Welcome to Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area!
Located in the hills of eastern Alameda and western San Joaquin counties, Carnegie is one of eight SVRAs administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Carnegie SVRA is a fun, challenging, and scenic place to ride. Come and see what’s left of the historic Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company, visit the Moto Mart for refreshments, bike parts and riding gear, rest from riding in the day use area or spend the night in the campground. You might even catch a glimpse of the local wildlife.
With more than 1,300 acres of riding area, Carnegie offers a variety of terrain. Characterized by dry rocky washes, rolling hills and steep, rugged canyons, the park provides a setting for off-highway vehicle users of all skill levels.
Day-use hours vary depending upon the time of year. Day-use vehicles are not allowed in the campground. Twenty-three campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Ramadas, fire rings, restrooms, coin-operated showers (quarters only; no change machine on site), and water faucets are provided for campers. If you are in a self-contained vehicle with holding tanks, fill your tanks before you arrive. Water filling stations are not available. The park does not have a dump station for your waste water disposal. Picnic tables are located throughout the valley floor. Fires are restricted to the fire rings provided in the campground.
For safety reasons, late arriving campers should not block access gates or park in such a way as to block existing campers from exit routes. Please park in designated and marked sites only.
The following facilities are operated by park staff and are open to the public unless a special event is scheduled:
- Motocross Track — This popular track is open to motorcycles only. Formalized competitive events are held on some weekends causing periodic closures to the public. Call the park at 925-447-9027 for details regarding the schedule of upcoming events.
- ATV/MC Track — Open to both ATVs and motorcycles.
- 70cc Children's Track — Designated for motorcycles and ATVs with small engines up to 70cc displacement, this track offers young riders an opportunity to practice and improve their riding skills.
- 110cc Beginner Track — Designated for motorcycles and ATVs with small engines up to 110cc displacement.
MotoMart sells off-road parts and accessories, apparel, safety equipment, food, and non-alcoholic beverages. Call MotoMart at (925) 455-1318 for information and store hours, or visit their website www.motomartatcarnegie.com.
INCLEMENT WEATHER CLOSURES
Extreme weather conditions like rain and flooding may force temporary closures of all or part of the park. During storms it is best to call ahead in order to receive up-to-date information on riding conditions. If foul weather closures are in effect, a red warning light will be activated at the Ranger Station.
The state park rangers who patrol Carnegie are peace officers trained in emergency medical treatment and can coordinate an ambulance response if necessary. If no ranger is available, dial 911 from one of the two phones located at the campground restroom or behind the ranger station at the park entrance. Do not move an injured person or remove their helmet unless the person is in immediate danger. Hospitals are located in both Tracy and Livermore.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Carnegie SVRA is home to a surprisingly wide range of plant and animal life. Those who take the time to explore will see raptors soaring gracefully above, countless tracks of small mammals and insects, and an impressive, colorful display of spring wildflowers. Look up and you might catch a glimpse of a red-tailed hawk, kestrel or golden eagle flying overhead, searching the grassland below for its next meal.
Black-tailed deer are often seen feeding in the mornings and evenings, and coyote sightings are common. Tule elk, introduced to the Diablo Range in the late 1970s, can provide a special thrill for visitors who happen upon these large animals grazing in the park. Feral pigs, wild turkeys, bobcats and badgers are just a few of the other animals that make Corral Hollow their home.
The wildflowers, bushes and grasses in the park are fragile and must be protected for future generations. Familiar plants native to the park include blue oak, grey pine, California poppies, California buckeye and the ever-present poison oak. Many of the grasses in the park and the surrounding lands are non-native and were introduced during the many years of ranching and farming. Carnegie is still home to some beautiful stands of native bunchgrasses.
The rattlesnakes found throughout the park will attack if disturbed or cornered. Give them distance and respect. Poison oak, which can be hard to identify during the winter riding season, is found throughout the park. Avoid poison oak and rattlesnakes by staying out of bushes and brushy areas.
Consistent with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, the condition of soils, wildlife and vegetation are continually monitored by park staff to determine if soil loss standards and habitat protection plans are being met. Through this monitoring process, changes (such as erosion or wildlife population variations) can be tracked and action taken to mitigate problems. From time to time certain trails or hill climb areas may be fenced off or closed in an effort to protect wildlife and restore habitat. These closed areas are often replanted with native plant species in order to repair and rehabilitate those areas damaged by recreational use. By taking an active approach to resource protection, Carnegie SVRA is now at the forefront of resource management within the state's many OHV riding areas, a status OHV users can be proud of!
In order to protect Carnegie’s plants and animals riders must stay on existing trails and avoid vegetation. Remember, your chance to ride depends on good resource management and the continued support of the many OHV users who ride Carnegie.
A LOOK TO THE FUTURE...
In 1998 more than 3,000 acres located west of the current riding area were purchased by the state as part of Carnegie SVRA. The Alameda-Tesla Expansion Project will provide increased OHV recreational opportunities at Carnegie SVRA including a multiple use (i.e., motorcycles, ATVs, 4x4 vehicles, sports utility vehicles) trail system, a 4x4 vehicle obstacle course, a day-use staging area, and interpretive and informational facilities.
Currently in the planning phase, this project has received considerable input from OHV user groups, adjacent landowners and a variety of regulatory agencies. Because the property contains sensitive cultural and natural resources, it is imperative that visitors adhere to the "trail riding only" requirement once the area is opened. With the continued support of OHV enthusiasts this significant addition to Carnegie SVRA and to the statewide SVRA system will ensure that riding opportunities are available for years to come.
In 1855 surveyors for a railroad found coal in Corral Hollow. Clay was found in the coal mines and led to the construction of the Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company in 1902. Owner John Treadwell named his newest enterprise after a man he admired, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. By 1910 as many as 110,000 bricks a day were being shipped all over California stamped with the name “Carnegie”.
A little town of about 350 souls sprung up around the brick works that included a hotel, two bunkhouses, a bakery, saloon, slaughterhouse, school, and 17 homes.
In 1907 the bank that held the mortgage on the plant failed. Despite high demand for brick, in late 1911 the company stopped production. On May 27, 1917 at 3 p.m. the tall smokestacks at the plant were dynamited as a small crowd stood watching.
The foundation of the brick works is all that can be seen in the park, but Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company’s legacy continues in stately buildings such as the Oakland Hotel, the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, and the Carnegie Libraries in Livermore and Lodi. For a short time from 1902 to 1911 Carnegie brick was used to build some of California’s most beautiful buildings.
For years the area supported a large cattle grazing operation and also became a popular picnic destination for residents of Livermore and Tracy. By the early 1940s motorcyclists had discovered the clay soils of Corral Hollow to be good for off-road riding. In the 1960s the Carnegie Cycle Park provided a setting for motorcyclists to test their off-road skills. As off-road recreation gained popularity, Carnegie was purchased by the state in 1979 with OHV Trust Fund monies to create the present-day Carnegie SVRA.