Dog-friendly Fernandez Ranch

Fernandez Ranch

Martinez, California
Visit Website
Local Phone: (925) 228-5460
E-mail: info@jmlt.org

Fernandez Ranch logoLocated just off Highway 4, between Hercules and Martinez, Fernandez Ranch offers stunning views, shaded hiking trails and a variety of wildlife, including several threatened plant and animal species.

Visitors can gaze at the glittering blue of the San Francisco Bay from the ranch’s summits and the northern Bay Area is visible from its ridge tops.

Recreation opportunities abound at Fernandez Ranch! Miles of multi-use trails are available for hiking, mountain bikes and horses, including 1.5 miles of ADA-accessible trails and connections to adjacent protected lands.

Dogs can be off-leash on the ranch’s trails as long as they are under control at all times. There are three picnic areas and a staging area for horse trailers. Fernandez Ranch is accessible to those with limited mobility.

Hike the Windmill Trail to see a mid-20th century dairy farm, the old windmill and Fern Creek, before ascending to a segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and into the Pinole Valley Watershed. 

Enjoy a meal and bird watching after walking the ADA-accessible Black Phoebe Trail, where you’ll find picnic tables and benches at the edge of South Meadow.

Breathtaking views await at the top of the Whipsnake Trail and kids can have a giggle rambling the hills and meadows looking for a variety of bugs, beetles and animal tracks.

Directions:

From I-80:
Head east on Highway 4. Take the first exit after the Franklin Canyon Golf Course onto Christie Road. Use caution; Christie Road is a minor exit off of Highway 4. Fernandez Ranch is .7 miles down Christie Road on your right.

From Martinez:
Head west on Highway 4. Take the Franklin Canyon Exit. Turn left and merge onto Highway 4 eastbound. Take the first exit after the Franklin Canyon Golf Course onto Christie Road. Use caution; Christie Road is a minor exit off of Highway 4. Fernandez Ranch is .7 miles down Christie Road on your right.

Sunol Regional Wilderness. Photo Credit: @rufiosf
Sunol Regional Wilderness. Photo Credit: @rufiosf
Don’t come to Oakland or the Tri-Valley without your hiking shoes! You’ll need them, along with a leash, to explore open-space preserves more »
Dog hiking Acalanes Ridge
Axel hiking Acalanes Ridge. Photo Credit: Karen Booth, JMLT staff
Be grateful for the folks behind the John Muir Land Trust—and consider donating to the Saving Contra Costa campaign if you can. This 25-year-old organization devoted to outdoor recreation and preservation of open space manages 11 properties comprising more than 2,000 acres of classic East Bay hills, ranches, streams and shoreline saved from development and offering multi-use trails for hiking, cycling, horses and dogs.

If Daisy stays close and has a reliable recall, she’s welcome to accompany you off-leash as you take in an intoxicating dose of fresh air. Some JMLT properties are diminutive (Acalanes Ridge above Lafayette, for example, comprises just 23 acres), while the Franklin Canyon-Fernandez Ranch complex in the Martinez-Hercules areas sprawls over 1,185 acres of permanently protected open space. more »
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