy it.

5. No one needs a paved "trail". Pavement is bad for horses and unpleasant for hikers. Horses and hikers could be accommodated by a 2'-3' wide unpaved trail, without wildlife-blocking fences. Stepping off the trail would allow anyone to pass. There is no good reason to allow bicycles on any unpaved trail. Any bicyclists who want to go there can, of course, walk - just like everyone else. Bicycles generate erosion and endanger hikers and equestrians.


Posted by Mike Vandeman
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 27, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Mike Vandeman is a registered user.

Mountain bikers love to claim that they are being "excluded" when bikes are prohibited, but it's an obvious lie.

6. The maps (deliberately?) don't show the location of the creek, but it appears that the road would be very closet to the creek, destroying a 14' wide swath of priceless riparian habitat - the most valuable habitat that exists. Why would any organization that claims to support conservation make such a huge mistake - and lie about it?

7. There isn't high demand for travel through the canyon, or there would have been bus service through it long ago. Anyone who wants to travel to the "micro-town" of Sunol can drive, walk, or ride a horse through the canyon on a narrow trail, or take Calaveras Road.


Posted by Jo
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 27, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Jo is a registered user.

Calaveras Rd spits you out in South Milpitas. Quite a detour if you happen to be going to Fremont or Newark. Niles is very dangerous for cyclists and has a deadly track record. I never ride it alone as I fear to named just another cyclist that swerved in front of a car driver by someone on their cell phone at 60mph.


Posted by Mike Vandeman
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 27, 2021 at 7:59 pm

Mike Vandeman is a registered user.

Milpitas is just two BART stops from Fremont. Calaveras Road is much safer than Highway 84. The day I rode it, it was full of elderly cyclists. If they can ride it, so can you. No trail is safe when cyclists share it with hikers or equestrians. Mountain bikers frequently hit & run.


Posted by Gee
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 28, 2021 at 12:48 am

Gee is a registered user.

Sounds like a wonderful idea! Although I can’t comprehend how a 6 mile trail costs $100M. It seems at least one to two zeros too high.


Posted by Jo
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 28, 2021 at 9:20 am

Jo is a registered user.

calaveras is north/south
Niles is east/west

roughly parallel ... hardly.

Build it like promised years ago. It will be used.


Posted by Mike Vandeman
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 28, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Mike Vandeman is a registered user.

There's no need for a bike road through Niles Canyon, since Calaveras Road serves that "need" - if such a need even exists. Every new road or trail we build destroys more wildlife habitat. We've ALREADY destroyed far too much, which is why we're in the Sixth Extinction crisis. We ignore it at our peril!


Posted by Jo
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 29, 2021 at 3:43 pm

Jo is a registered user.

I'd settle for a proper bike lane... forget the "trail"


Posted by Joe
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Joe is a registered user.

Really looking forward to riding safely with my family on this beautiful stretch of earth. We had something like this back in Richmond, VA which had its critics (many of them), the multi use path ended up being loved by the community and even more sucessful than anticipated.


Posted by Mike Vandeman
a resident of San Ramon
on May 20, 2021 at 9:31 pm

Mike Vandeman is a registered user.

"Really looking forward to riding safely with my family on this beautiful stretch of earth. We had something like this back in Richmond, VA which had its critics (many of them), the multi use path ended up being loved by the community and even more sucessful than anticipated."

I'll bet that the wildlife weren't too happy. :( Why does everyone (conveniently) forget them?????


Posted by Harry Devlin
a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Jun 10, 2021 at 6:18 pm

Harry Devlin is a registered user.

It's about time that this trail was built. A safe multi-use trail for cyclists and pedestrians in this corridor is long overdue. It is too dangerous to cycle on Niles Canyon Road with all the traffic.

Please do not allow horses on the trail if it is built. Horses make a big mess on trails and they frighten wildlife. The trail should be for cyclists and pedestrians only, and hopefully with a clear delineation for each type of user.

Class 3 eBikes should not be allowed, but Class 1 and 2 eBikes would be acceptable.

We need to be encouraging alternatives to driving. Personal mobility solutions like bicycles, combined with new infrastructure, are the key to changing people's behavior. With the huge increase in cycling during the pandemic we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to permanently change people's behavior, let's not blow it!


Posted by Harry Devlin
a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Jun 11, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Harry Devlin is a registered user.

It is amusing to see Mike Vandeman in this discussion. (removed pending verification this is the same person as referenced in this post)


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