Wondering where your little one can ride a scooter around Oakland? I have unwittingly become an expert. Two scooters and two helmets are permanently in my trunk. My scooting squad is ready for adventure wherever we happen to go. I love scooting for my kids because it is a super-easy way to get outside, learn balance, and stay active.
We’ve had to get resourceful to find new places to scoot. We can only scoot around our hilly neighborhood so many times. Thus I’ve rounded up all the best places I’ve found in East Bay to take younger kids scooting. Let us know what places I’ve missed in the comments, and let’s get rollin’!
Oakland (and Piedmont) Places I Love to Scooter with Little Ones
- Bay Bridge Trail: We park at either the Bay Bridge Trail Parking Lot or IKEA Emeryville (yes, really) and if your kiddos can keep going, this path will take you all the way to Yerba Buena Island.
- Middle Harbor Shoreline Park: In addition to the 3 miles of paved trails, this park is full of gigantic fun.
- Chabot Space & Science upper parking lot deck: Though Chabot Science Center is temporarily closed (opening again in November!), the parking lot is not and is often empty.
- Oakland LDS temple overflow parking lot: We love walking the immaculate gardens of the LDS Temple. We also bring along scooters to race around the nearby parking lot, which also offers stellar bay views and an incline for little kids to get some serious speed on scooters.
- Jack London Square: JLS offers smooth trails & wide sidewalks. You will score bonus Mom points if your kids enjoy train and boat watching.
- Dracena Quarry: This Piedmont park has a great little enclosed loop that’s ideal for younger kids scooting. There’s also a fun playground for when they get tired of scooting.
- Dimond Park: A terrific park with playgrounds, creeks for stomping, and paths to scooter (at least a little hilly).
- Brooklyn Basin: This waterfront spot has mixed-use paths, grassy areas for rolling around, great food options, and the best sunsets.
Berkeley & Albany Scooter Riding Spots
- Aquatic Park: Bring along your scooters when you visit Dream Land at Aquatic Park and scoot along the waterfront and watch the Frisbee golfers and trains.
- Cal campus: We like to park by the BAMPFA building, there is a slight uphill into campus which takes bit of encouraging (or physically pushing) little kids to cover the distance. We endure the uphill nudge because both my daughters love bombing it down the hills on the way back to the car (sometimes I actually hold on to my two-year old’s dress to slow her down on our return).
- Jewel’s Terrace Park: There’s a nice little loop around the grassy field that’s fun for little kids.
- Memorial Park: Scoot your way all the way around Albany High school on the path that goes past the tennis courts and baseball field.
- Ohlone bike path: This path is a local favorite extending from Berkeley into Albany right under the BART tracks. Watch out for fast bikers.
Alameda kid-friendly paths
- Old Alameda Point: We like to park at Encinal Beach and scoot to the USS Hornet to get right up close to the massive ship.
- Krusi Park: Fun playground attached to wide, paved trails for scooters and bikes.
- Jean Sweeney Open Space: The newly paved trail is definitely one of our favorite spots. Bonus: they have hand sanitizer stations installed throughout the pathways and a dirt trail for running alongside kiddos.
Richmond Paved Trails and Lots
- Miller/Knox parking lot: This lot is generally always empty and is 510 Families contributor Julie’s favorite spot to take her four kids for a supervised scooter ride. Pro tip: Bring a kite or plan to go to nearby Keller Beach or to visit the fairy houses if there’s time.
- Barbara and Jay Vincent Park: This park is not only great for scooting, but also has lots of grassy or areas to pop off and play in sand or eat snacks. The trail can be a bit narrow in parts and heavily trafficked on the weekends, so plan to arrive early. Parent warning: Many cyclists tend to blast by at high speeds near the waterways, and not account for unpredictable movements of toddlers on scooters.
El Cerrito Scootering Spots
- DMV El Cerrito parking lot: but only on weekends!
- Cerrito Vista Park: super nice paved, flat tracks.
Even More East Bay Scootering Paths and Places
- Castro Valley: Lake Chabot Regional Park is best for little scooter riders on weekday mornings.
- Concord to Pleasanton: the 33 paved mixed-use miles of the Iron Horse Trail has bikes and horses along with runners and mini scooters, so please stay to the right.
- Lafayette: Lafayette Reservoir has a flat walking path that is good for young ones on scooters. Watch out for sidewalk cracks.
- Orinda: Orinda Community Park: has a nice paved loop inside a fenced area.
- San Leandro: Marina Park has ample space to scoot and social distance.
- Walnut Creek: Heather Farms has a nice loop around the pond.
Favorite San Francisco Scooter Spots
- Golden Gate Park: look for closed off roadways throughout the park, offering plenty of space to distance and scoot freely.
- Upper Great Highway: we love the closed section of the 1 (only weekends now), next to Ocean Beach. Take in the view, and all the fresh ocean breeze.
- Crissy Field: miles of nicely maintained, paved trails with access to beach and grassy areas. This trip always gets sandy, but is very much worth the drive across the bridge. Many dog walkers and dogs off-leash though, FYI.
- Embarcadero: we like to take the first exit off the Bay Bridge and head on over to the Embarcadero shoreline for a change of scenery every now and then.
Our favorite scooters are Micro Kickboards. They are a bit on the more expensive side, but as far as I can tell they hold their resale value when my girl gang eventually grows out of them. Plus we’ve been using the Micro Mini for 3+ years now with no signs of it giving up anytime soon.
If I were a Spice Girl, I would (currently) be Sporty Spice. I wear running shoes pretty much every day, to keep up with my girls and especially if we’re going for a longer distance. I’m happy running alongside them, but if you’re not into running, consider bringing along your very own scooter, skateboard or bike for the trails.