Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area

Last updated
Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area
Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area
LocationContra Costa County, California
Nearest cityEl Sobrante, California
Area222 acres (90 ha)
Operated byEast Bay Regional Park District

Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area,(KGRRA), also known simply as Kennedy Grove, is located in West Contra Costa County, California at the base of San Pablo Dam. The nearest city is El Sobrante, California. Created in 1967, it contains a three-mile hiking trail with an elevation of 760 feet (230 m). The Grove features many large eucalyptus trees, picnic areas, volleyball nets, playgrounds, and horseshoe pits. Bird watching is popular here because hawks are almost always spotted. Some hikers have reported seeing golden and bald eagles around the reservoir. There is no camping allowed. Parking is $5 with an extra $2 fee for a dog. Dogs have to be on the leash around the lawn but they are allowed off the leash in remote parts of the park. The park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk. [1]



Before this 222 acres (90 ha) park became a protected area, it was home to wheat fields, the site of Ranchos and railroad stations for a railroad that ran from Oakland to Orinda through Berkeley and Richmond via El Sobrante. It was originally part of the 17,754-acre Rancho San Pablo. Francisco Castro acquired the rancho in 1823, and the grove later became the Clancy Ranch. By 1886 the railroad had scheduled stops from the California and Nevada railroad at Laurel Glen and Frenchman's Curve. The picnic areas around the park are named after some of the former railroad stops. The eucalyptus trees were planted in 1910. This park was named in honor of President John F. Kennedy and opened on October 22, 1967. It is now owned/operated by the East Bay Regional Park District(EBRPD). [2]

Trail locations

There are several trails located within the recreation area ranging from very easy to somewhat difficult. All trails lead out from the eucalyptus grove located near the base of the San Pablo Dam, adjacent to the parking area. Several trails will guide visitors through changing landscapes of native Oak chaparrals and fern laden Bay laurel woodlands. A segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail begins at Kennedy Grove and runs along the western shore of San Pablo Reservoir. Eventually the trail crosses San Pablo Dam Road and then climbs up the San Pablo Ridge. *NOTE* An EBMUD permit is required for this hike.


Seen from the Kennedy Grove area is the San Pablo Reservoir where fishing is popular. The reservoir has trout and catfish and is recognized as the one of the finest fisheries in the East Bay. However a fishing license and EBMUD fishing permit is required. You can see flocks of ducks, shorebirds, geese, and white pelicans from the trails. Sometimes deer, bobcats, foxes and coyotes can be sighted. There are also species like quail, dove, and wild turkeys. Some birds of prey that are known to take the skies above Kennedy Grove are eagles, owls, hawks, and ospreys. [3]


The area surrounding San Pablo Dam is fairly temperate. The East Bay is warmer than the Peninsula. Summer temperatures tend to vary from 60 to 100 degrees. Fog is very common. Rainfall occurs mostly during the months of October through March. The temperatures can dip below 32 degrees in the winter. [4]


Popular activities include hiking, day camps, bird watching, walking around the lawn asphalt path and special events such as cross-country meets. The eucalyptus grove is frequently used as a desirable setting for company picnics, family reunions and other group events.

Fern Cottage is an indoor/outdoor facility designed for a capacity of 60 guests (seated) or 120 guests {standing). L-shaped, it has a kitchen and two separate rooms, with an enclosed private backyard and two decks.

Visiting the park

Kennedy Grove's main entrance is off of San Pablo Dam Road in El Sobrante. The park is open year-round, starting at 8:00 AM daily. Closing time depends on the month: November - February, 4:30 PM, March, 6:00 PM; April, 7:00 PM; May - August, 8:00 PM; September, 7:00 PM; October, 6:00 PM. Parking fees are charged on weekends and holidays from April 1 to October 31 and are $5.00 per car, $4.00 per trailered vehicle and $25.00 per bus. Visitors may bring dogs, and there is a dog fee of $2.00 each.

Related Research Articles

El Sobrante, California Census-designated place in California, United States

El Sobrante is a census-designated place (CDP) in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 12,669 at the 2010 census.

Tilden Regional Park

Tilden Regional Park, also known as Tilden Park or Tilden, is a 2,079-acre (841 ha) regional park in the East Bay, part of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. It is between the Berkeley Hills and San Pablo Ridge. Its main entrance is near Kensington, Berkeley, and Richmond. The park is contiguous with Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is a regional park on the shores of the San Pablo Bay, California, in the United States. It is approximately 2,315 acres (9.37 km2) in area, and is operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. It includes the Dotson Family Marsh and the Point Pinole Lagoon and hosts the North Richmond Shoreline Festival.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park State park in Santa Cruz County, California, United States

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a state park of California, United States, preserving mainly forest and riparian areas in the watershed of the San Lorenzo River, including a grove of old-growth coast redwood. It is located in Santa Cruz County, primarily in the area between the cities of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, near the community of Felton and the University of California at Santa Cruz. The park includes a non-contiguous extension in the Fall Creek area north of Felton. The 4,623-acre (1,871 ha) park was established in 1954.

Folsom Lake Reservoir on the American River in the Sacramento metropolitan area

Folsom Lake is a reservoir on the American River in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, United States.

Sawyer Camp Trail

Sawyer Camp Trail is a popular 6-mile (9.7 km) trail located in the San Andreas Fault rift valley in San Mateo County, California near Hillsborough and the San Mateo Highlands. Officially, it is a segment of the longer Crystal Springs Regional Trail. Approximately 300,000 people use the trail every year. It provides excellent views of San Francisco Peninsula's Crystal Springs Watershed. The trail is managed by San Mateo County and totally surfaced in asphalt. There is considerable biodiversity along the trail due to the variation in habitat and the presence of serpentine soils. In particular the plant communities of Northern coastal scrub, grassland and California oak woodland are present.

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, California, is operated by East Bay Regional Park District, and is a multi-use park for joggers, windsurfers, kayakers, photographers, picnickers, and people walking dogs. It has access for pedestrians and via public transit, private vehicles, and bikes. It also features a concession offering food for people and grooming for pets. A longtime community organization and nonprofit, Point Isabel Dog Owners and Friends (PIDO), is active in the maintenance and improvement of the park.

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

Wildcat Canyon Regional Park is a 2,429-acre (983 ha) East Bay Regional Parks District park located within the city limits of Richmond in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It includes a portion of Wildcat Canyon as well as a portion of the adjoining San Pablo Ridge, and is directly connected to the more heavily used Tilden Regional Park.

San Pablo Reservoir

The San Pablo Reservoir is an open cut terminal water storage reservoir owned and operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). It is located in the valley of San Pablo Creek, north of Orinda, California, United States, and south of El Sobrante and Richmond, east of the Berkeley Hills between San Pablo Ridge and Sobrante Ridge.

Briones Reservoir

Briones Reservoir is an open cut terminal water storage reservoir located in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Rancho San Antonio County Park

Rancho San Antonio County Park and Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve are a conjoined public recreational area in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the northwest quadrant of Santa Clara County, California. The County Park is bordered by Los Altos with some parts of the eastern part of the County Park in western Cupertino. The Open Space Preserve is on the west side of the County Park, also bordered by Los Altos Hills, Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, and the Permanente Quarry.

Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area

Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area (CCRRA) is a regional park located in Castro Valley, Alameda County, California. It is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) system.

Del Valle Regional Park

Del Valle Regional Park is a part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) in an unincorporated region of Alameda County, California, 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Livermore. The park covers 4,316 acres.

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness is a 5,342-acre (21.62 km2) regional park located in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in Northern California. The nearest city is Danville, California. Las Trampas is Spanish for the traps, or the snares. The park belongs to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).

San Pablo Creek

San Pablo Creek is an 18.7-mile-long (30.1 km) creek in Contra Costa County, California, United States, which drains the canyon or valley between the San Pablo Ridge and the Sobrante Ridge, parts of the Pacific Coast Ranges east of San Francisco Bay.

Pinole Creek

Pinole Creek is a stream in western Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Lafayette Reservoir

The Lafayette Reservoir is an open-cut human-made terminal water storage reservoir owned and operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). Completed in 1933, it was intended solely as a standby water supply for EBMUD customers. EBMUD opened the reservoir for public recreation in 1966. It is located off of California State Route 24 and a mile from the Lafayette BART station, in Contra Costa County, California, United States. This all-year, day-use area is ideal for hiking, jogging, fishing, boating and picnicking. The reservoir is on the Lafayette-Orinda border. The reservoir is on a 925-acre (3.74 km2) site and holds 1.4 billion US gallons (5,300,000 m3)

San Pablo Dam Road is a major arterial road linking San Pablo and Orinda, California that connects San Pablo Avenue and Interstate 80 with Highway 24, bypassing the Eastshore Freeway. It is also signed as Camino Pablo in Orinda.

Hayward Area Recreation and Park District

The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (H.A.R.D.) is the park management agency for most of the parks in the city of Hayward, California. It was created in 1944 and is an independent special district under California law. H.A.R.D. is the largest recreation district in California. It also manages parks in the bordering unincorporated communities of Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Fairview, Ashland and Cherryland. It manages the park grounds for numerous schools in the region. Events and classes are scheduled and listed in a quarterly brochure. The parks' 2021 budget is $24,306,495.

Peters Canyon Valley in California, United States of America

Peters Canyon Regional Park is a regional park within the Orange County Regional Parks System in California. The park contains 354 acres of southern California wildlife, including costal sage shrub, riparian, freshwater marsh, and grasslands, and is located within the boundaries of both Orange, California and Tustin, California. Peters Canyon was given to this city in 1992 by the Irvine Company who had used it previously for cattle grazing. The canyon is lined with a residential area on one side and open hills on the other. This canyon is commonly used by hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians because of the trails that circumvent the 50 acre man-made lake, which was constructed by the Irvine Company in 1931, on the interior of the plot. The regional park is open from 7:00 AM to sunset every day of the week, save for the chance of rain or hazardous conditions, in which case the park will be closed for three days following the particular occurrence.


  1. "Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area, East Bay Regional Park District, Contra Costa County". Bay Area Hiker. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  2. "Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area". East Bay Regional Park District. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  3. "San Pablo Reservoir". East Bay Municipal Utility District. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  4. "San Francisco and Bay Area Weather". Grant's San Francisco Travel Guide. Retrieved 12 December 2014.