hot deals

Discount Disneyland Tickets


Catalina Flyer


 

Huntington Beach

 


 

 


Copyright BeachCalifornia.com © 2006

 


STINSON BEACH AND I TS 3.5 MI L E S
of sandy oceanfront are especially
popular during summer. Part of the
beach is maintained by the National Park
Service, which provides volleyball equipment
free of charge, runs a snack bar, and
staffs several lifeguard towers between
late May and mid-September. Call ahead
to arrange for a beach wheelchair and ask for it at the lifeguard tower when
you arrive. The park entrance is to the left off Highway 1 not far from the
stop-sign intersection in the little town of Stinson Beach. Picnic tables and
barbecue grills on a level grass area are between the first and second (northern
and central) parking lots. Across the entrance road from the central lot,
a short path and bridge over a creek lead to another (privately owned) snack
bar and restaurant and, one block north, the town’s galleries, restaurants,
bookstore, surf shop, and small grocery store. There are no sidewalks and
many of the shops have steps.
For an alternative route to Stinson Beach, take Panoramic Highway, to
the right off Highway 1 just outside Mill Valley, bypassing Muir Woods. This
is an exhilarating ride. The road climbs and winds along the side of Mount
Tamalpais, through rolling meadows and forest, then descends steeply into
Stinson Beach. The views are so breathtaking it’s hard to keep your eyes on
the road.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The park has three paved lots: the first two have
three blue spaces, the last (southern) has one. Two accessible restrooms with
changing rooms are along the beach near the first and second parking lots.

AWheelchair
Rider’sGuide
San Francisco Bay and the Nearby Coast
B O N N I E L E W KOW I C Z
AWheelchair
Rider’sGuide
A C OA S TA L C O N S E R VA N C Y B O O K A C OA S TA L C O N S E R VA N C Y B O O K
AWheelchair
Rider’sGuide
San Francisco Bay and the Nearby Coast
B O N N I E L E W KOW I C Z
AWheelchair
Rider’sGuide
A C OA S TA L C O N S E R VA N C Y B O O K A C OA S TA L C O N S E R VA N C Y B O O K
T H I S G U I D E I S AVA I L ABLE FREE OF CHARG E by calling
510/286-1015 and also on the Coastal Conservancy website:
www.scc.ca.gov
THE COASTAL CONSERVANCY ASSOCIATION published this book
with a grant from the Coastal Conservancy, a state agency that works
with others to protect and restore coastal resources and improve
public access along the California coast and on San Francisco Bay.
Since 1976, the Conservancy has helped to open hundreds of miles
of shoreline to the public and to preserve more than 185,000 acres
of wetlands, dunes, wildlife habitat, parks, and farmland. Many trail
improvements resulted from block grants from the Conservancy to
the Bay Trail Project.
The Coastal Conservancy Association is a nonprofit organization which
assists the Conservancy with projects undertaken in keeping with the
mandate of the California Coastal Act.
© 2006 Coastal Conservancy
A much smaller book with the same title, by Erick Mikiten, was
published by the Coastal Conservancy in 1990.
Coastal Conservancy Publications
1330 Broadway, 11th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612
510/286-1015
AL SO AVA I L A B L E : A Wheelchair Rider’s Guide: Los Angeles and
Orange County Coast, by Erick and Elisa Mikiten, published by Coastwalk
with the Coastal Conservancy in 2001: www.coastwalk.org
or www.scc.ca.gov
ALTHOUGH WE HAVE DONE OUR BEST TO BE CLEAR and accurate
in this guide, we cannot guarantee that we have always achieved our
goal. Also keep in mind that trail conditions change. You are responsible
for your own safety. Please exercise due caution. Neither the Coastal
Conservancy, the Coastal Conservancy Association, nor the producers
of this book assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of,
or in connection with, any use of this book or the sites described in it.
Coastal
Conservancy
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION vii
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK xi
Marin Coast 2
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE 4
Bear Valley 5
Point Reyes Hostel 7
Abbotts Lagoon 7
Drakes Beach 8
Lighthouse Visitor Center 9
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA (GGNRA):
FORT BAKER AND MARIN HEADLANDS 10
Fort Baker 10
H. Dana Bowers Vista Point 12
Bay Trail and Battery Spencer 12
Point Bonita Lighthouse and Bird Island Overlook 13
Fort Barry, Fort Cronkhite, and Rodeo Beach 14
GGNRA: MUIR WOODS TO STINSON BEACH 16
Muir Woods and Muir Beach 16
Steep Ravine Environmental Cabins and Campground 18
Stinson Beach 19
San Mateo and Santa Cruz Coast 20
PACIFICA AND HALF MOON BAY 22
Pacifica Municipal Pier and Sharp Park Beach 22
Headlands Trail and Rockaway Beach 23
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel 24
Pillar Point Harbor 26
Half Moon Bay State Beach—Francis Beach 28
Miramontes Point Trail 29
COWELL RANCH STATE BEACH TO AÑO NUEVO 30
Cowell Ranch State Beach 30
San Gregorio, Pomponio, and Pescadero State Beaches 31
Bean Hollow State Beach 32
iii
Pigeon Point State Historic Park and Lighthouse Hostel 32
Año Nuevo State Reserve 33
NORTHERN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY 35
Natural Bridges State Beach and West Cliff Drive 35
Santa Cruz Wharf and Boardwalk 39
San Francisco and Northern Peninsula 42
SAN FRANCISCO COAST 44
Baker Beach 44
China Beach 45
Eagles Point 46
Fort Miley and Point Lobos Overlook 46
Sutro Heights Park 47
Cliff House 48
Ocean Beach 50
Fort Funston 51
BAYSIDE SAN FRANCISCO:
NORTHERN WATERFRONT AND ALCATRAZ 53
China Basin to Pier 39 53
Alcatraz 56
Fisherman’s Wharf 58
Aquatic Park 59
Fort Mason 61
Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel 63
Marina Green and the Wave Organ 63
Crissy Field 64
Fort Point 67
SAN FRANCISCO SOUTHERN BAY WATERFRONT 69
Islais Creek 69
Heron’s Head Park 70
India Basin Shoreline Park 71
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area 71
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO AND NORTHERN SAN MATEO COUNTY 73
Brisbane Marina 74
Oyster Point Marina and Park 74
San Bruno Point Park 75
Bayfront Park 76
Bayside Park and Burlingame Lagoon 77
Anza Lagoon and Robert E. Wooley Peninsula Park 79
Coyote Point Recreation Area 80
Coyote Point to the San Mateo Bridge 82
iv A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
South Bay Shore 84
SAN MATEO BRIDGE TO SOUTHERN BAYLANDS 86
Foster City 86
Redwood Shores 89
Bayfront Park 92
Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve 94
Byxbee Park and Adobe Creek Trail 97
Shoreline at Mountain View 97
Sunnyvale Baylands Park 101
DON EDWARDS SAN FRANCISCO BAY
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 102
Environmental Education Center and Mallard Slough Loop Trail 103
Visitor Center, Tidelands Loop Trail, and Newark Slough Trail 104
COYOTE HILLS REGIONAL PARK AND ALAMEDA CREEK TRAIL 106
Coyote Hills Regional Park 106
Alameda Creek Trail 110
East Bay Shore 112
HAYWARD AND SAN LEANDRO 114
Hayward Regional Shoreline Interpretive Center to West Winton Avenue 114
West Winton Avenue to Grant Avenue 115
Grant Avenue to the San Leandro Marina 116
San Leandro Marina and Park 117
Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline 119
ALAMEDA AND OAKLAND 120
Bay Farm Island to Crown Beach 121
Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach 122
Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline 124
Union Point Park to Jack London Square 127
Jack London Square 129
Lake Merritt 131
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park 134
Port View Park 136
EMERYVILLE AND BERKELEY 137
Emeryville Marina Park and Bay Trail Loop 138
César Chávez Park 139
Berkeley Marina, Pier, Shorebird Park, and Nature Center 140
ALBANY AND RICHMOND 142
Albany Waterfront Trail 143
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline to Shimada Friendship Park 144
TA B L E OF CONTENT S v
vi A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
Vincent Park, Marina Bay Park, and Lucretia Edwards Park 146
Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline 148
Ferry Point Pier 149
Carquinez Strait and North Bay Shore 150
PINOLE 152
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline 152
Pinole Shores Regional Park 154
Pinole Bayfront Park 155
MARTINEZ AND ANTIOCH 156
Martinez Regional Shoreline 156
Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline 158
BENICIA 159
Benicia Marina and Pier 160
West Ninth Street Park 161
Benicia State Recreation Area 161
VALLEJO 163
Vallejo Marina 163
River Park 165
NAPA AND PETALUMA RIVERS 166
John F. Kennedy Memorial Park 166
Shollenberger Park 168
Marin Bay Shore 170
SAN RAFAEL TO CORTE MADERA 172
Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District 172
John F. McInnis County Park 173
McNears Beach 174
Pickleweed Park 175
Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park 177
Corte Madera Ecological Reserve 178
TIBURON PENINSULA AND ANGEL ISLAND 178
Paradise Beach County Park 179
Tiburon Peninsula Historic Trail 180
Angel Island State Park 182
SAUSALITO AND MILL VALLEY 185
Sausalito Waterfront 186
Bothin Marsh and Bayfront Park 188
RESOURCES 190
vii
A Wheelchair
Rider’s Guide
MO S T B AY A R E A R E S I D E N T S consider themselves lucky to be
surrounded by so much natural beauty, yet too few find the
time to explore more than a few of the numerous parks, trails, and open
spaces within easy reach of their homes. Those in need of a fairly level and
firm traveling surface—be they wheelchair riders, parents wheeling
strollers, or people with canes or walkers—tend to frequent places they
already know. They remain unaware of the many delights they could enjoy
elsewhere along the bay and ocean, from the Point Reyes National Seashore
to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, from San Francisco’s lively waterfront to the
wide open marshes of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, to historic
Benicia and Antioch on the Carquinez Strait, to the protected wetlands
on the Petaluma River. These and many other places are public, and
you can visit many free of charge.
This guide, produced as part of the Coastal Conservancy’s San Francisco
Bay Area Conservancy and access programs, is a greatly expanded second
edition of the 1990 book by Erick Mikiten. A great many more areas
have been made wheelchair-accessible in the past 15 years. We hope this
book will encourage you and many others to venture to some of the places
here described—more than 100 sites—and to discover others that we could
not fit in, or that had yet to be built when we went to press.
You may be amazed that so much public access to the shore exists in
such a densely populated metropolitan region, despite the fact that real
estate values are among the highest in the country. This is no accident. San
Francisco Bay was saved from destruction by local citizens.Until the 1960s,
its nearshore waters were widely considered to be prospective real estate.
Some areas were subdivided already, though the lots were under water.
Throughout the region, cities were filling the bay with garbage and rubble
viii A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
to make more land for building. But then three women in Berkeley stopped
all that by launching the Save the Bay movement in 1961, which led to legislation
that established the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development
Commission (BCDC) in 1965 to prevent unnecessary filling of the bay
and ensure public access. This was the first coastal management law in the
country and it served as a model for the California Coastal Act of 1976.
When BCDC was created, only four miles of the bay shoreline were accessible
to the public. Now, 41 years later, about 200 miles are open to everyone.
It’s in the law: the bay is a priceless natural treasure, to be enjoyed by all
the people and to be protected for other species. In December 2005, celebrating
the 40th anniversary of BCDC and Save the Bay, elders and their
successors took pride in the fact that not only had the bay stopped shrinking,
it is continuing to expand because of all the wetland restoration now
going on. They also cautioned, however, that the bay’s future can never be
secure. Citizens must continue watching over it. If you want to find out
more about bay restoration work and perhaps even get involved, look at
“Resources” (see page 190) for names of some organizations that welcome
volunteers.
Before you begin planning a trip to any of the parklands described in
this book, look at “How to Use This Book” and “Resources” (see pages xi
and 190).You will find useful hints,website addresses, and phone numbers.
As you travel, please keep firmly in mind that you are on your own and
need to use your own judgment. I visited most of the places described in
this guide; a few were visited for this edition by Erick and Elisa Mikiten or
other researchers.My descriptions are based on my experience as a quadriplegic
using both a manual and a motorized wheelchair. All of us did our
best to make the guide clear and accurate, but we cannot guarantee that
nothing has changed, that we have made no errors, or that your experience
will match ours.
Even as we visited these parks and trails, changes were occurring, or
were planned, in numerous locations. Many of these changes will create
even greater accessibility. However, time and weather can also bring
unwanted changes, such as erosion, drifting sand, and damage to trails and
facilities.When planning an outing, we strongly advise you to consult park
staff regarding current conditions.
Some of the places described in this guide are in relatively isolated
industrial or formerly industrial locations.While many people visit these
areas safely, we recommend that you explore them in the company of others,
and exercise caution.
I learned a lot in researching and writing this guide, and hope to convey
to you some of my appreciation for the places I discovered,my love for
the outdoors, and the concern I now have about the future of San Francisco
Bay and the coast. Happy travels to you!
Bonnie Lewkowicz, the project team,
and the Coastal Conservancy
A W H E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E ix
THE BAY TRAIL: A WORK IN PROGRESS
The San Francisco Bay Trail is a trail system that circles the bay, linking public
open spaces along the entire shoreline. These include parks, piers, wildlife
reserves, historical sites, and shoreline communities. Largely wheelchairaccessible,
the Bay Trail connects with the California Coastal Trail, various
local trails, and with the Ridge Trail, which is forming a second ring around
San Francisco Bay. When completed, the Bay Trail will be about 500 miles
long and will connect 47 cities and nine counties. As of March 2006, more
than half—270 miles—of the trail system had been completed and work was
under way on numerous additional trail segments. To learn more, contact
the Bay Trail Project at 510/464-7900 or visit www.baytrail.org.
Along the Bay Trail in Hayward Regional Shoreline
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
How To Use
This Book
SOME HINTS TO HELP YOU USE
THIS GUIDE TO BEST ADVANTAGE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS to familiarize yourself with this guide. The sites
included are generally within rolling distance of a shoreline, and offer a
variety of outdoor experiences to satisfy differing interests and accessibility
needs.We have done our best to insure that this guide is accurate, but we cannot
guarantee that information hasn’t changed since publication, or that we
didn’t miss something here and there. This book is based on the author’s
experience, not on any agency’s approval of sites as meeting ADA guidelines.
Also, weather and time can alter trail conditions. Therefore we strongly recommend
that you phone ahead, where possible, before visiting parks and
other locations, to verify key information and determine current trail conditions.
Check Internet sites (addresses for many follow the site descriptions in
this guide) for additional information, directions, and printable maps.
Organization and Maps
The book is organized by region. It follows the Marin County coast from
Point Reyes south through the Marin Headlands, then moves along the San
Mateo County coast and into Santa Cruz. Next it takes you through San
Francisco along the city’s oceanfront and bay shoreline, continues south
around the bay, then north to Carquinez Strait, around San Pablo Bay to the
Marin County bay shoreline, ending in Sausalito.
Regional maps are meant to provide only a general sense of site locations.
For some sites that might be confusing, you will find more detailed
maps.Note, however, that the scale varies, so neither regional nor site maps
should be used to determine actual distances. For that, refer to the text and
to road or park maps. Restrooms noted on maps meet some key accessibility
guidelines (see below). Other restrooms that may be useable are mentioned
in the text.
xi
Accessibility and the ADA Guidelines
It is widely acknowledged that access means different things to different
people.With this in mind,we did not rate trails based on their level of accessibility;
rather, we have provided accessibility details about trail routes and
key features. This information is intended to help you make informed
choices about places to visit, based on your particular access needs.We used
the ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines) and
Title 24 as a basis for evaluating the accessibility of various features such as
restrooms, parking, and picnic tables.However, we have also included trails
and facilities that do not meet the guidelines, if we considered them accessible
to at least some wheelchair riders.
The accessibility guidelines for some key features are as follows:
RESTROOMS The path of travel to the restrooms is accessible, entry and
stall doors have at least 32-inch clearance, toilet height is 17 to 19 inches,
grab bars are on the back wall and at least one side, and there is a roll-under
sink with 27-inch knee clearance.
PARKING Identified by the international access symbol, located on a firm
and stable surface, and with an access aisle unless otherwise noted.We did
not indicate whether spaces were van accessible.
▼ ▼
xii A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
P
MAP KEY
PARKING: Indicates parking areas with dedicated blue spaces. Check
the text for accessibility.
RESTROOMS: Don’t rely only on the symbol. Read the text for details:
some “accessible” restrooms are old and not up to ADA standards.
Some that are not marked “accessible” may work for you.
INFORMATION CENTER
PAVED TRAIL
UNPAVED TRAIL
ROAD
HIGHWAY
WOODEN BOARDWALK OR DECK
BRIDGE
PICNIC TABLES Located on a level, firm, and stable surface with table
height of at least 27 inches. Seating may be at either end of the table or on
the sides.
FISHING PIERS Level access onto the pier and at least a 32-inch pathway.
Safety regulations require that railings be 42 inches high, which may limit
views and fishing access from a seated position.
ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND Has an accessible path of travel to the playground
and is located on a firm and stable surface as approved by the Access
Board.May or may not have accessible play structures.
RAMPS AND INCLINES The steepness of ramps and inclines is measured
by a ratio. The standard measurement is 1:12, meaning that it rises 1 inch for
every 12 inches of length. Gentle slopes are less than or equal to 1:12, while
steep slopes, by varying degrees, are greater than 1:12.
Hiking Safety
Many of the trails in this guide are level, but some may require good upper
body strength and careful navigation. Rather than make assumptions about
people’s ability or interests, we have included trails of varied difficulty. If a
trail is described as “steep” or “difficult,” it is based on the author’s experience
as a quadriplegic using both a manual and a motorized wheelchair, and
it exceeded the 1:12 ratio. You are your own best judge for choosing trails
that are safe for you; however, please be cautious.
Come prepared to stay longer than you think you will by bringing water,
sunscreen, snacks, and hats. Gloves are recommended for manual wheelchair
riders. If you have a cell phone, consider programming it with the
emergency number of the park or entity that manages the trail. Binoculars
and field guides can enhance your trip.
Some of the places described in this guide are in relatively isolated
industrial or formerly industrial locations. While many people visit these
areas safely, we recommend that you explore them in the company of others,
and exercise caution.
▼ ▼ ▼ ▼
HOW TO U S E T H I S BOOK xiii
Weather
Foggy, windy days are common along coastal and shoreline trails, so take
layered clothing.To fully appreciate a place, you need to visit more than once
and at different times of the year. Wildflowers and wildlife absent on one
visit can magically appear on another. In wet weather, dirt trails will most
likely become muddy. Call ahead for trail conditions.
Beach Wheelchairs
Large chairs with balloon tires specifically designed to roll over sand are
available free of charge at some beaches. They have to be pushed by someone,
and are easiest to push on wet sand. Generally they cannot be reserved
in advance, but it’s advisable to call ahead to see if they’re available. For a list
of California beaches with beach wheelchairs, visit www.coastal.ca.gov/
access/beach-wheelchairs.html. For a catalog of adaptive recreation items,
including beach wheelchairs, visit www.AccessTR.com.
Fishing
Anyone may fish from a public pier at the ocean or a bay without a license.
To fish at other locations, people 16 years old and above need a license. Free
fishing licenses are available to disabled people; call 916/227-2245 for an
application.
Discount and Free Parks Passes
California State Parks offers a lifetime discount pass for permanently disabled
persons for $3.50. It enables you to pay half price for parking, camping,
boating, and day-use fees in state-operated parks, except for Hearst San
Simeon State Historical Monument. Applications are available online at
www.parks.ca.gov/pages/737/files/dpr818a.pdf, at district offices, or from
the Department Pass Program Office, 3930 Seaport Blvd., West Sacramento,
CA 95691. For more information, call 800/777-0369 (option 5) or
visit www.parks.ca.gov.
Permanently disabled people can enjoy free entry to the national parks,
and a 50 percent discount on camping, swimming, boating, and parking
fees, through the lifetime Golden Access Passport, available free of charge at
any national park.
xiv A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
REGION 1:
MARIN COAST
Pt. Reyes to Fort Baker
Page 2
REGION 7:
MARIN BAY SHORE
Las Gallinas Ponds
to Sausalito
Page 170
REGION 6:
CARQUINEZ STRAIT and
NORTH BAY SHORE
Pt. Pinole to Petaluma River
Page 150
REGION 5:
EAST BAY SHORE
Hayward to Richmond
Page 112
REGION 4:
SOUTH BAY SHORE
Foster City to Alameda Creek
Page 84
REGION 2:
SAN MATEO and
SANTA CRUZ COAST
Pacifica to Santa Cruz
Page 20
REGION 3:
SAN FRANCISCO and
NORTHERN PENINSULA
Fort Funston to
San Mateo Bridge
Page 42
1
1
1
1
Drakes
Beach
Pt. Reyes
Lighthouse
Bear
Valley
Mt. Tamalpais
State Park
Muir Woods
Panoramic
Hwy.
Stinson Beach
Steep Ravine Cabins
Muir Beach
Fort Cronkhite
Conzelman Rd.
Fort Baker
Tomales Bay
State Park
To Bodega Bay
Muir Woods Rd.
Shoreline Hwy.
Golden Gate Bridge
Limantour Rd.
Sir Francis
Drake Blvd.
Sir Francis
Drake Blvd.
Pierce Pt. Rd.
101
MARIN COAST
Marin Coast
FROM POINT REYES to the Marin Headlands and Golden
Gate Bridge, Marin County’s Pacific coastline is rugged,
incredibly beautiful, and almost entirely protected, either for
parks or agriculture. Much of it is within the Golden Gate National
Recreation Area (GGNRA). The Point Reyes National
Seashore, established in 1962, allows dairy ranches to continue
to operate within the park. The terrain can present challenges to
wheelchair riders, but there are accessible trails—including a
wonderful boardwalk through Muir Woods—as well as scenic
drives, accessible beaches and visitor centers, and opportunities
for observing whales and other wildlife.
MICHELLE VIGNES
3
Point Reyes
National Seashore
THIS MAGNIFICENT EXPANSE of parkland is one of the nation’s great treasures.
Its 71,057 acres include rolling grasslands, forested ravines that open
onto steep, rocky blufftops, broad beaches, lush salt marshes, and 600-foothigh
granite promontories at the Point Reyes Headlands.Wildlife abounds
and hiking trails extend more than 140 miles, although the terrain makes
many of them inaccessible to wheelchair riders. There is also a hostel. This
park is a good place to learn about tectonic plates and earthquakes: the Point
Reyes Peninsula is partly separated from the mainland by 15-mile Tomales
Bay, which lies in a rift valley formed by the San Andreas fault.
The weather varies dramatically around Point Reyes, and sudden
changes should be expected.A sunny day on the east side of Inverness Ridge
may be foggy and cold on the ocean side, and clearing fog often signals the
onset of strong winds. Try to learn what conditions are expected for the entire
day to avoid being caught in bad weather during a several-mile hike, especially
on trails that are likely to become muddy quickly.
Dairy cows at the Giacomini Ranch in Point Reyes
UC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION, MARIN COUNTY
P O I N T R E Y E S NAT I O N A L S E A S H O R E 5
Bear Valley
BEAR VALLEY ROAD OFF HIGHWAY 1 NEAR OLEMA
TO BEGIN EXPLORING the park’s inland areas, you might start at the Bear
Valley visitor center,which offers displays and specimens of native wildlife
mounted in dioramas, as well as a seismograph station monitoring activity
along the San Andreas Fault. The multilevel interior is ramped, with the exception
of one raised station, and all displays are well conceived for use or
viewing from a seated position.Movies about the shoreline are shown on request.
A wheelchair is available to visitors.
The Earthquake Trail, a .6-mile asphalt loop, leads from the Bear Valley
visitor center to a spot where the 1906 earthquake cut a fence in two and
moved it. The two pieces are now 16 feet apart. The trail provides a pleasant
1
1
Drakes
Beach
Pt. Reyes
Lighthouse
Bear
Valley
Inverness
Tomales Bay
State Park
Tule Elk Reserve
Drakes
Estero
Stinson Beach
Heart’s Desire Beach
Elephant Seal
Overlook
Kenneth Patrick
Visitor Center
Highway 1
(Shoreline Hwy.)
Sir Francis
Drake Blvd.
Limantour Rd.
Hostel
Limantour
Beach
Bear Valley Rd.
Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Petaluma–Pt. Reyes Rd.
Pierce Pt. Rd.
Abbotts
Lagoon
Arch Rock
Bolinas Lagoon
Tomales Bay
Pt. Reyes Beach
P
P
P P
P
P
P
P
P
P
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE
stroll through forest and meadows. On a grassy oak-shaded knoll near this
path’s beginning are picnic tables and barbecue grills.
Also leading out of the upper parking lot is the Bear Valley Trail, which
runs west a little more than four miles to Arch Rock and the ocean. This
wide hard-packed dirt trail follows Coast Creek as it winds under Douglas
fir and other trees amid fern undergrowth. For the first 1.5 miles, the trail
slopes gently uphill, becoming moderately steep for the last several hundred
feet of that stretch. Manual wheelchair riders will get a good workout, but
there are also level sections where you can rest. Gloves are helpful during extended
braking.During the rainy season, this trail may become impassable.
At 1.5 miles out, the trail enters the large and beautiful Divide Meadow,
a good place to loll around or picnic. Beyond the meadow, it continues at a
gentle slope for another 2.5 miles to Arch Rock. The steep, uneven trail to
the overlook atop the rock may be accessible to the more adventurous, but
otherwise ocean views are limited.
GETTING THERE Just south of San Rafael, exit Highway 101 or I-580 West
on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and follow it about 20 miles through town and country
until it ends at Highway 1 in Olema. Turn right on Highway 1, left on Bear
Valley Rd. and, after .5 mile, turn left past the big red barn to the visitor center.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Four blue spaces are in the lower paved lot at the
visitor center. The upper dirt-and-gravel lot has two spaces at the Bear Valley
trailhead and two at the Earthquake trailhead.Accessible restrooms are next to
▼ ▼
Bear Valley visitor center
STEVE SCHOLL, CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION
6 MARIN COA S T
Point Reyes National Seashore:
415/464-5100;
www.nps.gov/pore
Bear Valley Visitor Center:
415/464-5137
MBear Valley visitor center:
Mon.–Fri., 9 am–5 pm;
Sat.–Sun., 8 am–5 pm
Closed Dec. 25.
the visitor center. An accessible portable toilet, approached on a moderately
steep incline, is at Divide Meadow, 1.5 miles out on the Bear Valley Trail.
The stalls in the Earthquake Trail restrooms are not deep enough to close the
door, have no grab bar on the back wall, and require a frontal transfer.
Point Reyes Hostel
SIX MILES WEST OF THE BEAR VALLEY
of the Bear Valley visitor center and
two miles northeast of Limantour Beach
on Limantour Road, you come upon the
Point Reyes Hostel in a wooded valley.
Operated by Hosteling International, it
comprises a ranch house and redwood
bunkhouse that together can accommodate
44 guests. A concrete ramp from the
parking area between the two buildings
leads into the ranch house’s utility room.
You pass through the kitchen and dining room to reach the bedrooms. If you
want to stay in one of the small dorm rooms, which have five bunks each,
make reservations to ensure you get a lower bed. The one private room can
also be reserved.Next to the ranch house is a barbecue grill on an accessible
patio. The redwood bunkhouse is inaccessible.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The small paved lot has no blue spaces, but guests
with special needs can reserve a space.Restrooms in the ranch house have wide
stalls with grab bars and high toilets. Curtains serve for doors and don’t get in
the way. The shower is small but has grab bars and a removable wooden seat.
Abbotts Lagoon
ABBOTTS LAGOON, a dune-sheltered freshwater lagoon on the north
side of the Point Reyes Peninsula, is a short drive out Pierce Point
Road,which intersects Sir Francis Drake Boulevard two miles past the town
of Inverness. A decomposed granite-and-dirt trail skirts the southern side
of the lagoon and leads out to beach. The first .5 mile is accessible, although

P O I N T R E Y E S NAT I O N A L S E A S H O R E 7
415/663-8811;
www.norcalhostels.org
MCheck out 7:30–10 am;
check in 4:30–9:30 pm;
closed 10 am–4:30 pm daily
FEES Dorm bed $16 adults,
children under 18, $10;
one family room, $54
RESERVATIONS 888/464-4872
erosion from a wet winter may make it impassable. Look for coots, western
grebes, and quail.
At the end of rolling Pierce Point Road, past some dairy ranches, you
may be lucky enough to spot tule elk. These animals were hunted almost to
extinction in the late 1800s. In 1978 a reserve was established for them here,
and today there are two separate herds at Point Reyes, totaling nearly 400
animals. They can often be seen from the road. On your return, before the
intersection with Sir Francis Drake Blvd., turn left into Tomales Bay State
Park and Heart’s Desire Beach on Tomales Bay. You will find a level lawn
with a picnic area and a sheltered sandy cove.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces and accessible restrooms are in
the dirt lot for Abbotts Lagoon.
Drakes Beach
SOUTH SIDE OF POINT REYES PENINSULA
WAY OUT ON T H E P E N I N S U L A ,
about seven miles past the intersection
of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
and Pierce Point Road, turn left off Sir
Francis Drake to reach Drakes Beach, on
Drakes Bay. Although there is no access
to the beach, the fully accessible Kenneth
C. Patrick Visitor Center is well worth
the trip. It offers park information and
excellent displays on local marine life
and Sir Francis Drake’s 16th-century
explorations. On blustery days the spacious
viewing deck keeps you above the blowing sand but close enough to
the pounding surf to feel its might. If a chill gets you, warm up with barbecued
oysters (available in summer), hot drinks, soup, or other fare from
the café.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The large parking lot has three blue spaces. Accessible
restrooms are off the deck between the visitor center and the café.
▼ ▼
8 MARIN COA S T
Visitor center: 415/669-1250
Café: 415/669-1297
MVisitor center: Memorial Day–
Labor Day, Fri.–Tues.,
10 am–5 pm; weekends and
holidays year-round,
10 am–5 pm. Closed Dec. 25.
Café: Weekends only; during
winter whale-watching season,
Dec.–April, also open
Thurs.–Mon.
Lighthouse Visitor Center
AT THE END OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE
Boulevard, about 45 minutes from
Bear Valley and five miles west of Drakes
Beach, the Point Reyes Lighthouse stands
on a rocky promontory at the western tip
of the Point Reyes Peninsula. Built in 1870, it was retired from service in 1975
when it was replaced by an automated light. The lighthouse is not accessible,
but the visitor center, on a cliff 300 feet above it, is. The center’s displays and
photographs offer a chance to learn something about maritime history, marine
life, shipwrecks, and lighthouse keepers.
A paved path extends 100 feet beyond the visitor center to an accessible
clifftop observation platform from which you might see gray whales passing
offshore on their annual migrations between December and April. During
whale-watching season the road from South Beach to the lighthouse is closed
to autos, but visitors with a disabled license plate or placard can drive in.
PARKING/RESTROOMS A lot at the end of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is about
.5 mile below the visitor center.Disabled placards or license plates will allow
you to open the gate and drive to a dirt-and-gravel parking area, where a
short climb up a paved road leads to the visitor center. The gate is unlocked
and opens out toward you; close it after entering.An accessible portable toilet
is next to the visitor center.

P O I N T R E Y E S NAT I O N A L S E A S H O R E 9
415/669-1534
MThurs.–Mon., 10 am–4:30 pm
Point Reyes Lighthouse
© WWW.C ALIFORNIACOASTLINE.ORG
GGNRA: Fort Baker
and Marin Headlands
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
A DRIVE THROUGH the hills and valleys of the Marin Headlands gives you
some of the most breathtaking views in the Bay Area. Waves crash at the
base of cliffs, San Francisco gleams across the water, and the towers of the
Golden Gate Bridge rise and vanish beyond the hills. Old concrete bunkers
amid the vegetation remind you of the military history of these lands, which
became parklands in 1972 thanks to far-sighted legislation by Congressman
Phillip Burton. Points of interest are easy to find, with clear signs along the
roads and maps and descriptive information available at parking-area kiosks.
Fort Baker
FORT BAKER, AT THE NORTHEASTERN
end of the Golden Gate Bridge, is
blessed with a lot of sunshine, open space,
a sandy beach, and a bit of rocky shoreline.
The fort was established in 1866 as part of
the Golden Gate’s defense system. During
World War II it served as a depot for underwater
mines intended to protect the
bay, while the guns of Battery Yates were manned for surface raids.
The Horseshoe Bay fishing pier, along East Road, is accessible. You can
park at the pier and continue on a paved road, part of the Bay Trail, past barricades
and very steeply up, to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge. The perspective
on the bridge’s underside,with its massive steel and concrete support
system, makes it worth getting help up the hill.Adventurous wheelchair riders
can also get to this spot from a trailhead parking lot on the other side of
the bridge (see the section on Battery Spencer, p. 12), although the steep
climb back to the parking lot is very difficult.
Discovery Museum
415/339-3900
MTues.–Fri., 9 am–4 pm;
Sat. and Sun., 10 am–5 pm
FEES Adults, $8.50; ages 1–17,
$7.50; 62 and above, $6.50
Fort Baker is also home to
the Bay Area Discovery Museum,
an interactive arts, sciences,
and entertainment center
for children. A place where
families can play and learn together,
the museum has good
access.
G E T T I N G T H E R E From
Highway 101 North, take the
Alexander Ave. exit, which comes up quickly after Bowers Vista Point. At
the bottom of the long hill, make a U-turn to the right on East Rd., which
descends into Fort Baker. From Highway 101 South, take the last Sausalito
exit, just before the Golden Gate Bridge, and follow the signs to East Fort
Baker and the Discovery Museum.
PARKING/RESTROOMS One blue space is at the entrance to the pier and
six are on East Rd. across from the Discovery Museum. An accessible
portable toilet is across the road from the pier. The museum has accessible
restrooms in the Tot Spot and Discovery Hall. Others are in the art studio,
the performing arts theater, and at Lookout Cove.


1
101
GATE
Fort
Cronkhite
Marine Mammal
Center
Coastal Trail
Old Bunker Rd.
Marin Headlands
Visitor Center
Hostel
Fort
Baker
Alexander
Ave.
Conzelman Rd.
Bunker Rd.
Bay Area
Discovery
Museum
Bird Island
Rodeo
Beach FISHING
PIER
Lagoon Trail
Pt. Bonita
Lighthouse
Bonita Cove Kirby Cove
P
P
P
P
MARIN HEADL ANDS
View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Baker
DAN ROBBIN
H. Dana Bowers Vista Point
(FORMERLY JUAN DE AYALA VISTA POINT)
TO U R I S TS FLOCK TO this clifftop overlook at the Marin County end of
the Golden Gate Bridge for its extraordinary views of San Francisco and
the East Bay. The stone wall along nearly two-thirds of the lookout’s perimeter
is just under three feet high. I sit fairly high in my chair and could see out
but not down.Two viewing scopes are at wheelchair height. The larger-thanlife
bronze statue of a “Lone Sailor” commemorates the thousands of sailors
who have shipped out from San Francisco.
Close to the parking lot entrance, the first curb cut on your right leads
down to the eastern walkway onto the Golden Gate Bridge (the west side is reserved
for bicyclists). I found the 1.7-mile roll across the bridge unnerving,
with cars zooming by so close, shaking the bridge. The overlook offered a quieter,
more enjoyable experience of the bridge and bay views, despite its crowds.
GETTING THERE After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco,
take the first exit to your right. There is no access from Highway 101 South.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Six blue spaces and two accessible restrooms are in
the parking lot.
Bay Trail and Battery Spencer
FOR AN EXHILARATING but challenging ride, and a different perspective
on the Golden Gate Bridge, you can’t beat the stretch of paved service road
that winds from the west side of a trailhead parking lot off Conzelman Road,
just west of the bridge, steeply downhill and under the bridge to Horseshoe Bay
in Fort Baker. Part of the Bay Trail, the road is closed to vehicles except those
used for maintenance. But be careful: I went down only as far as the underside
of the bridge, and my power wheelchair worked hard on the return. For manual
wheelchair riders the continuous uphill climb would be extremely difficult.
A few hundred feet down Conzelman Road past the Bay Trail trailhead
lot is a roadside parking area for Battery Spencer. Two steep gravel paths lead
south from the parking area up to the battery, one of the many artillery em-
▼ ▼
12 MARIN COA S T
Along the trail to Point Bonita Lighthouse
placements built to guard the Golden Gate in the late 1800s. One path has
steps on the approach, and during my visit the other had deep ruts that prevented
access beyond 50 feet. But even from the parking area you can look
down on the bridge and out to the ocean and feel as if you’re perched on top
of the world. Binoculars are a must here.
GETTING THERE From Highway 101 South in Marin, just before the bridge,
take the Sausalito exit and follow the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
signs. From Highway 101 North, after crossing the bridge from San Francisco,
take the Alexander Ave. exit.At the stop sign, turn left under the freeway, then
take Conzelman Rd. to the right (be careful not to get on the freeway here or
you will end up back in San Francisco). The trailhead parking lot is on your immediate
left after you turn onto Conzelman, shortly before Battery Spencer.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The trailhead parking lot has three blue spaces;
there are none in the dirt-and-gravel parking area for Battery Spencer. The
portable toilets at Battery Spencer are not accessible. The Marin Headlands
visitor center, three miles northwest on Field Rd., has accessible restrooms.
Point Bonita Lighthouse and Bird Island Overlook
FROM BATTERY SPENCER, drive west on Conzelman Road along the edge of
the headlands, where there are several observation points with parking
and benches from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the Golden
Gate and bridge,with San Francisco in
the distance. Turn left at the Point Bonita
YMCA center and continue to a gravel
parking lot at the start of a steep .5-mile
trail leading down to Point Bonita Lighthouse.
Most motorized wheelchair riders
can make it partway down for the rewarding
south-facing views, but those in
▼ ▼
GGNRA: FOR T B A K E R AND MARIN H E A D L A N D S 13
EILEEN ECKLUND
manual wheelchairs may need assistance. For west-facing views, head to a
gravel parking lot at the end of Conzelman Road, named Bird Island Overlook
for the small rock island 500 feet offshore.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The lots for Point Bonita Lighthouse and Bird Island
Overlook are gravel with no blue spaces.An accessible portable toilet is
in a gravel lot 100 feet past the Point Bonita Lighthouse trailhead.
Fort Barry, Fort Cronkhite, and Rodeo Beach
FROM BIRD I S LAND OVERLOOK, drive back to the YMCA center and
continue straight onto Field Road, following signs to the Marin Headlands
visitor center in the old Fort Barry chapel.Here you will find information
about Rodeo Lagoon, Rodeo Beach, and their surroundings. A shaded
picnic area is connected to the visitor center. At the west side of the parking
lot, next to the restrooms, is an entrance to the Rodeo Lagoon Loop Trail.
This dirt trail offers excellent birding and views along the .5 mile before it hits
the sands of Rodeo Beach, preventing further
access.
To reach Fort Cronkhite and Rodeo
Beach from the visitor center, continue
down Field Road and turn left on Bunker
Road. The pebbly beach is at the outlet
of Rodeo Lagoon, where you may see
herons, egrets, pelicans, and harlequin
and tufted ducks. In winter, rain floods
the lagoon, causing it to breach its sandbar
and mix with the Pacific. An accessible
bridge, part of the loop trail, spans a
narrow point in the lagoon near the first
beach parking lot on Bunker Road. The
second beach parking lot, .25 mile farther
at the end of Bunker Road, has a paved
picnic area with barbecue grills and ta- ▼
14 MARIN COA S T
Marin Headlands visitor center:
415/331-1540;
www.nps.gov/goga/mahe;
9:30 am–4:30 pm
California Marine Mammal
Center: 415/289-7325;
www.tmmc.org; 10 am–4 pm
Marin Headlands Hostel:
415/331-2777;
www.norcalhostels.org.
Dorm beds $18–20 adults,
children under 18, $9;
private room, $54
Center for the Arts:
415/331-2787;
www.headlands.org;
Mon.–Fri., 10 am–5 pm;
Sat.–Sun., noon–5 pm
bles. Plans are underway to make a beach wheelchair available for Rodeo
Beach; call the Marin Headlands visitor center for more information.
From the second parking lot you might try a strenuous and rewarding
two-mile paved loop that climbs steeply on the Coastal Trail for .75 mile to
Battery Townsley, then returns to Fort Cronkhite on Old Bunker Road. passing
the entrance to the Marine Mammal Center.Manual wheelchair users may require
assistance on this loop, starting at the uneven path around the vehicle
gate near the parking lot. Foghorns sounded in the distance as I made the
climb, alternately gazing out over the ocean and inland to the blooming spring
wildflowers.At the top, just past Battery Townsley, the Coastal Trail leading to
the left is inaccessible. Turn right onto paved Old Bunker Road, which has a
gentler grade but is worn in places. It leads downhill one mile to a locked vehicle
gate, where it becomes a road. Just beyond the gate we passed the entrance
to the Marine Mammal Center, where injured animals are brought
back to health, and then wound our way back through Fort Cronkhite to the
beginning of the loop.
A note of caution:When I visited, the path around the locked gate on
Old Bunker Road had deep ruts that would be impassable for anyone traveling
alone. My companion was able to carefully lift and steer my power
wheelchair over the ruts. If you want to do this loop, it’s best to first drive
to the trail entrance on Old Bunker Road to see if the path around the gate
is navigable. If it is, consider doing the loop in reverse by parking at Rodeo
Beach and rolling back to this entrance. This way you avoid the steep uphill
on the Coastal Trail.
Pelicans at Rodeo Lagoon
EILEEN ECKLUND
Other points of interest at Fort Barry include the Marin Headlands
Hostel, which has accommodations for wheelchair users, and next to it, the
Headlands Center for the Arts. The hostel’s registration area is upstairs, so
you must make prior arrangements for check-in.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The visitor center has one blue space. At Rodeo
Beach, one blue space is on the right side of Bunker Rd. near the lagoon
bridge, and two are in the lot at the end of Bunker Rd. Accessible restrooms
are at the visitor center and at the beach lot at the end of Bunker Rd.
GGNRA: Muir Woods
to Stinson Beach
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
AN ANCIENT REDWOOD FOREST, two picturesque beaches, and rustic cabins
overlooking the ocean are within a 30-minute drive of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Muir Woods and Muir Beach
GO I N G N O RT H ON H I G H WAY 1
(Shoreline Highway), turn right
onto Panoramic Highway, then left onto
Muir Woods Road, and you’ll arrive at
Muir Woods National Monument.A wonderful,
wide, 1.5-mile wooden boardwalk
and paved loop trail take you through an
awe-inspiring old-growth coastal redwood
forest. All facilities, including the visitor
center, café, and gift shop, are accessible.
From Muir Woods, head west on Muir
Woods Road to Highway 1, then south for a short distance to Muir Beach. This ▼
415/388-2595; www.nps.gov
MMuir Woods: 8 am–sunset
Muir Woods visitor center:
summer, 9 am–6 pm;
winter, 9 am–4:30 pm
Muir Beach: sunrise to one
hour after sunset
FEES Muir Woods: adults, $3;
16 and under, free
16 MARIN COA S T
dog-friendly beach has a one-mile loop trail that might be accessible during dry
weather.Windblown sand and a surface layer of rock for erosion control cut my
trip short. From the beach parking lot, take the wooden bridge across Redwood
Creek. At the end of the bridge, where the sand begins, a dirt-and-gravel trail
leads left, traveling by a marsh and looping back to the parking lot via the entrance
road. A picnic area with barbecue grills is at the south end of the beach
parking lot.
For a panoramic ocean vista and a chance to watch migrating whales
(December–April), head north from Muir Beach one mile up Highway 1 to
Muir Beach Overlook, a former Army observation post. The narrow dirt
trail from the lot to the overlook is manageable in a power wheelchair, but
views from the lot are almost as good.Nearby picnic tables are on level grass.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Muir Woods has six blue spaces in the main lot,
the beach has three in its gravel lot, and the overlook has two in a paved lot.
Muir Woods has accessible restrooms near the gift shop and parking lot, the
beach has several accessible portable toilets in the parking lot, and the overlook
has an accessible pit toilet in the parking lot. ▼
GGNRA: M U I R WOODS TO S T I N S O N B E ACH 17
Muir Woods
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Steep Ravine Environmental Cabins and Campground
HIGHWAY 1 SOUTH OF STINSON BEACH
TEN RUS T I C C AB I N S W I TH OCEAN
views perch on the rim of a steep
ravine at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais. Built
in the 1930s, the cabins can provide solitude,
a romantic getaway, or an enriching
spot to gather with family and friends.
Each cabin accommodates up to five people
and has a table with two benches, a
wood-burning stove, and sleeping platforms.
There is no electricity, and you
must bring sleeping bags, mattresses,
linen, and a cooking stove, if you want one.Water is available from a faucet
outside the cabin and you can buy wood at nearby cubbies.
The accessible cabin (#1) is the first one you come to, near the blue parking
space. It can accommodate up to five people.Two accessible sleeping platforms
are high when you add a mattress and require upper body strength to
transfer from a wheelchair; the bunk bed is inaccessible. The area beside the
cabin is flat. A nearby .5-mile dirt-and-gravel fire road with several steep sections
may be accessible to some power wheelchair users. The campground
on your left as you approach the cabins has an accessible campsite (#7). A
locked gate at the entrance just off Highway 1 and the lock on the cabin door
may be difficult to open for people with limited hand function.
GETTING THERE From Highway 101 just north of Sausalito, exit at Highway
1 toward Stinson Beach. A gated entrance is on the hill on the ocean
side of the road as you head down into Stinson Beach.
PARKING/RESTROOMS One blue space is next to the accessible cabin, and
one is near the campsite. Only one vehicle allowed per site.An accessible pit
toilet a few feet from the accessible cabin serves the campsite and cabin.
▼ ▼
18 MARIN COA S T
Mt. Tamalpais ranger station:
415/388-2070
RESERVATIONS 800/444-7275,
accepted seven months in
advance; they fill quickly
FEES Cabins, $75; campground,
$15; 50 percent discount for
campground with a State Parks
Disabled Discount Pass
(call 800/777-0369)
Stinson Beach
STINSON BEACH AND I TS 3.5 MI L E S
of sandy oceanfront are especially
popular during summer. Part of the
beach is maintained by the National Park
Service, which provides volleyball equipment
free of charge, runs a snack bar, and
staffs several lifeguard towers between
late May and mid-September. Call ahead
to arrange for a beach wheelchair and ask for it at the lifeguard tower when
you arrive. The park entrance is to the left off Highway 1 not far from the
stop-sign intersection in the little town of Stinson Beach. Picnic tables and
barbecue grills on a level grass area are between the first and second (northern
and central) parking lots. Across the entrance road from the central lot,
a short path and bridge over a creek lead to another (privately owned) snack
bar and restaurant and, one block north, the town’s galleries, restaurants,
bookstore, surf shop, and small grocery store. There are no sidewalks and
many of the shops have steps.
For an alternative route to Stinson Beach, take Panoramic Highway, to
the right off Highway 1 just outside Mill Valley, bypassing Muir Woods. This
is an exhilarating ride. The road climbs and winds along the side of Mount
Tamalpais, through rolling meadows and forest, then descends steeply into
Stinson Beach. The views are so breathtaking it’s hard to keep your eyes on
the road.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The park has three paved lots: the first two have
three blue spaces, the last (southern) has one. Two accessible restrooms with
changing rooms are along the beach near the first and second parking lots.

GGNRA: M U I R WOODS TO S T I N S O N B E ACH 19
Recorded information:
415/868-1922
Ranger station: 415/868-0942
M9 am–sunset
RESERVATIONS Beach
wheelchair: 415/868-0734
1
1
1
101
101
84
84
84
84
84
92
92
92
280
280
17
To Monterey
1
Pacifica
Sharp Park Beach
Mori Pt.
Pacifica State Beach
San Pedro Pt.
Pillar Pt. Harbor
Pt. Montara
Lighthouse and Hostel
Half Moon Bay State Beach
Kelly Ave.
Miramontes Pt. Rd.
Pescadero Rd.
Miramontes Pt.
Cowell Ranch State Beach
San Gregorio State Beach
La Honda Rd.
Pomponio State Beach
Pescadero State Beach
Bean Hollow State Beach
Pigeon Pt.
Lighthouse and Hostel
Año Nuevo State Reserve
Natural Bridges State Beach
W. Cliff Dr.
To San Francisco
SAN MATEO
and SANTA CRUZ
COAST
San Mateo and
Santa Cruz Coast
WHILE THE BAY SIDE of San Mateo County is densely
populated, on the other side of the hills the coast has
remained largely rural. Along the 55-mile stretch of shoreline
known locally as the Coastside, rows of artichokes and Brussels
sprouts extend from the foothills to the ocean bluffs. On a clear
day, as you travel south along Highway 1, you get views of the
ocean, dizzying seacliffs—especially at Devil’s Slide, south of
Pacifica—sandy beaches, lush coastal terraces, and rolling hills.
You pass Pigeon Point Lighthouse, towering on a scenic headland,
and Año Nuevo State Beach, where thousands of northern
elephant seals gather each year to mate and breed. As you
approach the rugged Santa Cruz Mountains and northern Santa
Cruz County, the hillsides become steeper and more forested.
The drive alone can be well worth the trip.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse
© WWW.C ALIFORNIACOASTLINE.ORG
21
Pacifica and
Half Moon Bay
I N T HE EA R LY 1900s the northern San Mateo coast was linked to San Francisco
by the Ocean Shore Railway, which carried passengers from the city for
weekend and holiday beach outings as far as Tunitas Creek, south of Half
Moon Bay, and transported artichokes, beans, Brussels sprouts, and other
vegetables from coastal farms to the city. Today housing has replaced many
of the fields where flowers and pumpkins used to be grown around Half
Moon Bay, and many of the people who live in the area commute south or
across the hills to jobs on the bayside of the peninsula.You can still buy some
local produce on farmstands, however, and purchase fresh fish and crabs in
season off the fishermen’s boats in Pillar Point Harbor.
Pacifica Municipal Pier and Sharp Park Beach
BEACH BOULEVARD, PACIFICA
IF YOU ARE A BAY AR EA F I S H E R , you
probably already know about this 1,140-
foot open-ocean pier (41-inch railings). In
season, people catch king salmon, surf perch, striped bass, and halibut.You can
go out on the pier even if you don’t fish. On the lawn near the pier there are
picnic tables and grills. A wide, paved promenade runs along Sharp Park
Beach for about .5 mile south to Clarendon Rd. From there, if you can manage
a short but steep and sometimes sandy slope, you can access a hard-packed dirt
and rock levee trail and continue south for another .5 mile to the end of the
beach at Mori Point. The promenade can be a difficult ride because of windblown
sand, standing rainwater, and bird droppings. The levee trail runs
between the beach and Sharp Park Golf Course. From this elevated vantage
point you may spot pelicans skimming the ocean’s surface, shorebirds probing
the sand, and occasionally, sea lions and whales swimming close to shore.
You’re almost certain to meet dogs and energetic walkers on this trail.
MPier: 4 am–10 pm
PAC I F I C A AND H A L F MOON B AY 23
GETTING THERE From San Francisco,
take Highway 280 South to
Highway 1. In Pacifica take the
Francisco Blvd. exit, turn right on
Paloma, follow it to the end, then
turn left on Beach Boulevard.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue
spaces are on Beach Blvd. just past
Santa Rosa Ave., and two are at the southern end of Beach Boulevard.Accessible
restrooms are at the foot of the pier. The turn into the women’s restroom
is a tight 90 degrees, and the entry is 30 inches wide.
Headlands Trail and Rockaway Beach
NEAR ROCKAWAY BEACH AVENUE OFF HIGHWAY 1, PACIFICA
TUCKED BETWEEN Rockaway Point and Pedro Point, Pacifica State
Beach is largely inaccessible. If you want a challenging climb and
thrilling ride, however, stop and park in the lot for Pacifica State Beach to
pick up the Pedro Point Headlands Trail, which runs behind the beach to
accessible points north and south.
From the lot, which is off Highway 1, .25 mile south of Crespi Drive, you
can take a quick .25-mile roll southward to San Pedro Creek by maneuvering
through two parking lots to pick up the Headlands Trail south of the Taco Bell.
Eventually, an accessible .9-mile addition to this trail is expected to climb from
San Pedro Creek up to Highway 1 just north of the stretch of road famous as
Devil’s Slide. (When Caltrans completes the tunnel through Montara Mountain,
possibly by 2010, autos will bypass Devil’s Slide and a dramatic stretch
of the coast road may be turned over to pedestrians and bicyclists.)
Traveling north from the state beach parking lot, the Headlands Trail is
level for .75 mile, then ascends to Rockaway Point. Signs indicate steep
grades (8.3 percent), but I easily made it in my power chair.When you reach
the top you’re treated to fresh ocean breezes and bird’s-eye views of central
Pacifica and the closer Rockaway Beach district.Whiz downhill to Rockaway
Beach, traveling past the parking lot at the end of Old Country Road, and
cross a pedestrian bridge to Nick Gust Way. From here, the sidewalk leads to
▼ ▼
Pacifica Municipal Pier
EILEEN ECKLUND
a concrete platform where you can view breakers and surfers, then travel
along Rockaway Beach boardwalk, ending at the parking lot. From the
northeast corner of the parking lot, the paved .75-mile Calera Creek Trail
runs through restored wetlands to a memorial for victims of the September
11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
GETTING THE R E Rockaway Beach is 12 miles south of San Francisco.
From Highway 1 South, turn right at Rockaway Beach Ave., right at Dondee
Way, and left at San Marlo Way. Pacifica State Beach is one mile south of
Rockaway Beach. The entrance is on the right, .5 mile south of Crespi Drive.
PARKING Blue spaces are plentiful at Pacifica State Beach. Three serve
northern Rockaway Beach at the end of San Marlo Dr. and three are in the
south end lot on Old County Road. The lot on Reina del Mar, before the
Calera Creek Water Recycling Plant, has one blue space.
R E S TROOMS The accessible restrooms at Pacifica State Beach are open
7:30 am–3 pm. Semi-accessible restrooms are at the Rockaway Beach Plaza
on Dondee Way. The entry door is heavy, the stall is too small to close the
door, and there’s only room for a frontal transfer. Two accessible restrooms
in the Old County Rd. parking lot are also open only 7:30 am–3 pm.
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel
16TH STREET AT HIGHWAY 1, BETWEEN MONTARA AND MOSS BEACH
SO U T H O F P A C I F I C A , at the end
of Devil’s Slide, is the Point Montara
Lighthouse Hostel, operated by Hosteling
International. A fog signal was established
at Point Montara in 1875 and the current
lighthouse was built in 1928. The Victorian
house that originally was the lightkeeper’s
quarters now houses hostel staff. A simpler
residence building, dating from World
War II when the site became a navy training
base,now houses the hostel office, kitchens,
▼ ▼ ▼
24 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
650/728-7177;
www.norcalhostels.org
MCheck out 7:30–10 am,
check in 4:30–10 pm. Office
hours 7:30 am-10 pm. Access
to guest facilities during the
day is limited.
FEES Vary seasonally.
Adults, $19 or more;
children under 18, $12 or more;
private rooms, $53–87.
RESERVATIONS 888/464-4872
common rooms, and most guestrooms. The guestrooms have ample maneuvering
space, but the large kitchens are not modified for use from a wheelchair,
and the stoves’ burner controls are on top, next to the back burners.
At the north end of the hostel complex is a small accessible guesthouse
that has four private rooms with bunk beds that are queen-size below and
twin-size above. These rooms are popular, so reserve early. The Fog Signal
Building is now a carpeted common room with several couches. A concrete
path leading out to the cliff ’s edge next to the lighthouse is less than 30 inches
wide, but navigable. From here, between December and April, you can see
gray whales on their annual migration south to Baja California and back to the
Arctic.Groups can arrange for day use of the hostel and its audiovisual equipment
for an additional charge.
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 1 at 16th St. between Montara and Moss
Beach (look for hostel signs).
PARKING Call ahead to reserve the one blue space next to the private
rooms. Three other convenient spaces are just south of the Victorian house.
R E S TROOMS One shower room and two toilet rooms in the small guest
house are generously sized and have grab bars, high toilets, a handheld
shower, and pull-down shower seat. The staff residence building has no
accessible bathroom.
▼ ▼ ▼
PAC I F I C A AND H A L F MOON B AY 25
NORA J. LEE, COURTESY SAN MATEO
CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
Pillar Point Harbor
CAPISTRANO ROAD OFF HIGHWAY 1, PRINCETON
APPROXIMATELY 25 MILE S SOUT H
of San Francisco, in the small town
of Princeton, Pillar Point Harbor is a
home port for commercial and sport
fishing boats and a take-off point for whale watching, scuba diving, and
kayaking in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The harbor is
sheltered by the Pillar Point headland to the north and two large breakwaters
to the south.You can stop for a meal or a snack on the lively little waterfront
and, in season, go directly to the fishing boats to buy fish from the people
who caught it. The docks themselves aren’t accessible during low tide,
but the fishers will bring the fish to you.You can also try to catch something
yourself from the recreational fishing pier (42-inch railings).
To explore the harbor or set yourself up for catching perch, jacksmelt,
halibut, and starry flounder, turn left off Capistrano Road onto the harbor’s
entrance road. To reach a .5-mile section of the Coastside Trail, which takes
off to the south, drive to the end of the harbor road. On the trail, the harbor
is to your right.
For a ride that allows close-up observation of life in a saltmarsh, take the
hard-packed-dirt West Shoreline Trail, which starts at Pillar Point Marsh
26 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
MWest Shoreline Trail:
Sunrise to sunset
Half Moon Bay
Airport
Airport Blvd.
Pillar Pt. Harbor
Capistrano Rd.
West Pt. Ave.
Pillar Pt.
Coastside Trail
West Shoreline
Trail
Harbor
entrance road
Air Force
Station
Princeton
P
P
1
BOAT
LAUNCH
PILL AR POINT HARBOR
Buying fish fresh off the boat
and leads south to the point, a 1.2-mile round trip.To get to there, exit Highway
1 at the southern outlet of Capistrano Road, near the harbor. Drive past
the harbor entrance road on your left, turn left onto Prospect Way, left onto
Broadway, right onto Princeton Drive, and right onto West Point Avenue.
Continue around the marsh on West Point and into the lot on your left, at
the base of the hill (do not drive up the hill).
As you roll out on the trail, the harbor is to your left and the Pillar Point
Air Force Station, a radar facility atop a promontory, surrounded by a fence
and Monterey cypress, is above you. Looking out at the breakwater, you may
spot harbor seals lounging on the rocks or pelicans diving in the ocean. Farther
along, at a small inaccessible beach, the trail climbs slightly, and with
the cross slope,wheelchair riders will want to hug the hillside. The trail ends
50 feet from the breakwater.
A lovely way to end the day is to dine at one of the ocean-view restaurants
on Capistrano Road.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS One blue space is at the boat launch near the
Coastside Trail. The dirt lot at the end ofWest Point Ave. has one signed blue
space by the trailhead. Accessible restrooms are at West Shoreline trailhead
(portable) and across from the boat launch at the harbor.

PAC I F I C A AND H A L F MOON B AY 27
MORNING SHU
Half Moon Bay State Beach—Francis Beach
END OF KELLY AVENUE OFF HIGHWAY 1, HALF MOON BAY
JU S T S O U T H O F P I L L A R P O I N T ,
HalfMoon Bay, the oldest town in San
Mateo County, lies along a gently curving,
sandy shore that is protected as parkland.
The most accessible of the three beaches
within Half Moon Bay State Beach is
Francis Beach, off Kelly Avenue. A beach
wheelchair is available on request at the
entrance station, and five of the picnic
tables perched on bluffs overlooking the
beach are on accessible concrete pads.
The paved Coastside Trail runs for
nearly 3.5 miles behind the beaches, from
Mirada Road, one mile south of Pillar
Point Harbor, to Poplar Street, .5 mile
south of Francis Beach. At the northern
end of Francis Beach campground, the Coastside Trail connects to a 130-
foot-long accessible beach boardwalk that takes you toward the ocean. The
small visitor center at Francis Beach has displays about local wildflowers,
birds, and animals, as well as local history.
Francis Beach campground has 52 campsites for tent, trailer, and RV
camping (RV hookups are not available, but there is a dump station). All
sites have tables and fire rings, and four are designed and posted as accessible.
To camp there or at Sweetwood Group Camp, which can accommodate
groups of 10 to 50 people, requires reservations.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS The Francis Beach lot for day users has six blue
spaces. The campground has one next to each restroom and one at each of
the four accessible campsites. The restroom in the day-use lot is accessible.
Each of the two restrooms in the campground has one accessible stall with
grab bars and one accessible shower room. The showers have hot water and
are coin-operated.

28 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
Entry gate: 650/726-8820
Half Moon Bay State Beach:
650/726-8819;
www.parks.ca.gov
MBeach: 8 am–sunset
Visitor center: Sat.–Sun.,
10 am–3 pm
FEES $6 per vehicle for day use,
$25 to camp; 50 percent fee
discount with State Parks
Disabled Discount Pass
(call 800/777-0369).
RESERVATIONS
Campsites: 800/444-7275;
www.reserveamerica.com
Beach wheelchair: 650/726-8820
Miramontes Point Trail
MIRAMONTES POINT ROAD OFF HIGHWAY 1, HALF MOON BAY
THE V I EWS ARE SPECTACULAR from the paved one-mile Miramontes
Point Trail, which runs past and through a championship golf course,
through the Ritz Carlton Hotel complex, and along the ocean bluffs.
Start your trip on this stretch of Coastal Trail from the public parking lot
on Miramontes Point Road. Several hundred feet down the trail from the lot,
a spur trail leads left across a bridge over Cañada Verde Creek and extends for
only a few hundred yards. From the bridge you get a lovely view of the ocean
and, in rainy season, of a waterfall.
The main trail is about .75-mile long and has some steep sections that
may be challenging for manual wheelchair users. At first you travel gently
uphill to the south side of the Ritz Carlton, then pass between the ocean’s
edge and the hotel. Then you wend downhill in a northeasterly direction,
cross an access road, and turn left, passing along the east side of some hotel
bungalows. At this point the trail becomes very steep and takes you across a
wooden bridge before ending at a fence and gate.
PARKING Two blue spaces are in the small lot on Miramontes Point Road.
The Ritz Carlton Hotel makes 25 parking spaces, including two accessible
spaces, available to the public from sunrise to sunset, for access to the
Coastal Trail; at the gatehouse just before the hotel, the greeter will give you
an access code and directions to an accessible spot. Outside the garage a sign
indicates the Coastal Trail.
RE S TROOMS An accessible portable toilet is 50 feet from the trailhead at
the lot on Miramontes Point Road.
▼ ▼
PAC I F I C A AND H A L F MOON B AY 29
© WWW.C ALIFORNIACOASTLINE.ORG
Cowell Ranch State
Beach to Año Nuevo
AS YOU CONTINUE SOUTH, the coast seems to have changed little for the
past century. Fields of artichokes and Brussels sprouts stretch from the hills
down to the marine terraces; lonely beaches lie at the feet of steep cliffs.
Beach access is limited and there are few trails, but you can enjoy sweeping
ocean vistas as you drive on the winding two-lane highway. You can picnic
on the bluffs, tour the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and stay in its hostel and, in
Año Nuevo State Reserve, watch northern elephant seals in the world’s
largest mainland breeding colony for these giants.
Cowell Ranch State Beach
HIGHWAY 1, .5 MILE SOUTH OF MIRAMONTES POINT ROAD
THE ONLY WAY TO REACH this beach is by a steep bluffside stairway, but
a trip to the blufftop is worthwhile if you’d like to look down at harbor
seals lolling about on the sand and rocks below you. They tend to be here
An elephant seal blocks the way at Año Nuevo.
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
from late winter through spring. With
binoculars you may spot some seal pups
in March and April. Take the .5-mile
hard-packed dirt trail that runs slightly
downhill from the unpaved parking area,
between farmed fields and grazing lands,
to the bluff. Interpretive panels along the trail describe common plants
and wildlife, and offer a bit of local history. The trail ends at the blufftop
overlook.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS Two signed blue spaces are in the unpaved lot.
Accessible portable toilets are in the parking area and near the overlook.
San Gregorio, Pomponio,
and Pescadero State Beaches
HIGHWAY 1, 10.5, 12, AND 14.5 MILES SOUTH OF HALF MOON BAY
FOR WHEELCHAIR RIDERS, the views
of the ocean, coastal cliffs, and broad
swaths of sand strewn with driftwood
are the main attractions of this series of
wild beaches. Getting onto the beaches is
difficult, although Pomponio and
Pescadero (at the northernmost of three
entrances) may be accessible to some
who bring their own beach wheelchairs.
Both San Gregorio and Pomponio Beaches have picnic tables near the
parking lots, on grassy level areas that should be accessible to most wheelchair
riders. The ones at San Gregorio have a water view. Pescadero Beach
has three entrances; I recommend the southernmost one, at Pescadero
Road, for the view. There a large, rough-surfaced parking lot is situated well
above the beach sand. Several picnic tables on a dirt pad are accessible via
a rocky, uneven dirt path, and offer a beautiful overlook of the cliffs and
waves.Manual wheelchair riders may need assistance.

COW E L L RANCH S TAT E B E ACH TO AÑO NUEVO 31
Call Half Moon Bay State Beach
for information: 650/726-8819
M8 am–sunset
M8 am–sunset
FEES $6 per vehicle;
50 percent discount with
State Parks Disabled Discount
Pass (call 800/777-0369);
no charge at Pescadero’s
two southernmost lots
PARKING/RESTROOMS San Gregorio and Pomponio Beaches have several
signed blue spaces in paved lots, but Pescadero has none. All the beaches
have accessible pit-toilet restrooms at the parking areas, but the one at the
Pescadero Rd. lot has no side grab bars.
Bean Hollow State Beach
HIGHWAY 1, 17.5 MILES SOUTH OF HALF MOON BAY
THREE M I LE S SOUTH OF PESCADERO State Beach, a rocky outcrop separates
two coves at Bean Hollow, the southernmost of San Mateo
County’s state beaches. There is no wheelchair access from the cliffs to the
beach, but a couple of accessible picnic tables stand on dirt and grass at the
parking level.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS One blue space is in the first unpaved parking lot.
An accessible portable toilet is near the entrance.
Pigeon Point State Historic Park and Lighthouse Hostel
PIGEON POINT ROAD OFF HIGHWAY 1, SOUTH OF PESCADERO
TH I S H I S T O R I C L I G H T S T A T I O N and hostel look out over the ocean
from a promontory 45 feet above the rocky shore.
The 115-foot-tall lighthouse, built in 1872 with unreinforced brick, is
the tallest on the California coast. It was closed to the public in 2001 as
unsafe, but State Parks intends to restore it when funds are available. The
light flashes every ten seconds. The original Fresnel lens, no longer in use
but still in the tower, has 1,008 glass prisms and produced a unique light
pattern.
Near the lighthouse, four simple bungalows that used to house Coast
Guard families now accommodate up to 52 hostel guests. The hostel office is
in the building at the entrance gate and has six-inch steps at its front and rear
doors. The adjacent Dolphin House, like the bungalows, has an accessible and
generally usable living area and kitchen. The couples’ room in the Dolphin
House has a three-foot-wide door, a full bed, and more floor space than the
▼ ▼
32 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
dormitory rooms, which have single bunk
beds. This room is in greater demand
than the dorms, so reserve early. The hostel
is operated by Hosteling International.
The Fog Signal Building, built in 1909,
is now a recreation and meeting room,with
a Ping-Pong table, television, and VCR.
Outside is an accessible boardwalk that
leads to the tip of the point, where an accessible
bench provides a broad view of the
coast and ocean and a chance to see seals
and migrating whales.
Pigeon Point is named after the
Boston clipper ship Carrier Pigeon, bound
for San Francisco in 1853 when it ran
aground near what was then called Punta
de las Ballenas, or Whale Point, because a whaling station was located here in
the late 1800s.Guided, accessible half-hour history walks around the grounds
are given Friday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm, except on rainy days.
GETTING THERE From Highway 1, take Pigeon Point Rd. to the entrance
gate.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS The unpaved lot has no blue spaces.An accessible
portable toilet is at the entrance to the park. For hostel guests the spacious
shared restroom in the Dolphin House has grab bars, a high sink, and an elevated
toilet. A separate shower room has two stalls, each with a chair and
grab bars. One stall has an adjustable track-mounted showerhead.
Año Nuevo State Reserve
HIGHWAY 1, 55 MILES SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO
THIS I S THE PLACE TO V I S I T northern elephant seals and their pups during
their breeding and birthing season, December 15 to March 31. Tens of
thousands of people flock to this reserve each year to see them, and to watch
▼ ▼
COW E L L RANCH S TAT E B E ACH TO AÑO NUEVO 33
State Historic Park:
650/879-2120; www.parks.ca.gov
Hostel: 650/879-0633;
www.norcalhostels.org
MState Historic Park:
8 am–sunset
Hostel: Check out 7:30–10 am,
check in 4:30–9:30 pm;
access hours 7:30–10 am and
4:30–11 pm
FEES Hostel: dorm beds
$18–25 adults;
children under 13, $14;
private rooms, $59
RESERVATIONS Hostel:
650/879-0633, 888/464-4872
huge males rear up and make threatening
sounds as they compete for females. Elephant
seals sleep a lot, sometimes piling up
together by the hundreds, and they grunt a
lot too.As many as 1,500 have been born in
this reserve in a single year. But even when
the seals are away, the 4,000-acre reserve is
worth a visit.
During breeding season, all visitors
must make advance reservations to tour
the seals’ beach area with a park docent.
“Equal-access tours”are offered twice a day
on weekends for those with limited mobility.
A docent will pick you up at the visitor
center in an accessible van and drive you to
the Equal Access Trail, a .25-mile boardwalk
that runs over dunes on the beach.
The van can accommodate several passengers and two wheelchairs. Check in
for the tour at the visitor center. To get there from the parking lot, follow the
hard-packed gravel path.
Once you’re on the boardwalk, you must stay 25 feet from the giant animals.
This means that the boardwalk could be off limits if seals are dozing on
34 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
650/879-2025; www.parks.ca.gov
Obtain permits for April 1–
Nov. 30 visits at the entrance
station before 3:30 pm
M8:30 am–sunset
Seal-viewing area closes at 5 pm.
Visitor center: open Dec.–March,
8:30 am–3:30 pm
Equal-access tours: weekends
Dec.–March, 10 am and 1 pm
FEES Parking: $6, $5 seniors,
$3 with Disabled Discount Pass
(call 800/777-0369)
Equal-access tour: $5
RESERVATIONS Required
for all tours, Dec.–March
Equal-access tours:
650/879-2033
it or near it.When that happens, docents take visitors along a nearby dirt road.
(If it’s muddy, you might need assistance.) Equal-access tours are two hours
long and are only offered during breeding season, but special arrangements
can sometimes be made at other times.Ask park staff about the beach wheelchair.
The visitor center, in an old barn, offers a 30-minute video about elephant
seals as well as live-feed video from the breeding grounds. Three
accessible picnic tables are behind the barn; those in front of the barn have
ocean views, but the downhill approach is a challenge.
On the ocean side of the visitor center, two dirt and gravel paths, open
year-round, branch around a pond. The one on your right as you leave the
barn can be accessible for about .75 mile as it rolls along the hillside overlooking
the pond. Ask park staff if it’s in good condition. The path to your
left is accessible as far as the pond, less than .5 mile from the barn. Its surface
is generally more compacted, but several sections with water bars resembling
speed bumps are steep, and may be difficult for manual wheelchairs on
the return uphill.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Five blue spaces and one accessible restroom are in
the parking lot. A portable toilet is at the beginning of the Equal Access Trail.
Northern Santa
Cruz County
Natural Bridges State Beach and West Cliff Drive
NORTHERN EDGE OF SANTA CRUZ
IN FALL AND EARLY WINTER, thousands of monarch butterflies roost in
eucalyptus trees at Natural Bridges State Beach, the largest overwintering
site for these butterflies in the United States. Each year they fly amazing dis-

NORTHERN S ANTA CRUZ COUNT Y 35
tances from their milkweed patches in the
northern United States and southern
Canada to the same grove. As the days
begin to grow longer, they mate and then
set off once again for the north. It takes
about five generations to complete the
round trip. If you come when the butterflies
are up north, however, there is plenty
more to see and do here. You’ll find trails
leading through woods and past a pond to
great ocean views and, if you arrange to
borrow a beach wheelchair, you can get
right onto the beach.
Monarch
Boardwalk
To Santa Cruz Wharf
Observation Deck
Beach
Natural Bridges Dr.
Delaware Ave.
Unpaved
Parking
Entry
KIOSK
GATE
To Hwy. 1
Moore Creek
Moore Creek Trail
West Cliff Dr.
Swanton Blvd.
P
P
P
NATURAL BRIDGES S TATE BEACH
Natural Bridges State Beach
and wheelchair reservations:
831/423-4609
Surfing Museum: 831/420-6289
Lighthouse Field State Beach:
831/420-5270
MNatural Bridges State
Beach: 8 am–sunset
Visitor center: 10 am–4 pm
Butterfly tours: mid-Oct.–Feb.,
weekends, 11 am and 2 pm
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum:
Wed.–Mon., noon–4 pm
FEES Parking: $6,
$3 with disabled parking
placard
36 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
Before you reach the park’s entrance kiosk on Natural Bridges Boulevard
offWest Cliff Drive, you might want to stop at an ocean overlook. The paved
parking area here is free if you have a disabled parking placard. Past the kiosk,
you can pull into an unpaved parking area on your left and backtrack less than
100 yards to the foot of an accessible boardwalk that juts out over sand dunes,
offering views of the beach and ocean.An interpretive panel describes some of
the wildlife you might see in the neighborhood.
A quarter-mile past the boardwalk, on your left, is a paved parking lot
and a restroom nearby. From here a level path extends to an opening in the
seacliffs through which you can reach the beach. One beach wheelchair, for
use at this beach area, and one standard chair are available for free at the visitor
center.
To reach the visitor center, continue on Natural Bridges Drive. Stop by
to see the exhibits and an outdoor milkweed demonstration patch. There is
a paved, accessible picnic area. The accessible .25-mile Monarch Boardwalk
begins at the visitor center and leads down into the eucalyptus grove,with frequent
level stopping points and
benches. The railing is at eye level
but allows for downward views.
The boardwalk winds among the
trees, around a pond and marsh,
and down to a small wooden
platform, then leads downhill
again to a two-level viewing platform.
From the lower platform
you can look up at the orange,
black, and white butterflies hanging
in clusters from the tall trees.
When it’s cold they remain in
the trees, but on warmer sunny
NORTHERN S ANTA CRUZ COUNT Y 37
Only one of the “bridges” the area was
named for remains standing.
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
38 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
days they take flight, and against the background of green branches they
look like airborne stained-glass ornaments.
Natural Bridges Drive is closed to automobiles east of the visitor center.
You can wheel past the barricade on the road to reach the wide, dirt Moore
Creek Trail, which takes off to the left less than 200 feet before you reach
Delaware Avenue. For wheelchair riders it will end at a vista point; for others
it continues to the beach. I traveled .25 mile of the trail in my power
chair and found one section of thick gravel that would be challenging in a
manual wheelchair, but possible with assistance. In the rainy season, mud
and deep ruts may make this trail impassable.When you reach the vista,
you’ll see the last of the three natural bridges that the area was named for.
It’s a reminder that California has an eroding coast: This bridge was carved
out by waves from the sandstone bluffs.
After you return to the West Cliff Drive park entrance, you may want
to follow the paved, gently rolling bike and pedestrian path that leads south
for three miles to the Santa Cruz Wharf. This path frequently veers away
from the edge of the road and runs along the top of a bluff covered with ice
plant. Intersecting streets have curb cuts and pullout parking areas with no
blue spaces.
Passing along Lighthouse Field State Beach, you will see surfers heading
down the stairs to Steamer Lane, a renowned surfing spot. Binoculars
can heighten your experience of such places, which are inevitably inaccessible.
The lighthouse has been converted into the small but informative
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. The promenade at the edge of the cliff is the
northernmost coastal point from which Monterey Bay is visible.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 1, turn toward the ocean (west) onto
Swift St., right onto Delaware Ave., and then left onto Swanton Boulevard.
At the end of Swanton is West Cliff Dr., where you turn right into the park.
PARKING The gravel lot serving the beach boardwalk and the lot near the
park entrance have no blue spaces. Two blue spaces are in the paved lot .25
miles past the boardwalk, and three blue spaces are in the paved lot serving
the visitor center. At Lighthouse Field State Beach, the lot in front of the
lighthouse has two blue spaces and the field-side lot has five.
▼ ▼
NORTHERN S ANTA CRUZ COUNT Y 39
RES TROOMS At the top of the ramp to the Natural Bridges visitor center is
an accessible restroom. Semi-accessible restrooms are near the paved parking
lot a third of a mile from the entrance. The doorways are wide but the stall is
not deep enough for closing the door, there’s only space for a frontal transfer,
and the grab bars have a large gap from the wall. Lighthouse Field State
Beach has an accessible restroom in the field-side parking lot.
Santa Cruz Wharf and Boardwalk
BEACH STREET AT PACIFIC AVENUE
REACHING OUT far beyond the breakers, the .5-mile Santa Cruz Wharf is
a great place for wandering and observing sea life and people, and for
fishing, eating, or shopping for souvenirs. Large square holes in the decking let
you peer down at sea lions lounging on the lower beams and starfish clinging
to pilings; benches at the end of the wharf encourage you to stay awhile and
watch the ocean. If you want to fish, an accessible sink will let you clean your
catch. If you want to just eat fish, several restaurants serve seafood and other
fare. To get to the restaurants on the second floor, take the elevator near the
end of the wharf.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Immediately north of the wharf,
behind the Coast Hotel, a concrete ramp
leads down to Cowell Beach. From Memorial
Day through Labor Day, interlocking
plastic panels are placed over the sand to
enable you to get close to the ocean’s edge.
If you borrow a beach wheelchair from
Lifeguard Tower #1, you can go all the way
to the water’s edge. This beach is the site of
the annual “A Day on the Beach,” which
takes place each July and is organized by
the nonprofit organization Shared Adventures.
At this event, people with special
needs have the opportunity to surf, kayak,
scuba dive, paddle outrigger canoes,
explore the beach in motorized beach
wheelchairs, and build sand castles.
South of the wharf is the Santa Cruz
Boardwalk, California’s oldest amusement
park, with a roller coaster, video game
arcade, and other attractions. The boardwalk
is a colorful public stage set against a
backdrop of mountains, with beach and
ocean in the foreground. On a clear day
you can see to Point Piños, the southwestern
point ofMonterey Bay; to the north is
Point Santa Cruz. From the wide sidewalk
above the beach, just before you reach the
boardwalk, you can watch games of beach
volleyball. Near the carousel on Beach
Street you can board the Roaring Camp
Railroad for a trip through the redwood forest
of Henry Cowell State Park.
Wharf and Cowell Beach:
831/420-5030;
www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Boardwalk:
www.beachboardwalk.com
Shared Adventures:
831/459-7210;
www.sharedadventures.com
Roaring Camp Railroad:
831/335-4400;
www.roaringcamp.com
MWharf: 5 am–2 am
Boardwalk: see
www.beachboardwalk.com
Cowell Beach: 9 am–7 pm
FEES Boardwalk rides:
$1.95–$3.90; several ride
packages are available
Wharf parking, summer:
two hours free with disabled
placard, then $2–3 hourly
rate up to $21 maximum
for 10 hours or more;
winter: more than two hours
runs to maximum $12 for
eight hours or more
Boardwalk parking: $10
Roaring Camp train:
Adult $20, children $15
RESERVATIONS Beach
wheelchair: Memorial Day–
Labor Day, 831/420-6015
(bring photo I.D.)
NOTE Download a
boardwalk accessibility guide
at www.beachboardwalk.com,
from the About Us page.
40 S AN MAT E O AND S ANTA CRUZ COA S T
PARKING Four blue spaces are at the circular drive leading to the paid parking
lot near the wharf, ten are scattered throughout the paid lot on the wharf,
and two are near the skateboard park at the foot of Pacific Ave. across from
Cowell Beach. The boardwalk parking lots across Beach St. all have blue spaces.
RESTROOMS Two accessible restrooms are at the top of the ramp leading
onto Cowell Beach. One accessible restroom is on the west side of Beach St.
near the volleyball area, two are on the wharf west of the wharf headquarters,
and another is at the end of the wharf. Accessible restrooms are scattered
throughout the boardwalk.
▼ ▼
NORTHERN S ANTA CRUZ COUNT Y 41
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
101
101
101
101
1
1
1
280
280
280
92
92
80
1
Fort Point
Lincoln Blvd.
Presidio
Aquatic
Park
Geary Blvd.
Market St.
Van Ness
3rd St.
Embarcadero
Fort Funston
Lake
Merced
Golden Gate Park
Baker Beach
Pt. Lobos
Golden Gate Bridge
Crissy Field
Fort Mason
Alcatraz
Fisherman’s Wharf
Pier 7
Ferry Building
San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge
Giants’ ballpark
Islais Creek
Burlingame Lagoon
Anza Lagoon
Bayside Park
Heron’s Head Park
Cargo
Wy.
Ferry Terminal
India Basin
Shoreline Park
19th Ave.
Brisbane Marina/Sierra Pt.
Oyster Pt. Marina
Bayshore Hwy.
San Bruno
Mountain
Airport Blvd.
Coyote Pt. Park
Harbor View Park
Seal Pt. Park San Mateo
Bridge
San Bruno Pt. Park
Bayfront Park
Candlestick Pt.
State Recreation Area
Great Hwy.
35
SAN FRANCISCO and
NORTHERN PENINSULA
Ocean Beach
San Francisco and
Northern Peninsula
SURROUNDED BY WATER on three sides, San Francisco has
a wealth of accessible shoreline attractions. You can easily
spend days exploring the most famous spots—the Ferry Building,
Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Fort Point, the Golden Gate
Bridge. Yet there is much more to see and do along the city’s
29.5-mile shoreline, and along the bayshore just south of the
city, on the northern San Francisco Peninsula. No matter what
sort of activity you’re interested in—shops and restaurants, scenic
views and wildlife sightings, a rigorous workout on a long
stretch of trail, information on local cultural and natural history,
a fishing or boating excursion—you are likely to find it here.
Crowds gather to watch the sea lions at Pier 39.
COURTESY PIER 39
43
San Francisco
Coast
SAN FRANCISCO’S OCEAN SHORELINE , from the headlands just west of the
Golden Gate Bridge to Land’s End and along the coast to Daly City, is mostly
parkland and beaches. Here you can explore old military installations, take
in views of the Golden Gate and its bridge from Baker Beach and the rocky
cliffs of Land’s End, stop at the Cliff House to see the Camera Obscura (a giant
optical device), visit the western edge of Golden Gate Park, view the 1930s
murals inside the Beach Chalet, roll along Ocean Beach, and watch hang
gliders soar above the dunes and surf at Fort Funston.
Baker Beach
OFF BOWLEY STREET IN THE PRESIDIO
AT THE NORTHERN T I P of the San
Francisco Presidio, Baker Beach
offers spectacular views from outside the
Golden Gate. An accessible bench sits in
the northwest corner of the oceanfront
Ocean Beach, on San Francisco’s western shore
NPS PHOTO BY RICHARD FREAR
Presidio visitor center:
415/561-4323; www.nps.gov
MApril–Oct., 6 am–10 pm;
Oct.–April, 6 am–7 pm
S AN F R A N C I S CO COA S T 45
parking lot, and nearby, behind the restroom, a short path leads to a grassy
area where picnic tables are set on pavement and dirt among cypress trees.
Battery Chamberlin, near the north end of the northern parking lot, is an
artillery installation the U.S. Army maintained and frequently remodeled
from the late 1800s through World War II. It still has a six-inch “disappearing
gun” from the early 1900s, designed to pop up from behind a parapet to
fire, then drop down again. The gun is revealed every weekend,weather permitting,
and on the first full weekend of each month, from 11 am to 3 pm,
park rangers demonstrate how it works. The approach from the parking lot
is level but three steps prevent close access to the installation. Groups can
reserve a campsite within the Battery Chamberlin compound that has an
accessible restroom, fire ring, and grill.
GETTING THE R E From Lincoln Blvd., take Bowley St. to the beach.
PARKING/RESTROOMS One blue space with no access aisle is to your right
as you enter the parking lot, and two face the ocean at the lot’s northern end.
Two more are near the restroom. The restroom is accessible, except for lack
of turnaround space in the sink area.
China Beach
END OF SEACLIFF AVENUE
TH I S B E A C H , below one of the city’s most elegant neighborhoods and
looking out on the Golden Gate, was a campsite for Chinese fishermen
during the Gold Rush.Now surfers come here to catch the waves that break off
a rocky point to the west. A steep, paved service road leads from the parking lot
right down to the beach. I navigated the slope easily in my power wheelchair;
manual wheelchair riders will likely need assistance.
GETTING THE R E From Baker Beach turn right on Lincoln Blvd., which
turns into El Camino del Mar, right on 27th Ave., and left on Seacliff Avenue.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces are in the lot. The restroom building
down at the beach has wide stalls and the approach to the roll-under sinks
requires a tight 90-degree turn. There are no grab bars, and most wheelchair
users will want help opening the stall door.
▼ ▼ ▼ ▼
The ruins of Sutro Baths,
from Point Lobos Overlook
Eagles Point
ALONG EL CAMINO DEL MAR
NEAR THE California Palace of the Legion of Honor art museum in
Lincoln Park, a ramped overlook perched atop Eagles Point offers
great views of the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, Farallon Islands
(on a clear day), and even Point Reyes more than 20 miles to the north. The
handsome old homes of the Seacliff neighborhood are to your right as you
gaze at the water.A hard-packed dirt trail leads from El Camino Del Mar to
the overlook.
PARKING Parking is on-street and limited.
Fort Miley and Point Lobos Overlook
WE S T O F Eagles Point, near Land’s End, more great views can be relished
from the parking area at Fort Miley, formerly the site of an
Army defense battery and now home to the Veterans Administration Medical
Center. A piece of the bridge of the Navy’s heavy cruiser USS San Francisco
has been installed here as a memorial to those who fought and died on the
ship in the World War II battle of Guadalcanal. For a short but pleasant stroll
through the woods, take the El Camino Del Mar Trail toward the Palace of
the Legion of Honor. It won’t take you all the way to the museum, though: it’s
paved for several hundred yards, then dirt, and soon is impassable.

46 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
USHA MOSS
Point Lobos Overlook, just below Fort Miley and uphill from the Cliff
House, offers another spectacular vista, as well as a view of what’s left of the
Sutro Baths below. Splashed with surf at high tide, the concrete slabs and
stairs are all that remain of a grand glass-enclosed bathhouse,with fresh and
saltwater pools, which stood here from 1890 to 1966, when it burned down.
Adolph Sutro, mining magnate and mayor of San Francisco from 1895 to
1897, built the baths for the public. Try to visit the site of his home and gardens,
now Sutro Heights Park, just across Point Lobos Avenue, atop a bluff.
GETTING THE R E From Baker Beach, turn right on Lincoln Blvd., which
becomes 25th Avenue. Go right on Geary Blvd., which becomes Point Lobos
Ave. at 39th Avenue. Then go right again on El Camino del Mar for a short
drive into Fort Miley. From Eagles Point, take El Camino del Mar through
the golf course, turn left on Legion of Honor Dr. and right on Geary. To get
to Point Lobos Overlook, return to Point Lobos Ave., take an immediate
next right onto Merrie Way, then park in the parking area above Louis’
Restaurant.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Two blue spaces are in front of the USS San Francisco
memorial and two are in the Point Lobos Overlook lot. One accessible
portable restroom is in the Fort Miley parking area.
Sutro Heights Park
AC R O S S T H E S T R E E T from the Point Lobos Overlook,wide and level
decomposed-granite paths lead through the formally landscaped 18-
acre park that used to be the grounds of Adolph Sutro’s mansion. From a
stone parapet you can look down the full length of Ocean Beach. One of the
city’s major surfing spots is below you. Interpretive panels will help you
imagine the place as it was in Sutro’s day.
PARKING Park on 48th Ave. south of Point Lobos Ave. and roll down the
moderately steep sidewalk on Point Lobos for about 100 feet to the two
stone lions marking the entrance. The last 25 feet or so are dirt and may be
challenging for manual wheelchair users. ▼


S AN F R A N C I S CO COA S T 47
Cliff House
GREAT HIGHWAY JUST NORTH OF OCEAN BEACH
BE L O W S U T R O H E I G H T S P A R K
and Point Lobos Overlook, the Cliff
House has an accessible street-level
entrance leading to restaurants and a gift
shop. A ramp to the right of the entrance
leads to the small north observation deck,
which overlooks the Sutro Baths ruins.
Inside the building, take the elevator down
to the ground level to get to the Cliff Terrace,
with views of the Baths, the headlands
to the north, Seal Rocks to the west, and Ocean Beach to the south.
Here on the terrace, check out the Camera Obscura (if it’s open). This
human-sized optical device was a marvel in its day and is still fascinating. It
has a mirror that rotates 360 degrees every six minutes, capturing live
images of the scenes outside—including Seal Rocks and Ocean Beach—
48 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Sutro Heights Park
USHA MOSS
415/386-3330;
www.cliffhouse.com
MCliff House: 9 am–9:30 pm,
call for restaurant hours
Camera Obscura: usually
11am–7:30 pm, closed during
rain and heavy fog
FEES Camera Obscura: $3;
$2 seniors and children under 13
and projecting them, magnified 12 times, on a parabolic table inside.
Hordes of California sea lions used to hang out on Seal Rocks, but shortly
after the 1989 earthquake most of them moved to Pier 39 on Fisherman’s
Wharf, where they remain a popular attraction. No one knows why they
left, but some speculate that they were pursuing an unusually large herring
run in the bay.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS Six blue spaces are along the Great Highway
(called Point Lobos Ave. north of the Cliff House). Only the two in front of
the Cliff House are level. The Cliff House restrooms, indoors on the street
level, are accessible. ▼
S AN F R A N C I S CO COA S T 49
1
1
Golden Gate Park
Great Highway
Esplanade
Pt. Lobos
Sutro Baths
Lincoln Blvd.
Sutro Hts. Park
Cliff House
Ocean Beach
Presidio
El Camino
del Mar
Lincoln
Park
Battery Chamberlin
Baker Beach
China Beach Eagles Pt.
Fort
Miley
Geary Blvd.
Clement St.
Fulton St.25th Ave
.
34th Ave
.
48th Ave
.
Lincoln Way
Beach Chalet
To Golden Gate Bridge
To Fort Funston
P
P
P P
P
P
P
SAN FRANCISCO COAS T
Ocean Beach
GREAT HIGHWAY AT THE WEST END OF GOLDEN GATE PARK
SAN FRANCISCO’S MAIN BEACH is four miles long and well worth visiting
even though it offers a wheelchair rider only visual access, and even that
is limited. A seawall blocks your view from the Esplanade, the wide walkway
running along the ocean side of the Great Highway from the Cliff House to
Golden Gate Park. But you do see the beach and ocean through the many
breaks in the wall where stairs lead to the sand. The ocean can be wild with
huge breakers, and often the riptides are so powerful that even wading is prohibited.
Experienced surfers, nonetheless, are in these waves nearly every day.
Take the Esplanade to Golden Gate Park and cross the Great Highway at
its intersection with John F. Kennedy Drive.Here you can stop at the Beach
Chalet Restaurant and Brewery to view the frescoes that Works Progress
Administration artists painted in the 1930s on the ground floor walls, in
what is now the Golden Gate Park visitor center.
Golden Gate Park is a day’s trip—or more—all by itself. If you decide to
visit, you may want to just cruise around on the myriad level and paved trails
and sidewalks that wind through the park’s 1,000 acres; on Sundays some
roads are closed to autos. Three lakes and the San Francisco Botanical Garden
at Strybing Arboretum, the Conservatory of Flowers (known to many as
the Glass Palace), and the new, copper-sheathed DeYoung Museum, are all
50 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Ocean Beach, the Beach Chalet, and the western end of Golden Gate Park
© WWW.C ALIFORNIACOASTLINE.ORG
accessible. The Japanese Tea Garden has limited access, and the California
Academy of Sciences is expected to return in 2008, when its new building is
scheduled to open. Its temporary quarters are downtown, on Howard Street.
To orient yourself for a day of exploring Golden Gate Park, you might stop
at the visitor center in the Beach Chalet, where you will find various exhibits.
Resume your oceanside trip via a paved multiuse trail that runs for more
than two miles along the east side of the Great Highway from the Beach
Chalet south to Sloat Boulevard. Jogging paths flank the trail’s center.At Noriega,
Pacheco, and Rivera Streets, you can cross the Great Highway to a wide,
paved walkway that runs along the ocean side, below street level, between
Noriega and Santiago. The Noriega entrance is not recommended—it’s steep
and requires you to travel in a bike lane along the Great Highway a short distance
before reaching the entry—and there is no wheelchair access to the
walkway at Santiago. The crossings at Pacheco and Rivera streets are good,
with signal lights, crosswalks, and ramps leading to the walkway.Grasses help
screen out the noise of highway traffic. The walkway’s seaward wall blocks a
wheelchair rider’s views of the beach, but those in higher wheelchairs can
catch glimpses of the ocean and Marin Headlands to the north—except, of
course, when it’s foggy. Drifting sand may block either end of this walkway.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Four blue spaces are at the Beach Chalet and several
are along Sloat Blvd. across from the San Francisco Zoo at the south end
of Ocean Beach. The restroom at Sloat is generally well maintained, but
avoid the one at Judah Street. Good accessible restrooms are at the Golden
Gate Park visitor center in the Beach Chalet.
Fort Funston
OFF SKYLINE BOULEVARD SOUTH OF OCEAN BEACH
AT FORT FUNSTON, OCEAN BEACH
becomes Phillip Burton Memorial
Beach. This former military site, now part
of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is a wonderful spot to watch
hang gliders leap off the ocean bluff. You will meet many dogs here. Enter
from Skyline Blvd. and proceed to a large parking lot. Four picnic tables

S AN F R A N C I S CO COA S T 51
MDawn to dusk
afford ocean views.Nearby, a boardwalk leads across sand to a clifftop viewing
deck next to the hang gliders’ take-off point. On a clear day you can see far
down the long beach; when it’s foggy you may feel you’re sitting at the edge of
an abyss.
From the parking lot, the paved Sunset Trail, a one-mile loop, runs
through the dunes and along the top of the bluff.You may find that sand has
blown across the path—up to two inches deep in places—but the hard surface
below makes wheelchair passage possible. It’s easiest to travel the inland
part of the loop first because it slopes more steeply, and to return along the
gentle grade atop the bluff.
This trail passes through the concrete shell of Battery Davis, a gunnery
built in 1939 for coastal defense. From the northern side of the battery you
get a panorama of the city, with Lake Merced inland and downhill, Ocean
Beach to the north, and the Marin Headlands beyond the Golden Gate. This
spot begs for binoculars. A picnic table is beside the trail here.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Four blue spaces are at the ocean end of the parking
lot. A portable restroom is next to the blue spaces. The unit is on a concrete
pad with a three-inch threshold. A new accessible restroom is planned
for the near future. ▼
52 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Fort Funston
EILEEN ECKLUND
Bayside San Francisco:
Northern Waterfront
and Alcatraz
A T R I P A LONG SAN FRANCISCO’ S bayside from China Basin south of the
Bay Bridge to the crashing surf at Fort Point, beneath the Golden Gate
Bridge, takes you past the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf,
Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, and Crissy Field. Don’t even try to travel this
entire seven-mile stretch of Bay Trail all at once; if you do, you’ll miss too
much.A ferry excursion from Pier 41 to Alcatraz Island is a day trip in itself.
But if you want to take a long ride with amazing views, follow the Bay Trail
from Lower Fort Mason to Fort Point.
China Basin to Pier 39
ON A N Y S U N N Y DAY, scores of walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, and
skateboarders are likely to be streaming along Herb Caen Way, the
wide three-mile bayside promenade running along the Embarcadero from
South Beach Harbor to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Before you hit this pavement at any junction, however, consider starting
out at China Basin Park, situated in what was once the docking area for Asian
San Francisco Giants’ ballpark
SAN FRANCISCO CONVENTION AND
VISITORS BUREAU PHOTO BY BOB ECKER
trade ships. Here you get a
southern view of the Giants’
ballpark (most recently named
AT&T Park) and the ferry terminal
across McCovey Cove,
where hundreds of game-goers
arrive from across the bay.Concrete
benches—engraved with
dedications as well as the names
and statistics of Giants players
since 1958, when the team
moved to San Francisco—wind
along a wide paved path toward
McCovey Point and the towering
statue ofWillie McCovey, a
Hall of Fame inductee. If children are with you, bring a ball and bat to enjoy
the Barry Bonds Jr. Giants Field, a small softball field located next to Pier 48.
From McCovey Point, head for the stadium by crossing the mouth of
Mission Creek on Lefty O’Doul Bridge, the Third Street drawbridge. A free
viewing area, where you can take in both the baseball game and the views,
lines the stadium archway and public promenade on the northern shore of
McCovey Cove, near the ferry landing. Inside the ballpark, below the giant
Coca-Cola bottle, a small accessible play area is open free of charge Thursday
to Sunday, 11 am–5 pm, except for game days.
From there you travel along the bay side of the stadium and continue
north past South Beach Harbor,where the Bay Area Association of Disabled
Sailors (BAADS) docks at Pier 40. BAADS offers free sailing lessons by reservation.
South Beach Park, next to the harbor, has a 70-foot kinetic sculpture
by Mark di Suvero as its centerpiece, a stepped seating area overlooking the
bay, and a fenced children’s play area with picnic tables. Here King Street
54 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Ferry Building
AARON KOHR, COURTESY FERRY BUILDING
Bay Area Association of
Disabled Sailors: 415/281-0212;
www.baads.org
turns into the Embarcadero, San Francisco’s wide waterfront thoroughfare,
with traffic breezing by. Along the wide bayside sidewalk are black-andwhite-
striped posts with text and photos related to the waterfront’s history.
As you pass under the Bay Bridge, the Ferry Building’s clock tower comes
into view, as does a giant red bow-and-arrow sculpture, “Cupid’s Span” by
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The sculpture, in Rincon Park, is
surrounded by native grasses. Seating walls adorned with bronze sea creatures
are along the trail.
The recently restored Ferry Building features Bay Area foods and those
who grow and prepare them, mostly on a small scale. At tables inside the
building or on benches outside, facing the water, you can enjoy a great Japanese,
Mexican, or French meal, oysters from Tomales Bay, or organic coffee
with organic milk from Marin County.You can order salads, sandwiches, and
soups to go and buy fruit, vegetables, or organic meat to take home from vendors
inside and, on Tuesdays,Thursdays, and Saturdays, at the outdoor farmers
market. Behind the Ferry Building, past the statue of Mahatma Gandhi,
commuter ferries dock, linking the city’s downtown with Sausalito, Tiburon,
Vallejo, Larkspur, and Oakland/Alameda. (The ferry for Alcatraz leaves from
Pier 41, past Pier 39.) At Pier 1, north of the Ferry Building, is the port office,
where you will find a display on the port’s history.
As you continue north, stop at Pier 7, a beautiful 840-foot-long, wooddecked
recreational and fishing pier. From there it’s .75 mile, past a couple of
waterfront restaurants, to the Aquarium of the Bay and the adjacent Pier 39,
a multilevel complex of shops and restaurants arranged around a merry-goround
and performance area. Don’t miss the sea lions lounging on floating
docks on the north side of Pier 39. If you don’t feel like wheeling from the
Ferry Building, you can take a historic streetcar along Muni’s F line to Fisherman’s
Wharf, with accessible stops along the way.
GETTING THE R E Muni’s N line (originating at Ocean Beach) runs from
Market St. along the Embarcadero, past the Giants’ stadium, to the CalTrain
station, with accessible stops along the way. To reach China Basin Park, take
Third St. south across Lefty O’Doul bridge, go one block, turn left on Terry
A. Francois and follow it to the park. On game days, take Third St. to Mission
Rock and turn left (for local traffic only) to the parking lot by Pier 48.

B AY S I D E SAN F R A N C I S CO: NORTHERN WAT E R F RONT AND A LC AT R A Z 55
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces are in the lot by China Basin Park,
and two are near the BAADS dock north of South Beach Harbor. Metered
street parking is along the Embarcadero.The China Basin ferry terminal near
the ballpark has an accessible public restroom and phone. Accessible restrooms
are at both ends of the Ferry Building.Accessible pay toilets are on the
Embarcadero at Harrison St., at the south end of Justin Herman Plaza across
from the Ferry Building, and just south of Broadway.
Alcatraz
BY FERRY FROM PIER 41
AL C AT R A Z I S L AND I S FAMOUSLY
known as “The Rock,” the prison
where criminals Al Capone, “Machine
Gun” Kelly, and Robert Stroud, the “Bird
Man of Alcatraz,” were confined. Far less
familiar is the fact that the island was the
site of the first U.S. fort on the West Coast,
and from 1969 to 1971 was occupied by
Native Americans under the name of
Indians of All Tribes. Today Alcatraz is a
popular tourist attraction and home to
one of California’s largest breeding
colonies of western gulls. On a clear day,
views of San Francisco are breathtaking.
Loading on and off the ferry at Pier 41
can be challenging, depending on the tide,
the particular boat, and the type of wheelchair.
Most power wheelchair users should
have no difficulty with the steep ramps
leading down to the ferry boats. Be aware
that for some of the boats the gangplank is
steep no matter how high the tide is and
problematic for scooters or chairs with anti-tip devices. If you wish, however,
the ferry crew will assist you and let you embark and disembark first.

56 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
415/561-4900;
evening tours: 415/561-4926
FERRIES: Depart Pier 41
every 30 to 45 minutes,
9:30 am–4:15 pm, in summer.
Depart island every 30 to
45 minutes, 9:50 am–6:30 pm,
in summer.
Call 415/705-5555 or visit
www.blueandgoldfleet.com
for off-season schedule.
RESERVATIONS Strongly
recommended in summer;
call at least one week ahead:
415/705-5555;
www.blueandgoldfleet.com
Groups of 15 or more:
415/705-8214
FEES Ferry and entrance to
park: adults, $11.50 ($16.50
with audio); children 5–11,
$8.25 ($10.75 with audio);
seniors 62 and up, $9.75
($14.75 with audio)
SAN FRANCISCO CONVENTION AND
VISITORS BUREAU PHOTO BY JEFF GREENBERG
When you first arrive on the island, a docent will explain certain rules,
and then you are free to explore.You might start by watching the film at the
visitor center to get a historical overview.
Because of its steep terrain,much of the island is accessible only to birds
and wildlife. The parade grounds and Agave Trail are open only from September
through February to protect the western gulls and black-crowned
night herons during their breeding seasons. A flat but short section of the
Agave Trail leading from the dock to a stairway to the parade grounds is
accessible except when it is wet and muddy. The parade grounds are also
accessible and can be reached via the trail leading off from the second
switchback on the road up to the cellhouse.
For most visitors the cellhouse is the island’s main attraction. Because
the approximately .25-mile road leading to it is very steep and bumpy, I recommend
that you take the free electric SEAT (sustainable easy-access transport)
tram, which can hold two people in wheelchairs or one scooter at a
time, as well as numerous seated passengers. Look for a small sign directly
across from the dock. The tram meets every other ferry and is first-come
first-served; reservations are not accepted.
Except for the hospital section and recreation yard, the cellhouse is
mostly accessible. An audio tour, available for purchase inside the entrance
to your right, is narrated by an ex-inmate.His chilling account of life on the
island set the mood for my overall experience.
Outdoor tours are accessible and are offered throughout the day by
National Park Service rangers and volunteers. Different tours cover topics
such as military history, infamous inmates, escapes, natural history, and the
Alcatraz from Pier 39
Native American occupation. Look for program titles and locations posted
on the dock and in the cellhouse. You might also consider a visit to the cellhouse
basement, where inmates were first brought in and given showers and
uniforms. To reach the basement, skip the last switchback to the cellhouse
and instead follow the road to the right, toward the water tower.
There are a few picnic tables where the Agave Trail heads off left from
the dock. No food is allowed on the island past the dock.
PARKING/RESTROOMSMetered street parking near Pier 41 is plentiful, and
all nearby public parking lots have blue spaces. Because the ferry restrooms
are marginally accessible (they only have grab bars and wide doors), it’s best
to use the accessible restrooms behind the Blue and Gold ticket office at Pier
41. On the island, both the dock and cellhouse restrooms have good access.
Fisherman’s Wharf
TH I S MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION,
with its street performers, steaming
crab pots, and souvenir shops, is a lot of
fun even if you’re a local. The crowds can
be dense, and along Jefferson St. you may
need to weave your way through people,
tables, chairs, and merchant displays on
sidewalks. Access improvements, including
new curb cuts and sidewalk repairs,
are planned. Look for panels that relate bits of local history in words and
images. Pier 45, at the end of Taylor Street, houses the San Francisco Museum
and Historical Society exhibit, “Amusing America,” as well as the Musée
Mechanique, a working collection
of 170 antique coin-operated
mechanical musical instruments
and game machines.Neither
museum charges admission.

58 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
415/346-2000
M“Amusing America” exhibit
and Musée Mechanique:
Mon.–Fri., 10 am–7 pm;
Sat.–Sun. and holidays,
10 am–8 pm SAN FRANCISCO CONVENTION AND VISITORS
BUREAU PHOTO BY JACK HOLLINGSWORTH
PARKING/RE S TROOMS There are numerous fee parking lots, all of which
have blue zones. An accessible unisex pay toilet is at Jefferson and Powell,
and accessible men’s and women’s restrooms are in the octagonal building
on Taylor just before Pier 45.
Aquatic Park
TAKING J E F F ERSON S T . west from Fisherman’s Wharf brings you to the
open spaces of Aquatic Park and its small beach.As you look out over the
bay, you’ll see antique boats moored at the Hyde Street Pier to your right.
These are part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, as are
the nearby Maritime Museum and bookstore. The visitor center in the Argonaut
Hotel building, at the intersection of Jefferson and Hyde Streets, displays
a Fresnel lens once used at the lighthouse on one of the Farallon Islands,
30 miles outside the Golden Gate.
The first deck of the 1890 steam ferryboat Eureka and the main deck of
the 1886 clipper ship Balclutha are wheelchair accessible, as is the Maritime
Museum’s first floor. Computer kiosks on the Eureka’s deck and in the visitor
center and museum provide a virtual tour of inaccessible places in the park.
Several ramped walkways lead up the slope through Aquatic Park to Ghirardelli
Square, with its shops and restaurants, and to the Maritime Museum
on Beach Street.The westernmost walkway has the most gradual slope.There
are accessible entrances to Ghirardelli Square on Beach Street and on Larkin
Street, which is up a very steep hill between Beach and North Point Streets.
Ramps and elevators allow you to navigate the interior.
From Aquatic Park, a level concrete walkway leads to the 40-foot-wide,
curved Municipal Fishing Pier. Two concrete curbs eight feet from each edge
run the length of the pier and divide it into three lanes, one wide and two narrow.
Because people tie their fishing lines to the curbs, it’s best to use the center
lane for traveling to the end of the pier. There you will find the single
opening in the curbs that allows a wheelchair to move from the center section
to the edge. The pier has solid concrete walls rather than railings, which prevent
downward views and are too high for fishing from a wheelchair.The Van
Ness Pier to the west was still closed in early 2006 due to damage from the
1989 earthquake.

B AY S I D E SAN F R A N C I S CO: NORTHERN WAT E R F RONT AND A LC AT R A Z 59
The 3.5-mile Golden Gate Promenade,
part of the Bay Trail, begins at the
foot of the Municipal Pier and leads
through Fort Mason, the Marina Green,
and Crissy Field to Fort Point. It’s very
steep at the outset, however, so I recommend
picking it up west of Fort Mason.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS There are two
blue spaces on Jefferson St. opposite the
Hyde St. Pier, five above Aquatic Park on
Beach St. at the entrance to the Maritime
Museum, and two at the foot of Van Ness
Ave. across from the roundhouse building.
The accessible roundhouse restroom
building at the end of Jefferson St. has a
tight 90-degree turn at the entrance.
Only the women’s restroom in the
roundhouse at the foot of Van Ness Ave.
is accessible. At Van Ness Ave. the men’s
restroom has a level entry but no other
access features. Accessible restrooms are
in the Maritime Museum and the visitor
center, and on Hyde Street Pier.

60 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Maritime visitor center:
415/447-5000
Museum: 415/561-7100
MMuseum: 10 am–5 pm;
closed major holidays
Maritime visitor center:
Oct. 17–Memorial Day,
9:30 am–5 pm;
Memorial Day–Oct. 16,
9:30 am–7 pm
Hyde St. Pier:
Oct. 17–Memorial Day,
9:30 am–4:30 pm (last entry);
Memorial Day–Oct. 16,
9:30 am–5 pm (last entry);
closed major holidays
FEES Hyde Street Pier ships:
Disabled and assistants free,
adults (over 17), $5
Museum and visitor center
are free
NOTE Golden Access Passports—
free, lifetime passes to National
Park sites for people with disabilities—
are available at the
Hyde Street Pier ticket booth.
Aquatic Park
SAN FRANCISCO CONVENTION AND
VISITORS BUREAU PHOTO BY TRISH FOXWELL
B AY S I D E SAN F R A N C I S CO: NORTHERN WAT E R F RONT AND A LC AT R A Z 61
Fort Mason
FROM THE MUNICIPAL P I E R , it’s best
to approach Fort Mason in a car or
wheelchair by taking Van Ness Avenue
uphill to Bay Street,where you turn right.
At Franklin Street, turn right into the
main entrance.
Fort Mason has been converted from
an Army base to a unique cultural complex
within the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area (GGNRA). It has two parts,
upper and lower Fort Mason. In the upper
part, on a blufftop, you can stroll through
the Great Meadow and visit a community
garden, the Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel (Building 240), and GGNRA headquarters
(Building 201), where you can pick up maps and brochures. Some of the
other old military buildings are now used by community groups. In the Great
Meadow stands a statue of Congressman Phillip Burton, whose visionary bill
led Congress to create the GGNRA in 1972.
Lower Fort Mason, on the waterfront, is home to the Fort Mason Center.
The piers and buildings house a thriving cultural and educational complex
with theaters, galleries, studios, a gourmet vegetarian restaurant, classrooms,
415/345-3400;
www.fortmason.org
J. Porter Shaw Library:
415/561-7080, 415/561-7030;
www.nps.gov/safr/local/lib/
libtop.html
MGGNRA Headquarters:
Mon.–Fri., 9 am–5 pm
Fort Mason Center: 8 am–11 pm
J. Porter Shaw Library:
Tue., 1–8 pm; Wed.–Fri.,
1–5 pm; Sat., 10 am–5 pm
Statue of Congressman
Phillip Burton at Fort Mason
BILL PROCHNOW,
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVANCY
and exhibition spaces.More than 40 nonprofit organizations have quarters
here. On the third floor of Building E, the easternmost warehouse, is the J.
Porter Shaw Library of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, a
historical document collection open to the public.
To get from upper to lower Fort Mason, take the path leading south from
the Great Meadow to the intersection of Octavia and Bay Sts. Turn right on
Bay, then right on Laguna, which meets with Marina at the pedestrian
entrance. The vehicle entrance is at Buchanan Street, across from Safeway.
PARKING Upper Fort Mason: From Franklin St., turn left on MacArthur
Avenue. The second and larger lot at the end of MacArthur has an accessible
entrance to the Great Meadow. Lower Fort Mason: Fort Mason Center’s
parking areas are just past the entry. Several blue spaces are scattered
throughout, including two by the GGNRA building. Beginning in May 2006,
you will be charged a fee to park in the Fort Mason Center lots.
R E S TROOMS In upper Fort Mason, the accessible restrooms are on the
south side of the Great Meadow, near the parking lot at the end of
MacArthur Ave. Lower Fort Mason has accessible restrooms in Buildings B,
C, and D, as well as in the exhibition halls.
▼ ▼
62 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Aquatic
Park
Hostel
Laguna
Buchanan
Octavia
Gough
Franklin
Van Ness
Polk
Great
Meadow
UPPER
FORT
MASON
LOWER FORT
MASON
A
Safeway
B C D E
Golden Gate
Promenade
Bay St.
Marina Blvd.
North
Point
Beach St.
GGNRA
Headquarters
P
P
P
P
FORT MASON
Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel
DESPITE ITS NAME, THIS HOSTEL—
formerly known as San Francisco
International Hostel—is not on Fisherman’s
Wharf, it’s in upper Fort Mason
near the bluffs, in a building that was
constructed in the 1860s. Operated by
Hosteling International, it’s a great place
to meet travelers. The upper floor is fully
accessible and has great bay views. It has
a kitchen with a roll-under sink and
stove, private bathroom with roll-in
shower, living room, two bedrooms that can sleep up to three people, and a
dormitory where some of the lower beds are accessible.You get to the upper
floor via a wooden ramp at the south entrance.
The basement-level kitchen and dining room are inaccessible, but
wheelchair riders can arrange to use the refrigerator and sink in the café on
this floor. The café serves complimentary breakfast and reasonably priced
dinner, and offers live music and entertainment. To reach the hostel, take the
road to the left of the chapel to Building 240.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS One blue space is in front of the hostel. The
communal restrooms have roll-in showers, large stalls with grab bars, and
roll-under sinks. Plastic shower benches are available.
Marina Green and the Wave Organ
MARINA BOULEVARD BETWEEN FORT MASON AND CRISSY FIELD
AS T H E GOLDEN GAT E P ROMENADE travels from Fort Mason Center
westward along the shore, parallel to Beach Street and Marina Boulevard,
you pass rows of yachts moored in the San Francisco Marina Yacht
Harbor (East Harbor) and soon come to the large, flat lawn known as the
Marina Green. It’s especially popular on weekends for kite flying, picnicking,
basking in the sun, or just sitting and enjoying the view.

B AY S I D E SAN F R A N C I S CO: NORTHERN WAT E R F RONT AND A LC AT R A Z 63
415/771-7277;
www.norcalhostels.org
MOpen 24 hours
RESERVATIONS 415/771-7277,
800/909-4776;
www.SFHostels.com
FEES Vary seasonally.
Dorm bed, $15–30 adults;
children under 12, $15–30;
private rooms, $65–85
At the harbormaster’s office on the west end of the Green, the Promenade
turns left, then right, following the contours of West Harbor along
Marina Boulevard, then right again where Baker Street ends at Marina
Boulevard. An accessible boardwalk here offers the opportunity to get to a
sandy beach where you can observe the ebb and flow of the tides. At the
parking lot for the St. Francis Yacht Club you can veer left across the lot and
continue on the Promenade to Crissy Field. A right turn at the parking lot
will take you past a small lighthouse and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, onto
the jetty to visit the Wave Organ, a unique treat.
The jetty path is rough but manageable. The Wave Organ is a stone
“sound sculpture” built with chunks of old monuments and buildings from
the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. If you are with ambulatory
friends, at high tide they can take the steps down to the organ to hear
the gurgling tones of the pipes. But the sound is not as interesting as the
place itself. I sat on the jetty shrouded in fog, my view across the water
obscured except for glimpses of Alcatraz Island across the water, and had a
wonderfully eerie sensation of being at sea.
PARKING Blue spaces are scattered throughout the parking lot at the eastern
end of the Marina Green, and three are in the parking lot near the harbormaster’s
office at the western end. To be close to the jetty, from Marina
Blvd. heading west from Fort Mason, turn right on Yacht Road. One blue
space is on your right soon after you turn in, four are near the St. Francis
Yacht Club, and four more are near the lighthouse.
R E S TROOMS An accessible restroom is at the Green’s eastern edge, but the
curb cut from the parking lot is steep.An accessible portable restroom is near the
parking lot for the harbormaster’s office.An accessible restroom building is on
the right side of Yacht Rd. shortly after making the turn from Marina Boulevard.
Crissy Field
ONCE AN ARMY A I R F I E L D built on a filled tidal marsh,Crissy Field
has been transformed into a shoreline park with a newly created
tidal marsh and spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.
With 100 acres of bayside open space, this park is a delight for strollers, jog-
▼ ▼
64 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
gers,windsurfers, bicyclists, dog walkers,
and people looking for native plants,
birds, and even seals or sea lions.You can
mosey along the Golden Gate Promenade,
picnic, check out the marsh and
dune scrub, sunbathe at the beach, or
take a class at the Crissy Field Center.
In my exploration, I followed the
Golden Gate Promenade along the shore
and took some of the smaller trails, making
a loop that easily covered three miles.
All the trails are level decomposed granite
or pavement.Numerous interpretive panels
tell about the area’s history and ecology.
One, for example, points out that
traces of a native Yelamu shell mound
were found during the 1990s excavation
of the landfill to create the new marsh. From the Promenade, a number of
wooden boardwalks extend toward the beach, with benches and space for
several wheelchairs alongside. These spots gave me the sense of being on the
beach, without worrying about getting stuck in the sand. You can, however,
borrow a balloon-tired beach wheelchair at the Crissy Field Center and go
onto the beach.
From the west end of the East Beach parking lot, I followed a small trail
that leads away from the bay and across the marsh on a wooden boardwalk.
This protected wildlife area has easy-to-operate gates at both ends of the
boardwalk, and conveniently placed signs identifying native plants. Continuing
on the paved path at the other end of the boardwalk, I arrived at the
Crissy Field Center, a large beige building on the corner of Mason and Halleck
Streets. It houses a cafe, a bookstore, classrooms, and a second-floor
observation deck.Using the lowered telescope on the deck, I could almost see
the bolts that hold together the Golden Gate Bridge.
Near the entrance to the Crissy Field Center, across Halleck Street and
under the highway overpass, you can catch PresidiGo, an accessible free
shuttle bus that runs through the Presidio, making several stops (not all
B AY S I D E SAN F R A N C I S CO: NORTHERN WAT E R F RONT AND A LC AT R A Z 65
Crissy Field hotline:
415/427-4779
Crissy Field Center:
415/561-7690
Farallones Marine Sanctuary
visitor center: 415/561-6625
PresidiGo shuttle: 415/561-5300
MCrissy Field Center and Café:
Wed.–Sun., 9 am–5 pm
Farallones Marine Sanctuary
visitor center: Wed.–Sun.,
10 am–4 pm; Memorial Day
to Labor Day, 10 am–5 pm
RESERVATIONS Groups of
50 or more must reserve
picnic areas: 415/561-4300
Beach wheelchair:
415/561-7752
accessible). The bus has space for
two people in wheelchairs.
From the Center, I followed
the wide sidewalk that parallels
Mason Street. Several paths diverge
toward the bay and link to the
Promenade. To avoid steps, don’t
take the path across from Stillwell
Hall. Shortly after reconnecting to
the Promenade,moving westward,
you pass a set of buildings, the first
of which is the Gulf of the Farallones
National Marine Sanctuary
Visitor Center. Follow the sidewalk
to the main entrance, then wrap around the building to reach the ramp.
If that entrance is locked, ring the buzzer (54 inches high). The amount of
educational information stored in such a small space surprised me, and I especially
enjoyed feeling the pelts of some of the marine mammals.
After the visitor center, you come to the West Bluffs picnic area, with
several picnic tables and barbecue grills on concrete pads. The nearby
Warming Hut is a small café and shop selling books, handcrafts, and educational
items. Due west from the hut is an unmarked rectangular building
where you will find a drinking fountain accessible to people and pets. Turn
toward the bay and you can roll out onto Torpedo Wharf, built in 1907 and
rebuilt for use during World War II. The trail from here to Fort Point is less
appealing, as it becomes a sidewalk with a cross slope and then continues
through a parking lot with no safe path of travel to the fort. Fortunately, cars
tend to move slowly there.
PARKING Among the several parking lots, the one near the East Beach
entrance off Mason St., with eight blue spaces, has the best access. If you
drive to the Crissy Field Center, two blue spaces are next to the center’s ramp
on Vallejo Street.
RE S TROOMS The accessible restrooms at the west end of the East Beach
parking lot are near an outdoor shower. The Crissy Field Center restrooms
▼ ▼
66 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
On the Golden Gate Promenade near the
Warming Hut
EILEEN ECKLUND
have good access but are only open during Center hours. The Marine Sanctuary
Visitor Center restroom is accessible except that the doors have knobs
rather than levers. Just west of the Warming Hut are two accessible restrooms.
Fort Point
THROUGH THE PRESIDIO TO THE NORTHWEST END OF MARINE DRIVE
STANDING ON A PROMONTORY near
the base of the Golden Gate Bridge’s
south tower, this classic 19th-century fort
was built by the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers
between 1853 and 1861 to protect
the harbor. It was abandoned five years
later after newer rifled cannons made its
muzzle-loading cannons obsolete.
You enter the fort on a short, rather
steep concrete ramp.A docent is usually waiting nearby to answer questions,
and a bulletin board lists the day’s tours and activities. Constructed around
a courtyard, the fort contains living quarters, a powder magazine, a kitchen,
storerooms, and a lighthouse. In the courtyard, which is often extremely
B AY S I D E SAN F R A N C I S CO: NORTHERN WAT E R F RONT AND A LC AT R A Z 67
415/556-0505
MFri.–Sun., 10 am–5 pm,
closed on major holidays
Fort Point video: Fri.–Sun.
on the hour, 11 am–4 pm
Golden Gate Bridge
video: on the half-hour,
10:30 am–3:30 pm
1
101
101
Palace
of
Fine Arts
Yacht
Harbor
East Beach
Crissy Field
Center
Marine Sanctuary
Visitor Center
Warming Hut
Golden Gate Bridge
Fort Point
TOLL
P
L
A
Z
A
Doyle Dr.
Halleck St.
Tidal
Marsh
Mason St.
Lincoln Blvd.
Lincoln
Blvd.
Lincoln
Blvd.
Marine Dr.
TORPEDO
WHARF
P
P
P P
P
P
FORT POINT AND CRISSY FIELD
windy, cannons and other military equipment are on display. If you look up,
you will see the intricate rust-red ironwork on the underside of the Golden
Gate Bridge. The sound of cars crossing high above you mingles with the
howling wind and the surf crashing against the rocks below.
Only the ground floor rooms are accessible, and doorway openings are
28 to 30 inches wide. Each of the rooms has historical displays.Near the visitor
center is a small auditorium where videos about the fort and construction
of the Golden Gate Bridge are shown regularly. The video about the fort
gives wheelchair users a virtual tour of the inaccessible upper floors.
From Fort Point you can survey the Golden Gate. Northwest are the
Marin Headlands, protected within the Golden Gate National Recreation
Area, as is Fort Baker, visible just on the other side of the bridge. To the
northeast are Alcatraz and Angel Islands and, across the bay, the town of
Tiburon. As the tide rushes in through the Golden Gate, you may see seals,
sea lions, and various birds bobbing in the water, looking toward the ocean
for an incoming meal. This is also a favorite spot for skilled surfers and sailboarders.
Late in the day, if you look southeast toward downtown San Francisco,
you might find its white and pastel buildings aglow with reddening
light from the setting sun. This is also an excellent spot from which to view
the rising moon.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The parking lot near the fort’s entrance has two
blue spaces. Accessible restrooms are 100 yards south of the fort, near the
hillside.

Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge
MINDY MANVILLE, GOLDEN GATE
NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVANCY
San Francisco Southern
Bay Waterfront
THE S TRETCH OF WATERFRONT from China Basin to Candlestick Point is in
transition,with remnants of maritime industry yielding to new enterprises,
housing developments, and parks. Short sections of the Bay Trail are in
place. Driving south from the Embarcadero you may encounter road
detours as you navigate this isolated part of the city.
Islais Creek
ARTHUR STREET, NEAR THIRD STREET AND CARGO WAY
IS L A I S CRE EK IS one of the many streams that used to flow through the
great salt marshes that once fringed the bay shoreline.Most of it is now
buried under concrete, except for a stretch upstream, in Glen Canyon Park,
and another at its outlet into the bay. It emerges from underground west of
the Third Street drawbridge, at Arthur Street, and flows into a channeled
tidal inlet. On the south bank, native chokecherries have been planted and
interpretive panels erected, telling about transformations of the area as San
Francisco grew. An accessible ramp leads down to a launching dock for
kayaks and canoes, but the ramp’s gate is usually locked. Looking across the
creek, you may see skateboarders on a paved promenade, and you will definitely
see an old crane, once used for unloading dried coconut, looming over
the water. To explore more of the changing waterfront, drive next to Heron’s
Head Park.
GETTING THE R E Exit I-280 or I-101 at César Chávez Street. Take Chávez
east to Third St., turn right, cross the Islais Creek bridge, and make an immediate
right on Arthur Street,which ends at the park’s parking area, at Quint St.
Throughout 2006, construction may force closures of the Islais Creek bridge;
an alternate route is to take Chávez to Evans Ave., then left on Quint to Arthur.

PARKING Two blue spaces are on Arthur St. at Quint St., in front of the
interpretive panels.
Heron’s Head Park
END OF CARGO WAY
YOU C AN’T TEL L from the ground,
but from the air or a map it’s easy to
see why this 25-acre landfill jetty was named
Heron’s Head when the Port of San Francisco
created a park here—the resemblance is startling.The jetty, formerly known
as Pier 98, was built in the 1970s to serve as a shipping terminal, then later proposed
as the footing for a “southern crossing” bridge to the East Bay. That project
was defeated by voters, and during subsequent years the “pier”became a popular
fishing spot for people living nearby. The park was created in 1999, with a
trail and a small salt marsh.
The park’s entrance is beside a shipping container with shorebirds
painted on it, which sits in the parking area at the end of Cargo Way. Enter
through the gateway; it requires a 90-degree turn that most wheelchair riders
can negotiate. A wide, decomposed-granite trail leads out to the tip of the
jetty. To your right is the marsh. From the accessible picnic tables (with accessible
grills) you will see the Pier 96 container terminal to the north and a
power plant to the south. Fifty feet from the park entrance, a narrower trail
branches off the main trail to the right and
leads to PG&E’s Hunters Point power plant.
Cross a bridge and follow the plant’s fence
line to arrive at India Basin Shoreline Park.
Sections of this trail are sandy, and rains
can cause ruts and potholes, but I found the
adjacent firm ground manageable in my
power wheelchair. The waters around the
plant attract birds, fish, and fishermen.

70 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Heron’s Head Park
RASA GUSTAITIS
MOne hour before
sunrise to one hour after sunset
GETTING THE R E From Third St. take either Cargo Way or Evans Ave. east
toward the bay. Cargo Way ends at the trailhead parking area. From Evans,
turn left on Jennings to Cargo Way to reach the trailhead.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces are at the trailhead entrance. An
accessible portable restroom is across from the picnic grounds.
India Basin Shoreline Park
OFF HUNTERS POINT BOULEVARD
FROM T H I S PARK, nestled into the
hillside that overlooks India Basin,
you can see Heron’s Head Park, Pier 96,
and Oakland across the bay. To the south is a small cove and remnants of a
pier. Immediately north is the Hunters Point power plant. Signs along the
paved paths mark the accessible route. This park was built with kids in mind.
Colorful marine designs, such as an anchor and a whale fluke made of rubber,
are inlaid in concrete around several benches, and play structures are set
on an easily accessible rubberized surface. An accessible picnic area is uphill
from the lower parking lot, and at the very top of the hill is a basketball court.
Getting There
From Cargo Way, turn right onto Jennings, left onto Evans Ave., which
becomes Hunters Point Blvd., and then left into the park.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The lower lot has one faded blue space. An accessible
portable restroom is near the lower parking lot. (A permanent, accessible
restroom is planned.)
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
HIGHWAY 101 MONSTER PARK EXIT
WH I LE THE 49 E R S’ football stadium at Candlestick Point is notorious
for blustery winds that chill the fans, the adjacent 252-acre state
park is kinder to its visitors. You can wander along two miles of trails, work
out on an exercise course, picnic, watch birds in the mud flats, and fish. San
▼ ▼ ▼
S AN F R A N C I S CO SOUTHERN B AY WAT E R F RONT 71
MSunrise to sunset
Bruno Mountain dominates the view to the southwest, the AAA shipyard lies
to the north, and the windsurfers zipping about keep pulling your attention
to the waters of the bay. From the park entrance on Hunters Point Expressway,
follow the road as it curves right and park in the first parking lot. From
here several trails—paved, decomposed granite, and hard-packed dirt—lead
to a decomposed-granite trail that follows the shoreline, and a wide, paved
path leads to Sunrise Point. Picnic tables on concrete pads are plentiful.
En route to the fishing pier at Sunrise Point, next to the Plover picnic area,
look for the metal drums sculpture that you can actually play, if following a
dirt path and crossing a lawn are not too difficult for you. The approach to the
Sunrise Point pier is steep, and broken asphalt makes for a bumpy ride. I
needed some help from a friend to navigate it in my power wheelchair. From
the restrooms at the main parking lot you can head south along the shoreline,
past the Windsurf Circle—the cul-de-sac where windsurfers gather with their
rigs—toward the Old Pier. Before you reach the pier, however, the trail
becomes narrow and sandy. If you want to go out on the pier or fish from it
(42-inch railings), it’s best to drive to the pier entrance on Jamestown Avenue.
For a little side trip, drive to the Last Port parking lot on the park’s
southern end. From here, decomposed-granite trails,worn in places, lead to
a multicolored paved section of the Bay Trail. The trail runs .25 mile south
and ends at a concrete pad overlooking a salt marsh. The trail entrance at the
east end of the lot has better access than the west end, where the path around
the gate is uneven because of tree roots.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 South, take the Monster Park exit.
Turn right on Alana Way, left onto Harney Way, and veer right at the stadium.
You are now on Jamestown Ave., which becomes Hunters Point
Expressway and leads to the main entrance. Consider that traffic will be
heavy on football game Sundays.

DAVID SCHOOLEY
415/671-0145
M8 am–7 pm
RESERVATIONS Picnic areas:
415/671-0145
PARKING From the park’s main entrance, turn right. One blue space is
near the middle of the first lot and four are near the restroom in the main
lot. Park on Jamestown Ave. to access the Old Pier. The Last Port lot on Harney
Way is hard-packed gravel and has no striping.
RESTROOMS Accessible restrooms are at the Plover and Jackrabbit picnic
areas, the Old Pier, and the end of the main parking lot—all in the main section
of the park. The approach to the restroom serving the Jackrabbit site is
sandy and may be problematic for manual chairs. Of the two restrooms at
the Last Port picnic area, one is accessible with grab bars.
South San Francisco
and Northern
San Mateo County
SOUTH OF CANDLE S T I C K POINT, marshes along the shoreline have been
filled to create real estate for industrial and commercial uses.Today,with further
fill outlawed, you will find parks, marinas, and fishing piers along this
stretch of shore, along with some remnants of the natural landscape.You can
travel about four miles from Sierra Point south to San Bruno Point on the
smooth Bay Trail, visiting one little park after
another. You can view airplanes landing and
taking off at San Francisco International Airport
from Bayfront Park, skirt Anza and Burlingame
Lagoons, visit 670-acre Coyote Point
Recreation Area and its outstanding nature
museum, then take the Bay Trail another 2.5
miles south to the San Mateo Bridge.
▼ ▼
SOUTH S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN S AN MAT E O COUNT Y 73
Along the Bay Trail in Burlingame
SAN FRANCISCO BAY TRAIL PROJECT
Brisbane Marina
OFF HIGHWAY 101 ON SIERRA POINT PARKWAY
IS TARTED MY OUTING at the immaculate and peaceful Brisbane Marina.
San Bruno Mountain is the western backdrop, and the San Mateo Bridge
spans the southern view. From the parcourse stations B and C in the south
parking lot (on the right at the end of the main access road off Sierra Point
Parkway) the paved Bay Trail runs parallel to the shoreline and then turns
south alongside Shoreline Court. If you continue south past office buildings,
you will come to a pedestrian bridge spanning an inlet next to several hotels.
This bridge has a three-inch drop as you cross at its southern end.You’ll pass
another business complex before reaching Oyster Cove Marina, where the
trail continues to Oyster Point Marina and Park.
You can also head north from parcourse stations B and C, taking the
shoreline trail past a sloping grassy picnic area and a popular fishing pier,
and then behind office buildings to end up near Highway 101.
In the Brisbane Marina’s large north parking lot, on the left at the end of
the main access road from Sierra Point Pkwy., I came across people racing
miniature radio-controlled vehicles. With my power wheelchair I tried
unsuccessfully to beat a miniature truck. The owner offered to reconfigure
my electronics so I could go faster, but I declined.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The south lot has four blue spaces by the parcourse
station, and the north lot has ten. Four blue public spaces are at the private
yacht club, and two are at the Brisbane Marina office. Two restrooms, one on
either side of the Brisbane Marina office, have good access, but no stall
doors. The women’s restroom has privacy curtains.
Oyster Point Marina and Park
HIGHWAY 101 SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO EXIT
IN T H E L AT E 1800S, the Oyster Point
area was a calm inlet where an oyster
farm thrived. By the early 1900s, Bay
Area residents began to worry that bay
pollution was making shellfish unsafe to

74 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
650/952-0808
FEES Boat launch: $5
SOUTH S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN S AN MAT E O COUNT Y 75
eat, and the oyster industry collapsed. The inlet was subsequently filled in
to create Oyster Point, where shipbuilding and pipe-manufacturing companies
operated until 1983. Now only a few old piers hint at that history.
Tree-shaded lawns and vegetation line both sides of the Bay Trail as you
approach Oyster Point Marina and Park from the west, passing the private
Oyster Cove Marina. Between Oyster Point and the Oyster Point Marina,
you’ll need to take Oyster Point Boulevard a short distance to get around the
small and inaccessible Oyster Point Beach.
The Oyster Point Marina’s bait-and-tackle shop doubles as a minimart
and deli, and has a deck with tables near the water. Due east of the
shop and near the restrooms is an accessible picnic spot. More accessible
waterside picnic tables are south of the restroom, just past the accessible
fishing pier. From the pier you can continue south on the Bay Trail to San
Bruno Point Park.
GETTING THERE From the Highway 101 South San Francisco/Oyster
Point Blvd. exit, take Oyster Point Blvd. east. Turn right on Marina Blvd. and
drive to the end.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Several blue spaces adjoin the marina area.
Another is on the north side of the pier, two are on the south side, and two
are in the trailer lot, where you can park your trailer up to 72 hours. The
restrooms east of the bait shop have partially accessible stalls with grab bars
on both sides, a wide stall door, and a roll-under sink, but a low toilet, no
room for lateral transfer, and a high paper dispenser. Similar restrooms are
located by marina docks 5 and 6 and the northernmost trailer parking lot.
San Bruno Point Park
SAN BRUNO POINT PARK, south of Oyster Point Marina and Park, is a popular
jogging and picnic area for employees of nearby businesses. From this
park you can take the Bay Trail north toward the Genentech complex or south
to San Bruno Point. Before landfill created San Bruno Point in the early 1900s,
the spot near the southern end of the park was a large Chinese fishing camp.
GETTING THERE Exit Highway 101 on Grand Ave. and take Forbes Blvd.
to its end.
▼ ▼ ▼
PARKING/RESTROOMS If you want to follow the Bay Trail from Oyster
Point Marina and Park, use the blue spaces on the southern side of the Oyster
Point pier. If you drive to San Bruno Point Park, you will find two public
lots with several blue spaces. The first is off DNA Way and can be reached
by taking Forbes Blvd. to the water. The second is at the trail’s end at San
Bruno Point. The closest accessible restrooms are at Oyster Point Marina
and Park to the north.
Bayfront Park
HIGHWAY 101 MILLBRAE EXIT
PE O P L E O F A L L AG E S come to Bayfront Park in Millbrae to watch
planes land and take off from nearby San Francisco International
Airport. A small sloping lawn and benches provide good observation
spots. At low tide, shorebirds gather at the park’s north end where a flap
gate allows water to flow out of Millbrae Canal into the bay. Starting from
the flap gate, the paved Bay Trail meanders south, crosses two wooden
bridges and continues for one mile, passing behind several large hotels and
restaurants. The trail is mainly wide and level, but in several spots it buckles
and undulates (common for trails built on landfill), and in a few areas
it narrows a bit.
The trail turns west for a short distance at the Burlingame Shoreline
Bird and Plant Sanctuary.Numerous benches and an accessible picnic table
south of Benihana Restaurant provide a good spot to stop and gaze out at
the bay. Just beyond the picnic table, a short but steep and cross-sloping section
of the trail might pose a challenge for manual wheelchair users. The
trail then runs into a parking lot and resumes at the junction of Airport
Boulevard and Bayshore Highway. Unfortunately, the sidewalk that takes
you past the gap is inaccessible because mailboxes and electrical poles are in
the middle of it. If you’re determined to cover every inch of this section
of the Bay Trail, drive down to Bayside Park, where you can approach from
the south.
G E T T I N G T H E R E From Highway 101, exit at Millbrae Ave. and follow it
east to Bayshore Highway.Turn right on Bayshore Highway to the Westin Hotel
lot on your right or the Cowan Rd. lot on your left.
▼ ▼
76 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
PA R K I N G / R E S T ROOMS Five public
spaces (no blue) are in the Westin Hotel lot
across from Bayfront Park.A small public
lot with a two-hour limit and no blue
spaces is on Cowan Rd. next to the Marriott
Hotel’s parking lot. Six blue spaces in
a lot just north of Benihana Restaurant
offer good access to the southern end of
the trail. There are no public restrooms for
the park. All nearby hotels have accessible
restrooms.
Bayside Park and Burlingame Lagoon
HIGHWAY 101 BROADWAY EXIT, BURLINGAME
WI TH IT S T H R E E B A S E B A L L
diamonds, soccer field, and fenced
dog park—plus the Burlingame Golf Center
just next door—Bayside Park is popular
with families and sports fans. A trail
along a marsh connects this park to Burlingame Lagoon, providing ample
opportunities for bird-watching.
Wanting to be truly at the side of the bay, I started my trip at the park’s
entrance, then crossed Airport Blvd. to the Bay Trail. There is no crosswalk,
but traffic was light. You get unobstructed views of the water from accessible
benches and tables on large concrete pads.You can follow this waterside
segment of the trail for .5 mile to Robert E. Wooley Peninsula Park (see
next entry).
To explore inland, through Bayside Park and around Burlingame Lagoon,
cross back over Airport Boulevard and begin your trip from the entrance to
Bayside Park.Head southwest toward the baseball field with a small outbuilding
signed “Ballfield #2.” Go left on a paved trail that skirts the ball field; soon
you’ll come to a fenced-in dog park on the left. The trail curves to the right,
then left again as it runs along Sanchez Marsh. Interpretive signs tell about the
marsh ecosystem and wildlife.

Millbrae’s Bayfront Park
RON KUKULKA
MBayside Park: 6 am–9 pm
Burlingame Golf Center:
Wed.–Mon., 7 am–9 pm;
Tues., 10 am–9 pm
78 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
Soon you approach the Anza Boulevard bridge over the marsh where it
meets Burlingame Lagoon. Before reaching the bridge you’ll see a trail to the
left that leads to one of the Burlingame Golf Center’s parking lots. Public
parking is available here if you want to begin your trip at Burlingame
Lagoon. Continue on the main trail, which runs under the Anza Boulevard
bridge and then curves left and uphill to a junction. Turn right and follow
the trail as it travels south, skirting the eastern edge of the lagoon.
You pass hotels and office complexes lining the east side of the trail, but
they are mostly obscured by tall hedges. Looking out over the lagoon, you
may see long-legged egrets poking in the mudflats or a family of ducks paddling
by, depending on the tide. On the far side of the lagoon, traffic streams
by on Highway 101, its noise muffled by distance. The trail ends at a small
shady park where a bridge crosses the lagoon’s inlet from the bay. Looking
east from the bridge you see the docked General Frank M. Coxe, a former
military transport steamer that was later converted to a cruise ship that
worked the bay until 1962.
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 101 at Broadway in Burlingame. Follow
the signs to Airport Blvd. and go south one block to the park entrance on
your right (the sign is set back slightly from the road). To park at the
Burlingame Golf Center, take Airport Blvd. past Bayside Park and turn
right on Anza Blvd, then look for the signed entrance to the golf center on
the right, shortly before the bridge that crosses the lagoon. Be aware that if
you miss the turn, the bridge will take you directly onto Highway 101
north.
PARKING One on-street blue space is just inside the park entrance, two are
in the lot near the southern ball field, one is near the northern ball field and
one is on Airport Blvd. across from the wastewater treatment facility. For the
Golf Center on Anza Blvd., one blue space is in the lower lot and seven are
up the hill in front of the golf center.
RESTROOMS A restroom next to the northern ball field is accessible,
except the grab bars have wide gaps, there’s only room for a frontal transfer,
and the stalls are shallow. Accessible restrooms are outside and inside the
golf center building.
▼ ▼ ▼
Anza Lagoon and
Robert E. Wooley Peninsula Park
THE TRAIL ENCIRCLING this landscaped
lagoon is often shared by waterfowl
and local office workers.Weeping willow
trees grace the large lawn of the adjacent
4.5-acre Robert E.Wooley Peninsula Park.
An accessible fishing pier arcs out in a half-circle from the lagoon’s
northern peninsula. From here you can head north on the Bay Trail, passing
the Embassy Suites Hotel. Along the shore you’ll see concrete and rebar,
remnants of the old San Mateo Bridge, serving as shoreline fortification.
South of the fishing pier, travel on the Bay Trail becomes more difficult. At
the far end of the wooden bridge, bollards narrow the walkway to 28 inches
and the trail soon becomes hard-packed dirt and gravel.
GETTING THE R E From Airport Blvd., go east on Anza Blvd. to the end.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The shared public and private lot at the end of
Anza Blvd. has two blue spaces bayside. Restrooms at the southern end of
the parking lot, adjacent to the shoreline, have good access but lack stall
doors and seemed to be poorly maintained when I visited.
▼ ▼
SOUTH S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN S AN MAT E O COUNT Y 79
MRobert E. Wooley Park:
6 am–9 pm
Anza Lagoon
RON KUKULKA
Coyote Point Recreation Area
HIGHWAY 101 POPLAR OR DORE AVENUE EXIT, SAN MATEO
ONCE AN I S L AND, now linked to the mainland by fill, this 670-acre
park has an outstanding nature museum, several playgrounds, eight
picnic areas in eucalyptus groves, a beach, large lawns, a marina and yacht
club, and a fishing jetty. A network of paved accessible trails, bike paths, and
roads lets you roam fairly easily. The Bay Trail runs from Fisherman’s Park,
just north of Coyote Point, to the park’s marina, then south another 2.5
miles to the San Mateo Bridge.
The nature museum is on the eastern side of a tree-shaded knoll near
the water at the park’s east side.Among the exhibits are interactive displays,
computer activities, videos, and films on Bay Area ecosystems. Next to the
museum, the Wildlife Habitats Center houses various reptiles, amphibians,
mammals, and birds.You can see 50 species of California birds in the aviary.
Don’t miss the butterfly and hummingbird gardens. There is a two-inch
drop into the picnic area inside the museum gates, and the tables have no
place for a wheelchair to roll under. Barbecue grills and some accessible picnic
tables are scattered on the hilltop behind the museum.
If you take the trail that leads northward from the museum, you will
come to a platform with viewing scopes that are not at wheelchair height.
However, the view through the trees to the bay is beautiful. You can also see
all kinds of winged activity: birds skimming the water’s surface, jets landing
at San Francisco Airport, and windsurfers racing with the wind. If you
continue southwest along
the shoreline, you come to a
memorial dedicated to cadet
midshipmen and graduates
of a Merchant Marine cadet
school located here during
World War II, and an accessible
picnic table overlooking
the bay. The trail narrows
and leads steeply downhill
toward the beach, past the
parking lot for the Captain’s
80 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
RON KUKULKA
House Conference Center. There is no
curb cut at the end of the trail, but with
assistance you can jump the curb, cross
the road, and arrive at the beach. Or,
where the trail meets the conference center
lot, take the road down to the beach.
This route is also steep and may be busy
with automobile traffic on weekends.
A level paved path takes you to two
distinct beach areas. Swimmers use the one
to the east, and windsurfers tend to
monopolize the area to the west. Inland are
playing fields, playgrounds, and picnic
areas. Those playgrounds are accessible,
but the accessible one at the eastern end of
the park has a rubberized surface. From
the west end of the beach, the Bay Trail
(rough in spots) travels north alongside
Airport Boulevard to Fisherman’s Park, a
small, rocky fishing spot. If you take the Bay Trail south and inland from this
park, you will come to Coyote Point Drive, which then leads east beyond and
below the nature museum to the marina. The distance is 1.5 miles.
Near the marina is a breakwater with a flat paved path that has benches
and fishing spots alongside it. Fishing from a wheelchair requires casting
over the riprap. The shoreline trail between the foot of the marina and the
back of the yacht club leads north on hard-packed gravel to the end of a
jetty and south to connect with the Bay Trail, which continues another 2.5
miles to the San Mateo Bridge. Another connection to the Bay Trail is near
the big anchor along Coyote Point Drive before you reach the yacht club.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 South, exit at Poplar Avenue. Turn
right onto Humboldt St., then right onto Peninsula Avenue.At the stop sign
immediately after the freeway overpass, turn left, then left again into the
park on Coyote Point Drive. From Highway 101 North, take the Dore Ave.
exit. Turn left immediately onto North Bayshore Blvd., then right onto Coyote
Point Dr., and left into the park.

SOUTH S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN S AN MAT E O COUNT Y 81
Recreation area: 650/573-2592;
www.co.sanmateo.ca.us
Museum: 650/342-7755;
www.coyoteptmuseum.org
Marina: 650/573-2594
MMuseum: Tues.–Sat.,
10 am–5 pm; Sun., noon–5 pm
Park hours vary with the season
but generally the parking lots
close at 8 pm.
FEES Parking: $5 when
staffed, free with disabled
parking placard
Museum: adults, $6; seniors
and students ages 13-17, $4;
children ages 3–12, $2.
Free first Wed. each month
RESERVATIONS Picnic areas:
650/363-4021
PARKING/RESTROOMS Blue spaces are plentiful throughout the park. The
museum has two restrooms; the one outside, in the Wildlife Habitats Center,
is more accessible. The inside restroom’s stalls are front-approach only,
are too shallow to close the door, and have no grab bars on the back wall.At
the far end of the marina parking lot, an accessible portable toilet stands
against the hillside. Other accessible restrooms are near the picnic areas. The
beach restroom has a roll-in shower and an easy-to-use side-access sink.
Coyote Point to the San Mateo Bridge
FROM COYOT E P O I N T PARK, the next few miles southward on the Bay
Trail provide all sorts of sights—from 747s coming in over the bay to
land, to birds diving for prey, to scores of sailboats and windsurfers skimming
the waves. The bay is just to your left nearly all the way, and to your
right, or right beneath you, is one little park after another.
A half-mile out from Coyote Point, you will see a very steep path running
inland to small Harbor View Park, which people use mainly for baseball
and picnics. A half-mile farther is Ryder Park, with an accessible playground,
group picnic area, outdoor classrooms, and restored wetlands. A
large, tiered, concrete “water art” piece, the “Shell Mound Gurgle,” demonstrates
how tidal action works.
Next, take the pedestrian bridge over San Mateo Creek and follow the
levee trail as it enters the new 50-acre Seal Point Park, built on a former
dump. Here you will find a dog park, restrooms, paved and dirt trails, a
paved windsurfing launch (with a level platform that’s accessible at low
tide), and an outdoor classroom facing the wetland on the park’s south side.
From Seal Point Park, the trail runs along J. Hart Clinton Drive for
approximately .5 mile.Where Clinton Drive turns into East Third Avenue,
the trail turns slightly inland alongside Bay Marshes Open Space, also
known as Seal Marsh, with mudflats, rocks, and an open field on the bay
side.You then cross Marina Lagoon on a pedestrian bridge. Less than .5 mile
further, the trail turns sharply toward the bay and travels behind Mariners
Point Golf Links, a driving range.Tall net fences protect passersby from stray
golf balls. Next is a series of small inaccessible sandy beaches.
Off to the right and a little ways from the trail is Bayside/Joinville Park.
Situated at the mouth of Marina Lagoon, this park has a swim center, ten-

82 S AN F R A N C I S CO AND NORTHERN P E N I N S U L A
MARILYN STRAKA
nis courts, a baseball field, a large lawn, picnic tables, and a playground. The
playground is laid out on a thick layer of Fibar, a wood-composite material
that is considered accessible, but if not properly maintained, can be difficult
for wheelchair users to navigate.
To reach Bayside/Joinville Park, leave the Bay Trail at the parking lot at
the south end of the pedestrian bridge over Marina Lagoon.Go through the
lot to the intersection of J. Hart Clinton Drive and Anchor Road. Follow
Anchor inland ten feet, turn right at the sign for the park, and continue to
another bridge that leads to the park’s back entrance.
I finished my trip by returning to the Bay Trail from Bayside/Joinville
Park and following it another .5 mile along East Third Avenue, past a municipal
maintenance yard and an office complex and under the San Mateo
Bridge. Being beneath the bridge is an unusual experience.Amid the whir of
auto and truck traffic, the bridge vibrates and creaks. Nearby you can see a
section of the old bridge that was turned into the 4,000-foot San Mateo
County Fishing Pier, closed indefinitely as of 2006.
PARKING See the Coyote Point entry for parking at the northern end of
this Bay Trail section. The Ryder Park lot has three blue spaces; the Seal
Point Park lots have seven: one on the deck (upper level), two next to the
dog park, and four near the restrooms by the windsurf access area. For Bayside/
Joinville Park, four blue spaces are in the lot off Kehoe Ave., and street
parking is on Anchor Road. Three blue spaces are in the trailside lot adjacent
to Anchor Rd. (at the intersection of J.Hart Clinton Dr.); three are at the end
of Lakeside Dr., by the golf links; one is at the east side of the office complex
off Lincoln Center Dr.; and one is among the public shoreline spaces in the
office complex at the end of East Third Avenue.
RESTROOMS Accessible restrooms are at Ryder Park, Seal Point Park, the
trailside south of Seal Point Park, and Bayside/Joinville Park.
▼ ▼
The bridge over San Mateo Creek
92
92
84
84
84
101
101
84
880
880
880
237
237
San Mateo Bridge
Dumbarton
Bridge
Refuge Headquarters
and Visitor Center
Coyote Hills
Regional Park
Alameda Creek
Regional Trail
Decoto Rd.
Niles Cyn.
Staging
Paseo Padre
Pkwy.
Alvarado-
Niles
MissionBlvd.
Greco
Island
Bayfront
Park
Palo Alto Baylands
Nature Preserve
Don Edwards
San Francisco Bay
National Wildlife
Refuge
Don Edwards
San Francisco Bay
National Wildlife
Refuge
Refuge
Environmental
Education
Center
Palo Alto
Airport
Shoreline at
Mountain View
Lawrence Expwy.
Stevens Creek
Port of
Redwood
City
Belmont
Slough
Steinberger
Slough
Sea Cloud
Park
Foster
City
Sunnyvale
Baylands
Great America Pkwy.
Byxbee
Park
Don Edwards
San Francisco Bay
National Wildlife
Refuge
San Carlos
Airport
SOUTH
BAY SHORE
Quarry Lakes
Regional Park
South Bay Shore
TH E S LOUGHS AND M A R S H E S of southern San Francisco
Bay are vital to the survival of many species of animals and
plants, including countless birds that reside here or stop to rest
and feed along their migratory routes.Most of these wetlands,
however,were systematically destroyed for other uses during the
past century. They were diked and dried out, converted to salt
ponds, or filled and built over. Freeways and buildings were constructed
on fill, cities and industry dumped their garbage and
waste into the bay, and residential communities turned their
backs on their shoreline.
Permanente Creek, Shoreline at Mountain View
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
85
86 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
Then came the Save the Bay movement, launched in 1961 by three
women from Berkeley, and with it the beginning of shoreline restoration
around the bay. Today, visitors to the southern bay reaches from the San
Mateo Bridge to Alviso will find parks created on former dumps, and plenty
of recreational opportunities. Miles of accessible trails take you through
parklands and around sloughs and marshes that have been restored.Work is
under way to restore 15,100 more wetland acres. For those who want to
learn more about the natural history and ecology of this remarkable area, a
trip to the 30,000-acre Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife
Refuge is a must.
San Mateo Bridge to
Southern Baylands
FROM THE SAN MATEO BRIDGE, the paved Bay Trail travels south through
Foster City and Redwood Shores, along the shoreline and past city parks and
man-made lagoons. South of the Port of Redwood City, the once abused and
neglected shoreline is being transformed. Two parks near the southernmost
tip of the bay, Shoreline at Mountain View and Sunnyvale Baylands, offer
miles of trails through landscaped parkland and around sloughs and wetlands.
Kite-flying is a popular activity in these breezy parks with broad,
grassy meadows, and at Shoreline you can also sail or paddle on a saltwater
lake or attend a concert at the amphitheater.
Foster City
HIGHWAY 101 HILLSDALE BOULEVARD EXIT
BU I LT L ARGE LY ON L A N D F I L L in the late 1950s and early ’60s, Foster
City embodies what was then considered to be the ideal planned
community, with many parks and waterfront access for its single-family
S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 87
homes. You can get to the Bay Trail via
any one of several ramps along Beach
Park Boulevard. I started my trip near
Hillsdale Boulevard, where you can see
the San Mateo Bridge to the north and the Dumbarton Bridge in the distance
to the south.As you travel south, the bay is on your left and Beach Park
Boulevard on your right. As the trail curves toward the mouth of Belmont
Slough, look for shorebirds. Continuing south and inland, you see small
islands where the slough widens. The trail splits off from Beach Park Boulevard,
traveling alongside Belmont Slough past residential neighborhoods.At
a flood-control gate a connector path leads a short distance to 24-acre Sea
Cloud Park,with baseball diamonds, soccer and football fields, a large lawn,
and picnic tables. Accessible parking and an accessible restroom make this
park a good alternative starting place.
Returning to the Bay Trail from Sea Cloud Park, go south along a fenced,
shallow arm of Belmont Slough.At Baffin Street, a path slopes down to a small
park shaded by willows, with a lawn, picnic tables, tennis courts, and a playground
surrounded by sand.Next is another small rectangular park. Exercise
stations start here, and you can see a big office complex across the slough.
Just past an electrical tower and trail-information board, the trail forks.
Bear right here to take the paved Foster City “pedway”to Port Royal Park,with
A park along the Bay Trail in Foster City
EILEEN ECKLUND
MAll parks: sunrise to sunset
Foster City Pedway: 6 am–10 pm
its soccer field, basketball hoop, picnic tables, and play area surrounded by a
thick layer of wood chips. From here the pedway leads west and then north
about four miles along Marina Lagoon, ending just north of Highway 92 at
Fashion Island Boulevard. To stay on the Bay Trail, retrace your steps to the
fork and go left along Belmont Slough. In a few hundred yards you come to a
gate; go around it on either side and continue through the Oracle Corporation
office complex, where you will see a bridge over Belmont Slough to your left.
You can cross the bridge to follow the Bay Trail another four miles as it winds
88 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
92
101
Foster City Blvd.
E. Hillsdale Blvd.
Beach Park Blvd.
Pitcairn Dr.
Beach Park Blvd.
Rudder Ln.
Concourse Dr.
Island Pkwy.
Island Park
Belmont Slough
Edgewater
Blvd.
Edgewater
Blvd.
Sea Cloud
Park
Marina
Lagoon
Port Royal
Park
Fashion Island
Blvd.
To
San Mateo
Bridge
To
Redwood
Shores
GATE
P
P
P P
FOSTER CIT Y
around Redwood Shores, or continue approximately .5 mile to Island Park, a
sports center with numerous playing fields and a few picnic tables.
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 101 at Hillsdale Blvd. and follow it east
toward the bay, where the road curves to the right and becomes Beach Park
Boulevard. For Sea Cloud Park, exit Highway 101 at Hillsdale Blvd., turn
right on Edgewater Blvd., left at Pitcairn Dr., and right on Sea Cloud Dr. into
the park.
PARKING/RESTROOMS On-street parking is along Beach Park Boulevard.
Four blue spaces are at Sea Cloud Park, one with no access aisle is in a small
lot off Baffin St., two are in the lot serving Port Royal Park off Port Royal Ave.,
four are at Island Park, and one is at the end of Concourse Place just before
the Oracle complex. Accessible restrooms are at Port Royal Park, Sea Cloud
Park, and Island Park. Sinks at Island Park have 25-inch knee clearance.
Redwood Shores
HIGHWAY 101 RALSTON EXIT, REDWOOD CITY
APLANNED COMMUNIT Y MODE L ED
after Foster City and built alongside
man-made lagoons in the 1970s,Redwood
Shores borders the northern reaches of the
San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge. A six-mile paved and gravel stretch of the
Bay Trail runs through here, from Oracle Parkway along Belmont Slough and
the northern edge of Steinberger Slough to San Carlos Airport. Traveling this
route you can view marshlands, the Bair Islands, and the Coast Range.At low
tide crowds of shorebirds come to feed in the mudflats.
A good place to access the trail from the north is a small park at Oracle
Parkway and Island Parkway, across from high-rise office buildings. From the
parking lot, travel up a gradual incline to reach the paved trail. It follows Belmont
Slough east toward the bay and around the Oracle complex. Geese
often feed on the lawn, and parcourse exercise stations dot the trail.You soon
reach a junction by a sunken grassy area; stay left to follow the south shore of
Belmont Slough. The trail turns toward the bay at Marine (formerly Marine
World) Parkway and continues east for about one mile past office buildings
▼ ▼
S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 89
MShore Dogs Park:
Dawn to dusk
on Bridge Parkway.At the next fork a rocky, hard-packed-dirt levee trail leading
left offers a route away from the road, but has one steep section.
The paved trail continues along Bridge Parkway for another .5 mile. A small
marsh lies between the two trails.Where Bridge runs into Shell Parkway, just
before Marina Parkway, veer left through a small private parking lot that interrupts
the paved trail.Navigate through the lot and wind around and up a slight
rise to return to the main trail, here constructed of decomposed granite. Immediately
past a brown-shingled apartment complex, a slight downhill brings you
to hard-packed dirt for several hundred yards. Pass through an old gate onto
pavement and the next fork, where you follow the main trail to the right (the
branch that leads straight ahead ends in .25 mile at a marsh overlook).
Now the traffic noise drops off and marsh views expand. Just past the first
parking lot on Shearwater Parkway, a dirt trail leads straight ahead; bear left to
stay on the paved trail. Beyond the second lot is another fork. Stay on the paved
trail as it dips. You will see the San Mateo Bridge, and on a clear day Mount
Tamalpais, to the north. Farther on, descend a small hill to reach the next fork
by a little park. Stay left, following the Bay Trail sign, to cross over a channel on
a berm. Traveling through a residential development, a lagoon is on your left;
you are likely to see egrets and great blue herons along this stretch. A high berm
beyond the lagoon cuts off the view, but several ramps lead to platforms overlooking
Bay Slough, Bird Island, and the bay beyond, and interpretive panels
explain the salt-marsh food chain. Turn left to cross a wooden bridge.
90 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
Levee trail along Steinberger Slough
JAY JONES
Turning inland, you see two bridges and a radio tower. One bridge
crosses the lagoon again to residences and a small park. Instead, turn left to
stay on the main trail, crossing the other bridge to reach yet another trail
junction. Here a left turn takes you toward the bay a few hundred yards,
where the trail ends at a ramped overlook. The main trail leads right and continues
along the bay side of the channel, passing a radio station and the Fully
Alive Community Church. Buckled pavement here makes for a bumpy ride.
Passing behind businesses, the trail meets a sidewalk at Radio Road. To
the left is the South Bayside System Authority Wastewater Treatment Works,
and across the road is Shore Dogs dog park. There are no curb cuts; to get to
the park, follow the sidewalk to the first driveway and head into the street,
where a bike lane travels along the road and around the corner to the park
entrance. There is little automobile traffic here. At the park’s southern end,
pick up the trail between a fence and the parking lot (ignore the sign that says
there is no through access), and travel uphill to a junction on a levee. The
branch that heads east toward the bay ends at an overlook; the main trail continues
west, passing a large pickleweed marsh dominated by a long line of
electrical towers. The Dumbarton Bridge is on the horizon looking south.
S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 91
101
Belmont Slough
Steinberger Slough
Redwood Shores Pkwy.
Bridge Pkwy.
Shell Pkwy.
Mariner
Park
San Carlos
Airport
Redwood Shores
Lagoon
Redwood Shores
Lagoon
Wastewater
Treatment
Plant
Marine Pkwy.
Twin Dolphin Dr.
Island Pkwy.
Island Park
Ralston Ave.
Shore
Dogs Park
Oracle Pkwy.
GATE
GATE
Canvasback
Wy.
Shearwater
Pkwy.
Radio Rd.
To
Foster
City
P
P
P
P P
P
REDWOOD SHORES
Less than .5 mile from the junction, the trail surface changes to hardpacked
dirt and gravel.Continue another 1.5 miles inland along the north shore
of Steinberger Slough, passing several residential areas and Mariner Park.Across
the slough are the currently inaccessible Bair Islands (Inner,Middle, and Outer),
part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Just
beyond a large pond, the trail changes to pavement as it curves behind a daycare
center and a hotel toward the San Carlos County Airport, where it ends.You can
connect to the sidewalk to follow Twin Dolphin Dr. for about a mile to reach
Marine World Parkway and then Oracle Parkway, or retrace your steps.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 South, exit at Ralston Avenue. Stay
left to exit onto Marine Parkway and follow the curve,merging into the left
lane. Go left at Oracle Parkway and left at Island Parkway, then take an
immediate right into the small park.
PARKING Most of the accessible parking is in small lots along the first four
miles of trail. Four blue spaces are at the park on Island Parkway; on Shearwater
Parkway, one is near Monaco and one near Salt Court; one is on Canvasback
Way; two are on Radio Rd. by the Fully Alive Community Church;
and one serves Shore Dogs Park.
R E S TROOMS Only two accessible restrooms serve the entire length of the
trail, both within the first mile. One is at the park on Island Parkway, the
other at the southeastern end of Oracle Parkway, close to Marine Parkway.
Bayfront Park
HIGHWAY 101 MARSH ROAD EXIT, MENLO PARK
TH I S PA R K O F F E R S a long ride with
broad vistas of marshlands and the
bay. You will almost surely see shorebirds,
and may even glimpse a burrowing owl.
The grass-covered hills are crisscrossed by
dirt-and-gravel trails and paved roads, but the best route for wheelchair riders
is the paved and hard-packed dirt road that loops around the park’s perimeter
for two miles and is closed to motorized vehicles.
▼ ▼ ▼
92 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
650/330-2200
M7 am to a half-hour after
sunset
The perimeter road starts at the farthest end of the second parking lot.
Flood Slough is on your left and the Port of Redwood City is visible beyond
it. Straight ahead are the marshes of Greco Island, part of the San Francisco
Bay National Wildlife Refuge. As the road curves right it passes a decommissioned
sewage treatment plant that is now a methane recovery plant.
This park, like several others along the bay, was built on a former garbage
dump.Methane is extracted through an underground network of pipes, and
used to generate electricity. Veer left at the fork. The road—worn in places
and requiring careful navigation—follows the gentle arc of Westpoint
Slough eastward. At several points dirt trails lead into the park’s hilly interior.
As you head inland, you will see salt ponds on your left.
About 1.5 miles out from the parking lot, past the point where another
major trail heads right, stay on the road as it becomes a levee trail. A salt
pond is to the south and a tidal pond with three islands is to the north.You
will probably see shorebirds. A half-mile farther, the road curves right along
the park’s southern border for less than .5 mile to an old pumphouse (once
part of the salt ponds operation but no longer functioning) at the corner of
Marsh Road and Bayfront Expressway. From the roadside parking area here
you can ride along the park entry road to return to your starting point.
S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 93
Bayfront Park
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
I managed to navigate a few of the park’s interior trails in my power
wheelchair, but most are steep and rough, and many are unpaved.Wooden
gates at several trail entrances are only 27 or 29 inches wide.
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 101 at Marsh Rd. in Menlo Park and go
east toward the bay.Keep left, and where the road curves sharply right at the
junction of Marsh and Bayfront Expressway, continue straight on Marsh
into the park.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS On-street parking with no blue spaces is at the
park’s entrance. Farther in are two lots with blue spaces. Accessible restrooms
are in the first parking lot.
Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve
HIGHWAY 101 EMBARCADERO ROAD EXIT, PALO ALTO
TH I S C I TY PRE S ERVE , encompassing
nearly 2,000 acres, includes a duck
pond, tidal and freshwater marshes, and a
sailing station for windsurfers and handcarried,
non-motorized boats. Although
there is no easy access to the water for
wheelchair riders, the preserve is well
worth visiting,with its fine nature center,
an 850-foot boardwalk over a marsh, and reasonably accessible trails.
On entering the preserve on Embarcadero Road, turn left to the Palo
Alto Duck Pond, a bird refuge built from a former public swimming pool.
You can watch the ducks and geese from the benches along the water’s edge
and from the .7-mile paved and hard-packed dirt Duck Pond Loop Trail.At
the ranger station, where you can pick up a map from a mailbox on the
fence, the trail connects to a short loop surfaced with crushed shells that
leads to an accessible picnic area.
Another .25 mile down the road from the pond is the Lucy Evans Baylands
Nature Interpretive Center. Inside are displays about the wildlife you
might see at the preserve, and an ecology laboratory where visitors can prepare
their own slides and examine them under microscopes. The micro-
▼ ▼
94 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
650/329-2506
MPark: 8 am to sunset
Nature center: Tues.–Fri.,
2–5 pm; Sat.–Sun., 1–5 pm;
hours may be expanded
during the school year
scopes are on a 25-inch-high shelf, but a video microscope that projects slides
onto a monitor permits easier viewing. The center also offers videos, nature
walks, and a variety of natural history programs for children and adults.
On the wooden deck surrounding the nature center, use the low-mounted
telescope to zoom in on shorebirds and waterfowl. Informational panels fixed
to the rail tell you what you are seeing and what to look for. A four-foot-wide
boardwalk with benches and wide turnaround areas leads through Harriet
Mundy Marsh to an observation platform.The handrail,however, is at a seated
person’s eye level, forcing you to strain over it or scrunch down to see much.
The deck and boardwalk are open even when the nature center is closed.
From the nature center you can take a 3.2-mile loop beginning on the
San Francisquito Creek Trail, which leads out along a levee toward the Palo
Alto Airport and the Municipal Golf Course. The crushed-rock surface is
dusty but firm in dry weather; during the rainy season parts of the trail may
become impassable. About .25 mile out, the surface becomes rough, and
small rocks slow your travel. Three-quarters of a mile farther, near the north
end of the airport runway, the air traffic overhead can be startling. The trail
has a short,moderate incline just before turning inland along San Francisquito
Creek. Past the airport, it intersects with the paved Baylands Bike Trail
(still referred to as San Francisquito Creek Trail). Turn left and continue past
the golf course for .5 mile to the Baylands Athletic Center.
S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 95
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
To return to the nature center without doubling back, roll through the
athletic center parking lot and pick up the bike trail that runs alongside
Geng Road to Embarcadero Road. Cross Embarcadero and turn left to take
the bike path to the preserve entrance road, where you can connect to the
Marsh Front Trail, turning left to the nature center or right to Byxbee Park
and the Adobe Creek Trail system (see Byxbee Park, below).
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 101 on Embarcadero Rd. and take it east
toward the bay. Follow Embarcadero past the golf course to its end, and turn
left for the nature center or right for Byxbee Park.
PARKING The first lot on the entrance road has two blue spaces. Two lots
serving the Duck Pond have a total of three blue spaces. There are two more
blue spaces by the nature center and four at the end of the entrance road
near the sailing station.
R E S TROOMS The restrooms in the nature center allow a frontal transfer
only, and the stall is not deep enough to close the door.Opening the door to
the women’s room might require assistance. The restrooms at the Baylands
Athletic Center have good access.Accessible portable toilets are at the southwest
corner of the parking lot near the sailing station and between the two
lots at the Duck Pond.
▼ ▼ ▼
96 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
101
E. Bayshore Rd.
Faber Pl.
Geng Rd.
Embarcadero Rd.
San Francisquito
Creek
Harriet Mundy
Marsh
Lucy Evans
Nature Interpretive
Center
Sailing
Station
Duck
Pond
Palo Alto
Airport
Landfill
Flood Control
Basin Municipal
Golf Course
Adobe Creek
San Antonio Rd.
Adobe Creek
Loop Trail
Byxbee
Park
Baylands
Athletic Center
Mayfield Slough
Coast Casey
Forebay
Charleston
Slough
To
Shoreline at
Mountain
View
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
PALO ALTO BAYL ANDS AND BYXBEE PARK
Byxbee Park and Adobe Creek Trail
HIGHWAY 101 EMBARCADERO ROAD EXIT, PALO ALTO
IF YOU’ R E UP FOR a 5.6-mile trip you might try the Adobe Creek Trail,
which starts in 34-acre Byxbee Park and is almost all hard-packed dirt and
gravel. It loops around the large municipal flood control basin and several
marshes, running alongside Mayfield and Charleston Sloughs, and skirts the
edge of Shoreline at Mountain View. From there you return to Byxbee Park
via the bike path next to East Bayshore Road, rejoining the Adobe Creek
Trail just past Matadero Creek.
Built on part of Palo Alto’s still-operating landfill, Byxbee Park features
a site sculpture, “Pole Field,” and small mounds on the park’s grassy hilltop
are meant to symbolize Ohlone shellmounds while also providing some
wildlife habitat. Paths surfaced with crushed shells wind up and along the
hilltop. Some of these are accessible and others are too steep. From the hilltop
you can watch planes on their approach to the Palo Alto Airport and
look over Charleston Slough and acres of marshland. Further south you see
Shoreline Amphitheatre and the hangars at Moffett Field.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS One blue space is in the Byxbee Park lot. The lot
on Terminal Blvd. at the south end of the Adobe Creek Trail has two blue
spaces next to the trail entrance and three at the opposite end by Shoreline
at Mountain View.Accessible restrooms are at Byxbee Park and the trailhead
on Terminal Boulevard.
Shoreline at Mountain View
HIGHWAY 101 TERMINAL ROAD AND MOUNTAIN VIEW EXITS, MOUNTAIN VIEW
IN T H I S 750 -ACR E recreation area you can travel nearly eight miles of
trails, many of them along sloughs and marshes.You can also golf, boat on
the 50-acre saltwater lake, fly a kite, and eat at the restaurant or lakeside café.
At the restored, accessible Rengstorff House (ca. 1876), you can take a free
docent-led tour of one of the finest examples of Victorian Italianate architecture
remaining on the West Coast. The huge white tent of Shoreline
Amphitheatre, just outside the park, is visible from many parts of the park.

S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 97
Three locations with parking offer
good starting points for short strolls
around the lake or longer outings along
the salt ponds and marshes: Terminal
Boulevard on the northern boundary,
Shoreline Boathouse in the middle of the
park, and the lot at the kite-flying area in
the park’s southern section. I chose a long
route starting at the kite-flying lot.
Near the entrance to the lot, a paved trail connects to a service road
that leads southeast for about .25 mile past a gravel-surfaced overflow lot
for the amphitheater, passing a dog park on the right. At the first fork, stay
right to wind around the Crittenden Pump Station,where the trail dips and
then climbs to a fork. Turn left toward the bay and follow along the western
side of Stevens Creek Tidal Marsh, where egrets, herons, sandpipers, and
other shorebirds feed. After a few hundred feet you come to a bridge to the
paved Stevens Creek Trail. Here a right turn will take you south for more
than three miles along the creek and through marshlands to Yuba Drive
near El Camino Real and Highway 85. If you turn left toward the bay, you
The boathouse and saltwater lake at Shoreline at Mountain View LAWRENCE ROBBIN
650/903-6392
Shoreline Boathouse:
650/965-7474
Rengstorff House: 650/903-6392
MDawn to dusk
Rengstorff House tours:
Tues., Wed., and Sun.,
11 am–5 pm
travel for .5 mile to the paved trail’s end at a fenced levee and a large salt
pond. From here, go left on the wide dirt trail (impassable in wet weather)
that leads west along the shoreline to an intersection where you rejoin the
paved trail. A salt pond is on your right, while to the left are the undulating
human-built hills of a large former landfill,Meadowland, now habitat
for burrowing owls and other wildlife. Benches are along the trail.
The Shoreline Golf Links come into view as you near the restored Mountain
View Tidal Marsh. Veer left at the marsh to a viewing platform (steep
approach), where you can look for egrets and herons.You can then continue
around the marsh, traveling north toward the lake, or return to the kite-flying
lot via a trail alongside the park’s main entrance road. I chose to continue,
crossing Permanente Creek near its inlet into the marsh, and soon arrived in
the parking lot that serves the boathouse and lakeside café. The man-made
lake attracts small-boat sailors and windsurfers (rentals and classes available),
and plenty of birds. Both the dock and the beach launching area are accessible.
Lawns shaded by pine and willow slope down to the shore.
A paved trail leads north from the boathouse.Where it splits, stay left
to travel along the lakeshore. Past the sailing scow play structure, the trail
surface changes to decomposed granite. The trail ends on the lake’s northeastern
side. If you go right instead of left at the split, you travel toward the
bay alongside Mountain View Tidal Marsh. This trail veers left at the bay,
leading more than .5 mile along the shore of another large salt pond to the
Coast Casey Forebay, a flood control basin, and Charleston Slough. The
accessible viewing platform extending over the slough provides excellent
birding opportunities. From the platform you can extend your trip several
miles on the hard-packed dirt-and-gravel Adobe Creek Trail winding
through Palo Alto Baylands.
Continuing past the viewing platform, you arrive at the Terminal
Boulevard entrance to the park. I returned to the boathouse lot via the
paved service road that leads to the right out of this entrance. It cuts
through the middle of the golf course and crosses Permanente Creek after
.8 mile. On the other side of the bridge I turned left onto the Permanente
Creek Trail, which winds .25 mile back to the boathouse, running through
the parking lots for Michael’s Restaurant and the Rengstorff House. To
S AN MAT E O B R I D G E TO SOUTHERN B AY L A N D S 99
return to the kite-flying lot, stay on the service road after Permanente
Creek, past Vista Slope, a hilly open space with dirt-and-gravel trails, and
Shoreline Amphitheatre, both on your right.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 South, exit at Shoreline Blvd. and
turn left to cross the freeway to the park’s main entrance. From Highway 101
North, exit at Amphitheatre Parkway and turn left at Shoreline Boulevard.
For the Terminal Blvd. entrance, exit Highway 101 North at San Antonio
Rd., or Highway 101 South at the second San Antonio Rd. exit, take San
Antonio toward the bay to Terminal Blvd., and turn right.
PARKING Two blue spaces are in the lot serving the kite-flying area, six are
in the boathouse lot, eight are at both Michael’s Restaurant and the Golf
Links lot, two are at the Rengstorff House, and three are at the Terminal
Blvd. entrance.
RE S TROOMS An accessible portable toilet is in the kite-flying lot, and
accessible restrooms are at the boathouse and near the Terminal Blvd.
entrance.
▼ ▼ ▼
100 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
101
Stevens
Creek
Marsh
Stevens Creek
Amphitheatre
Rengstorff
House
Coast Casey
Forebay
Sailing Lake
Te
rminal Blvd.
Amphitheatre Pkwy.
San Antonio Rd.
Boat House
Stevens Creek
Trail
Crittenden
Pump Station
Kite Flying
Area
Mountain View
Tidal Marsh
N. Shoreline Blvd.
Permanente
Creek
Rengstorff Ave.
Garcia Ave.
P P
P
P
P
To
Adobe
Creek
Trail
SHORELINE AT MOUNTAIN VIEW
Sunnyvale Baylands Park
CARIBBEAN DRIVE OFF HIGHWAY 237
TH I S B R E E Z Y PA R K at the southernmost
end of the bay is a good place to
fly a kite, picnic, or look out over wetlands
where, depending on the season, you may
see hundreds of waterfowl and shorebirds.
The park’s easy one-mile perimeter trail
links four accessible children’s play areas,
accessible group and individual picnic areas, a large grass field, and a 100-footlong
wetland observation boardwalk. The 1.5-mile San Tomas Aquino Trail
takes off along the creek at the park’s eastern end, and seven miles of Bay Trail
on rough dirt levees let the adventurous wheelchair rider explore the sloughs
and former salt ponds of the South Bay.
You can access all trails from the roadside parking area at the park’s east
end, which you reach by following the park entry road to the right and continuing
to its end. The entrance to the level, smooth, decomposed-granite
perimeter trail is between the restroom and the one blue parking space. You
soon come to the Great Meadow, a large grass field on the left, which draws
kite flyers taking advantage of the frequently strong bay breezes. Stay right at
the fork to reach a viewing platform overlooking a 3.6-acre freshwater wetland
and then a long boardwalk that leads out into seasonal wetlands. Here the
cheers from crowds at the private baseball and softball complex on the park’s
western edge mingle with bird songs.
To reach both the Bay Trail and San Tomas Aquino Trail, take the paved
pedestrian/bicycle road that begins beyond a gate at the end of the same
EILEEN ECKLUND
Sunnyvale Baylands
408/730-7751
M6 am–9 pm
FEES $5 per vehicle,
May 1–Oct. 31
parking area. After about .25 mile you come to Calabazas Creek, where the
Bay Trail leads left; paved for a short distance out to a pump station, it
becomes hard-packed dirt and gravel and continues on dirt levees into the
bay’s sloughs. Go beyond Calabazas Creek on the pedestrian/bicycle road to
reach the paved San Tomas Aquino Trail, which leads about 2.75 miles
south along San Tomas Aquino Creek, passing under Highway 237 and
Great America Parkway and ending at Agnew Road; future construction
will extend the trail even further. The retaining walls of each of the four
underpasses along this section of trail feature concrete relief panels depicting
local nature scenes.
GETTING THE R E From I-880, take Highway 237 westbound; from Highway
101 take 237 east. Exit at Lawrence Expressway/Caribbean Dr., then
turn right into the park on Moffett Park Drive.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS As you enter the park, four blue spaces are in the
lots to your right or left, and three more are along the road to the parking
area on the park’s far eastern end, which has one blue space. One accessible
restroom is by the Discovery Play Area and one is in the group picnic area
next to the Great Meadow.
Don Edwards San Francisco
Bay National Wildlife Refuge
THE F I R S T AND LARGE S T urban national wildlife refuge in the United
States, the 30,000-acre Don Edwards refuge, not far from San Jose, provides
protection for a wide range of native birds and animals, including the salt
marsh harvest mouse and other endangered species. It’s also a safe haven for
vast numbers of birds traveling the Pacific Flyway. Trails lead along sloughs
and past salt ponds on San Francisco Bay that are being restored to a mix of
habitats.Visitor and education centers provide information about the refuge
and how to explore it.
▼ ▼
102 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
Environmental Education Center
and Mallard Slough Loop Trail
OFF HIGHWAY 237, ALVISO
ALTHOUGH SMALLER than the refuge’s main visitor center in Fremont,
the Environmental Education Center at the end of Grand Blvd. in
Alviso has excellent displays on the South Bay’s ecology and history. From
here you can take a boardwalk to the 5.5-mile Mallard Slough Loop Trail,
which begins as a fairly wide and level dirt levee path. Following the loop
clockwise from the boardwalk, the going gets tough about two miles out,
where the dirt surface changes to loosely packed gravel and plants crowd the
trail. If you can make it, though, the scenery is rewarding.Water is on both
sides of the trail, a fresh northwest wind skips off the bay, and the sounds of
birds fill the air. You are likely to see pintail ducks, whistling swans, American
avocets, hummingbirds, black-necked stilts, red-tailed hawks, and more.
As you round the halfway point on this trail and head back, traveling
should become a little easier, since the wind is typically at your back. The salt
ponds that shimmer on both sides of you provide habitat for a variety of
bird species. The Mallard Slough Loop is closed during hunting season, late
October to late January. If you want to do the loop in its entirety, be pre-
DON E DWA R D S S AN F R A N C I S CO B AY NAT I O N A L WI L D L I F E R E F U G E 103
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Environmental Education
Center: 408/262-5513
MThe refuge gate on Grand
Blvd. is open daily, 9 am–3 pm
(longer hours as staffing allows)
Environmental Education
Center: Sat.–Sun., 10 am–5
pm; Mon.–Fri. open only to
school groups by reservation
Trails: Sunrise to sunset
NOTE During rainy season,
trails in the refuge may be
impassable. Call ahead for
conditions.
104 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
pared for a day-long outing and for the many types of weather that can
develop in this exposed part of the bay.
GETTING THE R E From I-880 or Highway 101, exit on Highway 237
toward Alviso. Turn north onto Zanker Road. Continue on Zanker to the
Environmental Education Center entrance road (a sharp right turn at
Grand Blvd.). It is 2.1 miles from Highway 237 to the entrance road.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The center’s parking lot has four blue spaces. An
accessible portable toilet is in the parking lot. Restrooms inside the center are
accessible, but the doors into both the center and the restrooms are very heavy.
Visitor Center, Tidelands Loop
Trail,and Newark Slough Trail
HIGHWAY 84 THORNTON AVENUE EXIT, FREMONT
HIGH ABOVE TH E MARSH on one of two small hills near the Dumbarton
Bridge toll plaza in Fremont, the refuge’s visitor center offers
exhibits about endangered species and salt marshes, the area’s ecology and
history, and a salt pond scene with animal specimens. Outside, across the
service road, a viewing platform provides wide views of marshlands, salt
ponds, sloughs, and the bay. Depending on the season and the stage of salt
development, the water color ranges from green to mauve.West of the visitor
center, at the end of Marshlands Road, is an accessible fishing pier. The Bay
Trail runs nearby, crossing the approximately 1.5-mile Dumbarton Bridge to
San Mateo County.
The upper Tidelands Loop Trail (dirt and gravel) begins uphill from the
visitor center, but only a few hundred yards are accessible even to motorized
wheelchairs. At the first fork, follow the trail to the right around the hill’s
perimeter to a spur trail that leads left to a level, grassy viewing spot on the
hill’s east side, protected by a fence at the edge of a cliff. Here you can look
east to the Diablo Range and down on LaRiviere Marsh,with civilization lapping
at its shores.Retrace your path to the visitor center to avoid an extremely
steep downhill with rough trail conditions.
Downhill from the visitor center are trailheads for the Newark Slough
Trail and the lower section of the Tidelands Trail. Park in the main lot below
▼ ▼
the visitor center to avoid a steep service
road. Follow the sidewalk from the parking
lot and cross the service road. The
gravel and hard-packed dirt trail travels a
few hundred feet downhill to a trail junction
and an accessible picnic area overlooking
the marsh. Traffic noise from Highway 84 disturbs this otherwise
peaceful setting.
For the most accessible route, take the Tidelands Trail to the right. Soon
you pass a side trail to the Newark Slough Learning Center, then cross an
accessible, long,wooden bridge over Newark Slough to the junction with the
Newark Slough Trail, and another picnic area with accessible tables. Traveling
in either direction, this 5.2-mile dirt levee trail follows the curving path
of Newark Slough around salt ponds and tidal marshes. I followed the trail
to the right, where muddy conditions limited me to approximately two
miles round-trip. Refuge staff advised me that overgrown vegetation and
narrow dirt passages prevent making the full loop. If you take the Newark
Slough Trail to the left .25 mile from the junction, you come to another
accessible wooden bridge; cross it and travel uphill to connect with the lower
Tidelands Trail.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 84, exit at Thornton Avenue. Go south
on Thornton and turn right on Marshlands Road. For the visitor center and
Newark Slough and Tidelands trails, turn left into the main parking lot, or
continue to the end to reach the fishing pier.

510/792-0222
MTue.–Sun., 10 am–5 pm
Trails: Daily spring through fall,
7 am–8 pm; winter, 7 am–6 pm
Newark Slough
EILEEN ECKLUND
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces are in the parking lot on Marshlands
Rd., three are in the main lot below the visitor center, one is up the service road
next to the visitor center, and three are on Marshlands Rd. by the fishing pier.
The restrooms in the visitor center have some accessible features, including
wide stalls, raised toilets, roll-under sink, and grab bars that have a large gap
between the wall and bar.There are no lever handles on the door or faucets, the
stall is not deep enough to close the door, and the towel dispenser is high.There
is an accessible portable toilet halfway out the fishing pier and another by the
picnic tables and overlook at the start of the lower Tidelands Trail.
Coyote Hills
Regional Park and
Alameda Creek Trail
AT COYOTE HILL S REGIONAL PARK you can learn more about the early
inhabitants of the Bay at a reconstructed Ohlone village and shellmound, or
cruise several miles of paved trail with spectacular views of the South Bay
salt ponds, East Bay hills, and Alameda Creek. Two trails, one paved, follow
the banks of Alameda Creek for 12 miles from Niles Canyon to the Bay,with
opportunities for fishing and picnicking along the way.
Coyote Hills Regional Park
HIGHWAY 84 PASEO PADRE PARKWAY EXIT, NEWARK
AM O N G T H E M E A D OWS, marshes, and rocky hills, and along miles
of trails in this nearly 1,000-acre bayside park, you can get a sense of
how people lived on the eastern shore of the bay before Europeans arrived
and changed the landscape. At the visitor center (end of Patterson Ranch
Road), you will see a tule boat built by park staff and volunteers using traditional
native methods. Exhibits portray aspects of Ohlone life. Guided
tours are available to a shellmound and a reconstructed tule house, shade

106 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
shelter, dance circle, and sweat lodge. Pick up a schedule for tours and a
trail map.
Flower gardens surrounding the visitor center attract hummingbirds,
and off to one side is a fenced butterfly garden, open the second Saturday of
each month.Accessible picnic tables are nearby. From the visitor center you
can explore the park’s fresh and saltwater marshes by following the accessible
boardwalk across Patterson Ranch Road.
For a longer outing, turn left after exiting the visitor center and roll to the
end of Patterson Ranch Road to reach the paved Bayview Trail. This exhilarating
three-mile paved loop has several steep ups and downs—challenging
for manual wheelchair riders—as it traverses the park’s hills, offering spectacular
views of the South Bay’s diked salt ponds, Alameda Creek, and the
East Bay hills. At the first trail junction, .25 mile from the visitor center, the
hard-packed-dirt and gravel Lizard Rock Trail leads inland about .25 mile to
the network of marsh trails.At the second junction, another .5 mile along at
the northern tip of the Bayview loop, you can follow the paved side trail
down the hill to the Alameda Creek Trail, which leads 1.37 miles toward the
bay or inland 10.5 miles along Alameda Creek (see Alameda Creek Trail,
below). If you choose to go toward the bay, you’ll see up close the salt ponds
and marshes, now all part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National
Wildlife Refuge. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, currently
under way, aims to restore 15,100 acres of salt ponds to natural wetlands.
Watch out for goose droppings on the last .5 mile of the Alameda Creek Trail
as you roll toward the bay.
The Main Marsh, Coyote Hills Regional Park
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Returning to the Bayview Trail, I continued south. This stretch of trail was
my favorite; it hugs the hillside 100 feet above the bay, and I felt closer to the
landscape and the elements here. There is no guardrail along this section with
a cross slope, but it’s a comfortable five feet wide. For the next 1.5 miles, layered
outcroppings of reddish rock tell of geologic upheaval, grasses rustle in the
wind, and hikers climbing the park’s interior hills appear as tiny moving specks.
As you round the southern end of the loop, you pass junctions for the
No Name Trail, which quickly becomes inaccessible, and the Apay Way Trail,
which becomes very steep about 1.25 miles out. I stayed on the Bayview
Trail, which climbs a short, moderately steep hill, passes a junction with
more inaccessible side trails, then curves north and runs along the eastern
side of the hills, where California sagebrush is the dominant shrub. The
Dairy Glen campground, on your right, is dirt, with accessible picnic tables
but inaccessible restrooms. A quarter-mile past the campground is the
Quarry Staging Area. Continue past the parking lot, cross Patterson Ranch
Road, and turn left, returning to the visitor center on the paved .25-mile
path that parallels the road.
Across Patterson Ranch Road from the visitor center is the 800-foot
boardwalk that passes through the Main Marsh and becomes the dirt-andgravel
Chochenyo Trail, which leads out to the Ohlone Village and then loops
back around the main marsh to Patterson Ranch Road. Some manual wheelchair
users may require assistance with a short slope onto the boardwalk that
takes you around ponds that are busy with waterfowl.Tules and cattails grow
tall and thick, turning from green to gold with the seasons. Being so close to
the water, with the grasses obscuring everything except the sky, gave me the
sensation of floating along with the many white pelicans I saw.
Looking south on the Bayview Trail
DAN HILL
On the north end of the boardwalk, at
the first junction,where the Muskrat Trail
leads right, veer left to continue toward the
Ohlone Village. At the next junction stay
right to roll .25 mile to the Ohlone Village.
You can catch glimpses of the village
through the fence; for a closer view, you
can join a docent-led tour.Built on a shellmound—
a large pile of shells found near
villages where shellfish were a staple—the village structures include a hut
made of tule, a sweathouse, a shaded arbor for cooking, a dance circle, and a
pit house dug into the earth.Return to the visitor center via the boardwalk (.5
mile) or loop back around the Main Marsh on the Chochenyo Trail (.7 mile),
which intersects Patterson Ranch Road near the boardwalk. A gate on the trail
before the road allowed just enough space on either side for me to maneuver
around in my power wheelchair.
COYOT E H I L L S R E G I O N A L PA R K AND A L AMEDA C R E E K T R A I L 109
84
Patterson
Ranch Rd.
Paseo Padre Pkwy.
Pedestrian
Overpass
Don Edwards
San Francisco Bay
National
Wildlife Refuge
Bayview Trail
Dairy Glen
Main Marsh
Alameda Creek Tr
ai
l
TOLL
PL
AZA
ENTRY
KIOSK
Ohlone
Village
South
Marsh
DUST
Marsh
Quarry
Staging
Apay Way
Trail
P
To
Bay
To
Beard
Staging
COYOTE HILL S REGIONAL PARK
510/795-9385
MApril–Oct., 8 am–8 pm;
Oct.–April, 8 am–6 pm,
unless posted otherwise
FEES $5 per vehicle, $2 per dog
Ticket machine at the entrance
requires manual dexterity.
GETTING THE R E Take I-880 to Newark and exit at Highway 84, heading
west toward the Dumbarton Bridge. Exit at Paseo Padre Parkway, turn right,
then left onto Patterson Ranch Road.
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS There are two blue spaces at the visitor center,
none at the Quarry Staging Area.Accessible portable toilets are in the visitor
center parking lot and the Quarry Staging Area. The restrooms in the visitor
center are accessible except that the short stall size doesn’t allow the door to
be closed behind a wheelchair and requires a frontal transfer, the towel dispensers
are high, and there’s a tight entry turn into the men’s room.
Alameda Creek Trail
OFF OLD CANYON ROAD, FREMONT
TH I S 12- M I LE TR A I L along Alameda
Creek from Niles Canyon to the bay
attracts bicyclists, skaters, runners, and
equestrians. Floods in 1955 and 1958
prompted the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers to redirect and widen the creek
as a channel to the bay; the trail, on levees along both banks, was completed
in 1973. The trail on the creek’s southern bank is paved; the one on the
northern bank is hard-packed gravel and is intended for horses as well as
bicycles and pedestrians.
The trails begin in the east at Niles Staging Area, where the creek runs over
a rocky bed and people picnic or fish from willow-shaded banks. (Note that
fishing on Alameda Creek is prohibited west of here. A state fishing license is
required to fish in all East Bay Regional Parks, and in posted areas a special permit
is also required.) Following the creek downstream on the southern trail,
you pass under Mission Blvd. and, .75 mile further, pass the Alameda County
Water District’s three rubber cofferdams. Inflated year-round except during
storms, these dams transform the creek into a series of long ponds. In the dry
season, they reduce the creek’s flow to a trickle, leaving the exposed streambed
covered with cattails. A little farther on, the trail is partially shaded by locust,
pepper, pine, and eucalyptus trees, and a few coast live oaks, sycamores, and ▼

110 SOUTH B AY S H O R E
510/790-2612; www.ebparks.org
M5 am–10 pm
cottonwoods.Wherever the trail passes under a road you will encounter steep
slopes that may be challenging for manual wheelchair users.
Sequoia Bridge spans the creek 2.25 miles from Niles Staging Area, providing
access to the northern trail and Isherwood Staging Area. If you
choose to start your trip from this staging area, it’s best to head upstream to
Sequoia Bridge and cross to the southern trail before heading west. The
automobile bridge on Isherwood Way has no curb cuts, and the surface of
the northern trail makes for a very bumpy wheelchair ride. Continuing on
the southern trail, you pass residential backyards for the next two miles
before coming to the Beard Staging Area, the last stopping place with amenities
before you reach Coyote Hills Regional Park, another four miles down
the trail. This staging area has picnic grounds and a shaded lawn. If you look
across the channel you will see the floodgate that leads to the former natural
creek. The channel widens here, and the trail passes through farmland
and alongside the marshes of Coyote Hills Regional Park. The junction leading
to Coyote Hills is less than 1.5 miles from the bay.
GETTING THERE For Niles Staging Area, exit I-880 South at Decoto Rd. in
Fremont. Go east about one mile on Decoto, turn right onto Paseo Padre
Parkway, follow it for 1.2 miles, and turn left onto Peralta Blvd. (Highway
84), which becomes Mowry Ave., which you follow for 1.8 miles. Turn left
onto Mission Blvd., right at the first signal on Niles Canyon Rd., and right to
cross the bridge on Old Canyon Rd.Niles Staging Area is down a steep driveway
on the left.
PARKING Three staging areas for the southern trail—Isherwood, Niles,
and Beard—have two, one, and one blue spaces, respectively.
RESTROOMS Niles and Isherwood Staging Area parking lots each have one
accessible portable toilet.At Beard, the accessible portable toilet’s concrete pad
has a four-inch lip. An accessible portable restroom is near the Model
Mariners boat club, 1.25 miles west of Niles Staging Area on the southern trail.
▼ ▼ ▼
COYOT E H I L L S R E G I O N A L PA R K AND A L AMEDA C R E E K T R A I L 111
92
80
80
580
580
880
24
80
Miller/Knox
Regional Shoreline
Ferry Pt.
Point Isabel
Regional Shoreline
Albany Mudflats
Ecological Preserve
University Ave.
Powell St.
Union Pt. Park
Shoreline Park
Estuary Park
Jack London
Square
Lake
Merritt
Albany Bulb
Pt. Emery
Emeryville
Marina Park
San Francisco-Oakland
Bay Bridge
San Mateo Bridge
Port View Park
Middle Harbor
Shoreline Park
Robert Crown
Memorial State Beach
Martin Luther King Jr.
Regional Shoreline
Bay Farm
Island
Marina Bay Park
César Chávez Park
Berkeley Marina
Harbor Bay
Ferry Terminal
Oyster Bay
Regional Shoreline
Hayward
Regional Shoreline
W.
Winton Ave.
San Leandro Marina
MarinaBlvd.
EAST
BAY SHORE
Alameda Ferry Terminal
Oakland Ferry Terminal
East Bay Shore
NORTH OF DUMBARTON BRIDGE , the eastern edge of
the Bay presents many different faces to the visitor.
Near Hayward, the Bay Trail winds on dirt levees through a narrow
band of restored marshlands, formerly salt ponds. Further
north, marinas and parks are interspersed among industrial
areas, the airport and port of Oakland, and commercial and residential
neighborhoods. Past the Bay Bridge, the new Eastshore
State Park is emerging along the waterfronts of Emeryville,
Berkeley, and Richmond. You will also find several marinas and
dozens of smaller parks in these three cities.
The East Bay shoreline is undergoing
a renaissance: marshes are being
restored and former landfills are being
shaped into new parks. In Oakland,
Albany, and elsewhere, a fierce struggle
is under way among those who
want public open space and parks and
those who favor residential and commercial
development.
Hayward Regional Shoreline is home
to hundreds of species of birds and
other wildlife.
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Hayward and San Leandro
ALONG THIS S T RETCH OF SHORELINE , the Bay Trail extends for seven miles
from the marshes and creeks of Hayward Regional Shoreline, habitat to hundreds
of species of birds and other wildlife, to the San Leandro Marina, with
its popular park and jogging course. There is no shade along the way, so bring
a hat. The shoreline trail is accessible with a power wheelchair, but some graveled
areas may be problematic with a manual wheelchair. The trail has four
entry points.
Hayward Regional Shoreline Interpretive
Center to West Winton Avenue
OFF HIGHWAY 92 NEAR THE EAST END OF THE SAN MATEO BRIDGE
JUST NORTH OF the San Mateo Bridge, a wooden building on stilts houses
the Shoreline Interpretive Center (open weekends only), a good place to
start your trip. You can get a sense of the natural environment by studying a
large map and exploring exhibits and materials there; interactive exhibits
accommodate both seated and standing users. Local fish and invertebrates
are displayed in several aquaria.You can also borrow binoculars here to take
out on the trail.
From the interpretive center, a wide wooden ramp leads to a hardpacked
dirt trail heading north. The next access point to this trail is at West
Winton Avenue, 2.5 miles away; the others are at Grant Avenue and the San
Leandro Marina. You travel on a levee through mud flats and cross several
wooden bridges. The one near Johnson’s Landing has a short, steep
approach that might be difficult for someone in a manual wheelchair without
assistance. It was no problem for me in my power wheelchair.
Changes in the weather can alter this shoreline dramatically. Sometimes
cold, fierce winds blow and the water is gray; at other times it ripples and
HAYWA R D AND S AN L E A N D RO 115
glints in the sun.You can take a long ride, watching the light change the look
of the Oakland and San Francisco skylines.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 92 East just east of the San Mateo
Bridge, exit at Clawiter Road. At the foot of the ramp, turn left onto Clawiter,
cross over the freeway, then turn left on Breakwater Avenue. Follow
signs along Breakwater to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center. From
Highway 92 West, exit at Clawiter, then go straight across Clawiter to Breakwater
and turn left. See below for other entrances to the shoreline.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Three blue spaces are in front of the interpretive
center.The restrooms in the center (available only when it is open) are spacious
and accessible. An accessible portable toilet at the trail’s start on Breakwater
Ave. has a gravel approach that is difficult to negotiate. The next accessible public
restrooms on the shoreline are seven miles away at the San Leandro Marina.
West Winton Avenue to Grant Avenue
I-880 WEST WINTON AVENUE EXIT
AT THE WE S T WINTON AVENUE ENTRY, two paths, one on each side of
a flood-control channel, lead .5 mile west to the shoreline levee trail and
Hayward’s Landing, a former docking area for ships transporting salt from the
nearby evaporation ponds. The entrance gates for both paths require a tight
90-degree turn that may be difficult for some wheelchair riders to negotiate.
The trailhead for the paved northern path is just outside the park entrance;
the southern trail, which leaves from the parking lot, is dirt and has a short
▼ ▼
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
510/783-1066
Interpretive center:
510/670-7270
MShoreline: 5 am–10 pm,
gates 8 am–5 pm
Interpretive center:
Sat.–Sun., 10 am–5 pm
downhill run.Grasses along these trails are tall and thick in spring, and at the
shoreline green and red pickleweed tangles with orange marsh dodder.
Heading north from Hayward’s Landing on the shoreline trail, a small
hill demands some effort, and sections with thick gravel may be impassable
in a manual wheelchair without assistance—even my power chair had some
difficulty. It’s 2.25 miles from Hayward’s Landing to Grant Avenue.
GETTING THE R E Exit I-880 at West Winton Ave. and go west to the parking
lot at the end.
PARKING No blue spaces are available at the West Winton Ave. southern
trail entrance, but plenty of paved spaces are in the lot. On-street parking at
the northern trail entrance just outside the park’s gate is limited.
Grant Avenue to San Leandro Marina
I-880 WASHINGTON AVENUE EXIT
AC C E S S T HE TR A I L at the Grant Avenue entry by following a paved
path from the parking lot around a locked service gate and parallel to
San Lorenzo Creek to connect to the paved trail leading to the San Leandro
Marina. On the far side of the pedestrian bridge over the creek, a tight 90-
degree turn around a gate may be difficult to negotiate. Turn right to head
inland on the other side of the creek, then left alongside a condominium
development. The next .5 mile, called the Heron Bay Trail, passes a 406-acre
restored salt marsh at Roberts Landing, once a major shipping point for
Alameda County. Interpretive panels describe local plants and wildlife. You
cross one more pedestrian bridge as the trail heads west again to skirt the
shoreline.Approaching Marina Park from the south, the bay is on your left,
its waves lapping against riprap; on your right is the Tony Lema Golf Course.
▼ ▼
Hayward Regional Shoreline
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
GETTING THE R E Exit I-880 at Washington Ave. and go southwest to
Grant Avenue.Turn right and follow Grant to the parking lot, on the right side
of the road just before it deadends.
PARKING The parking lot has two blue spaces.
San Leandro Marina and Park
I-880 MARINA BOULEVARD WEST EXIT
IN CONT R A ST TO the solitude I experienced on the shoreline trail from Hayward,
I found hordes of pedestrians,windsurfers, and fishers at the San Leandro
Marina’s park and picnic areas.Marina Park, the large recreation area south
of the marina, has a smooth 1.5-mile paved loop trail and parcourse—with exercises
for wheelchair riders—that starts near the southern parking lot and leads
out on a peninsula to Faro Point. On the inland side, people fish from the pier
and throw Frisbees, play ball, and fly kites on the large grass field. A paved path
connects paved picnic table and barbecue areas and children’s playgrounds.
To reach the marina from the park, follow the sidewalk northward along
Monarch Bay Drive to a parking lot at the beginning of Pescador Point Drive.
▼ ▼
HAYWA R D AND S AN L E A N D RO 117
To
Hayward
Regional Shoreline
San Leandro
Yacht Club
Pescador Pt. Dr.
Monarch Bay Dr.
Faro
Pt.
Marina
Park
Mulford Pt. Dr.
Horatio’s Restaurant
Marina
Golf Course
Exercise
Course
Marina Inn
El Torito Restaurant
PUBLIC
PIER
PUBLIC
OBSERVATION
PIER
PUBLIC
PIER
PUBLIC
BOAT
LAUNCH
P
P
P
P
P
SAN LEANDRO MARINA AND PARK
There a small-craft launching dock with
a steep wooden ramp leads down to a
floating pier. Although more than an
eight-degree (1:12) slope, the ramp is
usable, with nearly flat transitions to the
path and pier; it’s the best spot in the area
to get close to the water. A sidewalk near the restrooms in the boat launch parking
lot leads out along Pescador Point Drive toward the point, to a small picnic
area with barbecue grills and tables encircled by a paved path with benches.
Thick grass around the picnic table pads makes traveling to them a challenge.
Heading inland again along Pescador Point Drive, you come to a paved
path that leads north behind the Marina Inn to Mulford Point Drive, then
west along the drive, traveling between boat slips and parking areas and ending
in a small park on Mulford Point, the marina’s other peninsula. Facing the
parking lot, a tiled mosaic wall depicts the oystermen who once operated here.
GETTING THERE From I-880, take Marina Blvd.West to Monarch Bay Dr.
and follow it to the left. Turn right into the Marina or stay straight to enter
Marina Park.
PARKING Marina Park’s south lot has four blue spaces and the north has
three. The lot by the boat launch has two blue spaces for boats. The parking
areas along Pescador Point Dr. have ten spaces (most with no side aisles) and
those along Mulford Point Dr. have 13.
▼ ▼
118 E A S T B AY S H O R E
San Leandro Marina
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Marina Park: 510/577-3462
Marina: 510/357-7447
MMarina Park: Dawn to dusk;
restrooms, 9 am–8 pm
RE S TROOMS Two good accessible restrooms are near each of the playgrounds
at the north and south ends of Marina Park. One accessible restroom—
no stall doors and narrow sink aisle—is in the boat launch parking
lot and two are on Mulford Point Dr., one near Berth F-E and the other west
of the peninsula’s bend, near Berth A.
Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline
I-880 MARINA BOULEVARD WEST EXIT
TH I S 1 9 6 - A C RE BA Y S I D E P A R K is peaceful, despite the proximity
of Oakland International Airport. As you travel along the paved 1.5-
mile shoreline trail, birdsong and the sound of water lapping against riprap
draw your attention. In late spring, painted lady and swallowtail butterflies
frequent the mustard and fennel growing on the hillsides. Across the bay is
San Bruno Mountain; to the south you see the Coyote Hills and the San
Mateo Bridge.
From the trailhead at Neptune Drive, the trail leads left and climbs a long,
gentle hill. To reach the picnic areas, take the side trail at the first fork. Check
out Roger Berry’s metal sculpture “Rising Wave” at the end of this side trail.
Continuing on the main shoreline trail, you will see the San Leandro Marina
and the airport’s control tower. The trail runs along a wire fence and curves
inland toward a small bay separating the park peninsula from the airport, and
ends shortly at a gravel road.You will need to return the way you came.
GETTING THE R E From I-880, exit at
Marina Blvd. West. Turn right on Neptune
Dr. a few hundred feet before the San
Leandro Marina.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Street parking is
on Neptune Drive. One accessible
portable toilet without a sink is in the first
picnic area.
▼ ▼

HAYWA R D AND S AN L E A N D RO 119
Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Lake Merritt
EILEEN ECKLUND
Alameda and Oakland
F EW LONGT I ME BAY A R EA RE S I D E N T S know much about the Alameda
and Oakland shorelines and not many visitors explore them, yet there is
much to discover. In Alameda you will find stately Victorian houses and the
Bay Area’s largest beach, while in Oakland, the 19-mile stretch of waterfront
between the airport and the foot of the Bay Bridge offers surprising vistas
and includes several parks, marinas, industry, and the fourth-busiest port in
the United States. At the foot of Broadway, looking out on Alameda, is Jack
London Square,with restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and historic attractions.
Wetlands are being restored on the north and south ends of the city’s waterfronts,
new parks are planned, and work is under way to provide continuous
shoreline pedestrian access from Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline
to Jack London Square.
Bay Farm Island to Crown Beach
BAY FARM I S LAND is actually part
of a peninsula shared by Oakland
International Airport and the Harbor
Bay Island development, which includes
luxury homes and a business district.
Shoreline Park lies along the northern waterfront. The former island, which
once was farmed, has been expanded and linked to the mainland by fill. A
six-mile loop trail, part of the Bay Trail, offers views of San Francisco and
Mount Tamalpais. The 2.5-mile paved stretch through Shoreline Park from
the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal to Bill Osborne Model Airplane Field, with
picnic areas along the way, is popular with joggers, cyclists, and rollerbladers.
Starting at the ferry terminal and facing the bay, turn right to travel
northwest. Rounding the peninsula’s northern tip, you can look across San
Leandro Bay to some of Alameda’s older neighborhoods,with streets shaded
by tall sycamores. Farther east is a small lawn with picnic tables.At the Harbor
Bay Club you can take a side trip, following the sidewalk inland to a
neighborhood where paved paths run alongside canals. Back on the main
trail, you pass under the Bay Farm Island Bridge and head up a steep incline.
From here you can either continue .5 mile to the model airplane field or turn
left to cross San Leandro Bay on the Bay Farm Island Bicycle Bridge. It leads
to Alameda’s Towata Park. From there, follow the sidewalk for a short distance
to the Tiny Tots Preschool, then pick up a paved path leading left to the
paved shoreline trail.Where it ends, follow Bayview Drive, go left on Broadway,
then right on Shoreline Drive for less than one-eighth of a mile to reach
the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary in Robert W.Crown Memorial State Beach.
GETTING THE R E Exit I-80 at High Street. Take High St. west across the
bridge over the Oakland Estuary to Alameda. Turn left on Otis Drive. After
crossing the Bay Farm Island Bridge, stay right onto Island Drive. Turn right
on Mecartney Road. The ferry terminal is at the intersection of Mecartney
and Harbor Bay Parkway.
PARKING The Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal has six blue spaces. On-street
parking is at Shoreline Park’s Veterans Court entrance on the northwestern
▼ ▼
Ferry service between
San Francisco and Bay Farm
Island during commute
hours only: 510/769-5172
A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 121
side of the Bay Farm Island Bridge, as well as along the length of the trail.
One blue space on Bridgeview Isle serves Towata Park. One blue space is in
the model airplane field lot off Doolittle Drive.
RE S TROOMS Four accessible restrooms are along the trail north of the
ferry terminal, two are on Sea View Parkway, one is at Brunswick Way, and
one is at Old Castle Lane. The accessible restroom at the ferry terminal has
no stall doors.
Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach
CENTRAL AVENUE OR SHORELINE DRIVE, ALAMEDA
THE I S LAND OF ALAMEDA has the bay’s largest and warmest beach,with
shallow water and tiny waves. Crown Memorial, also known locally as
Alameda Beach, is a wonderful place for strolling or picnics, with easy
wheelchair access along its entire length. Many families come here. The
park’s many programs for the public include nature walks, free evening concerts,
and an annual sandcastle contest.
The beach has three contiguous areas with a flat, paved 2.5-mile trail
running the entire length. One area is Crab Cove, at the northwestern end.
Here at low tide you can use a concrete ramp to take you in close to tidepools.
You may find yourself at touching distance from limpets and barnacles.
The base of the ramp is submerged at high tide. At low tide shorebirds
feed in the exposed mudflats; at high tide look for grebes and pelicans on the

122 E A S T B AY S H O R E
DAN ROBBIN
water or above. The visitor center has a 700-gallon tank exhibiting local
marine life and other displays related to the local ecology.Crab Cove also has
an accessible overlook at the freshwater lagoon and large grassy picnic
grounds with barbecue grills.
From Crab Cove it’s an easy .25 mile to the main beach and 2.5 miles to
the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary on the paved shoreline trail. There are
plenty of picnic areas on the grass near the beach.No accessible trails lead to
the water, but the park may have a beach wheelchair available; check with
staff. The bird sanctuary is at the east end of the beach, on Shoreline Drive,
between Park Street and Broadway. You can cruise there from the main
beach or drive down and park on the street.Watch the avian action from the
paved trails and boardwalk overlook.
GETTING THE R E On Webster St. in downtown Oakland, take the Oakland/
Alameda Tube running under the Oakland Estuary.Continue through
Alameda on Webster St. until it dead-ends at Central Avenue. For Crab
Cove, turn right onto Central, then left into the park just after the Fosters

A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 123
Elsie Roemer
Bird Sanctuary
Shoreline Dr.
Otis Dr.
Central Ave.
CrabCove
Marine
Reserve
Broadway
Park St.
To
Bay Farm
Island
Marsh
Overlook
Bathhouse
Main Beach
Tidal
Ramp
McKay
Ave.
Webster St.
Grand St.
Westline Dr.
8th St.
Willow St.
City View
P
P
P
P
ROBERT W. CROWN MEMORIAL S TATE BEACH
Freeze. For the main beach and bird sanctuary, turn left on Central and right
on Eighth St., which first becomes Westline Dr. and then Shoreline Drive.
PARKING Three lots at the park entrance at Otis Dr. and Westline Dr. serve
the beach. The lot closest to the entrance has seven blue spaces, none with
access aisles. The other two lots each have two blue spaces next to the restrooms.
Two blue spaces are next to the Crab Cove Visitor Center. For the
bird sanctuary, four blue spaces are in front of the Sushi House where Park
St. intersects with Shoreline Dr., and two on-street blue spaces are at the
southern end of Shoreline Dr.
RESTROOMS Spacious, accessible restrooms are in the parking lots at the
park entrance and at the main beach bathhouse. Old, undersized accessible
restrooms are at Crab Cove Visitor Center.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline
I-880 HEGENBERGER ROAD EXIT, OAKLAND
DE S P I T E I T S P ROX I M I T Y to industry and a major airport, this 1,200-
acre waterfront park has lots of wildlife.Cruising along miles of level,
paved trails, you have a good chance of seeing egrets, black-bellied plovers,
mallards, and hawks. Large lawns and several picnic areas invite you to
▼ ▼
124 E A S T B AY S H O R E
Tidepool ramp at Crown Beach
510/521-6887; www.ebparks.org
MBeach gates:
March–Oct., 8 am–8 pm;
Nov.–Feb., 8 am–6 pm;
Crab Cove visitor center:
Wed.–Sun., 10 am–4:30 pm
FEES Main beach parking:
$5 when kiosk is attended
Dogs: $2 each (not allowed
on beach)
RESERVATIONS Group picnic:
510/636-1684
NELIA FOREST
pause and take in views of Oakland and Alameda, and San Francisco across
the water.
Of the several entry points, the main one, off Swan Way, offers the easiest
access to most of the park’s features. The parking area on your right has blue
spaces only. Start here and travel northeast .5 mile on a wide, paved trail, traversing
open grasslands to Arrowhead Marsh, a 50-acre salt marsh that is a
stopover for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.You may also drive farther
into the park and start your excursion from the lot next to Arrowhead Marsh.
Roll up the long and gradual ramp to a wooden building that has a viewing
deck overlooking the marsh. Interpretive panels tell of the bay’s shrinking wetlands
and efforts to restore them. Nearby is a large lawn with group picnic
areas, two fiberglass whale sculptures, and Roger Berry’s “Duplex Cone”sculpture,
which shows the sun’s high summer path and low winter path.
On the shoreline just west of the observation building is a short boardwalk
with four-inch protective ledges. Only slightly elevated above the cordgrass
and pickleweed, it provides close views of the marsh. You might see
American avocets, black-necked stilts, pintail and cinnamon teal ducks, and
perhaps even an endangered California clapper rail. A three-inch lip onto
the boardwalk may be problematic for some wheelchair riders.
From the boardwalk you can travel south for about a mile along Airport
Channel, an arm of San Leandro Bay, on the paved Arrowhead Marsh Trail.
A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 125
880
Doolittle Dr.
To
San Leandro
To
Oakland
Swan Wy.
MLK, Jr.
Grove
Zhone Wy.
Hegenberger Rd.
Edgewater Dr.
Elmhurst
Crk.
Oakport St.
San Leandro Bay
San Leandro Creek
East Creek
Slough
Garretson Pt.
East Creek Pt.
Airport Channel
Arrowhead
Marsh
Damon
Slough
P P
BOAT
LAUNCH
P
P
P P
P
P
P
P
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. REGIONAL SHORELINE
This trail ends at Doolittle Drive, where
the lack of sidewalks prevents you from
traveling .5 mile more to the park’s
smaller western side.You will need a car if
you want to visit that area, which has a
boat launch, a fishing pier with one step, a
small sandy beach, three group picnic areas, and the accessible Shoreline
Conference Center and Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center.
The Arrowhead Marsh Trail also runs east from the boardwalk to San
Leandro Creek. From here you can follow a 1.75-mile paved loop along
parallel paths on each side of the creek, crossing over the creek on Hegenberger
Road, or you can skip the loop and turn left at the mouth of the
creek to cross the bridge there. Along the San Leandro Creek loop trail, I
was mystified by shell fragments covering the ground until I saw a seagull
drop a mussel onto the pavement from 15 feet above. The shell shattered on
impact, and the gull descended to pick up its meal. Sharp shell fragments
on the trail could present a problem for pneumatic tires in these areas.
From the mouth of San Leandro Creek, roll northeast, alongside
Elmhurst Creek, for less than .25 mile and turn left across another bridge
near the Elmhurst Creek staging area. This is the beginning of the paved
Garretson Point Trail, which leads .75 mile along the shoreline and is lined
with exercise stations, picnic tables, and benches.You might see some trash
and debris in the mudflats of San Leandro Bay at low tide, but that does not
mean they are forgotten. Extensive salt marsh restoration work is under
way in this area. By late 2005, 71 acres near Arrowhead Marsh had already
been restored. North of Garretson Point, the trail crosses Damon Slough.
Now called the Damon Marsh Trail, it passes through a wildlife sanctuary
and then hugs the shoreline, crossing East Creek Slough after about .75
mile. The trail enters an industrial area as it curves toward East Creek Point.
Stacks of empty cargo containers tower above you. Benches await you on
the point. The trail ends less than .25 mile away at Tidewater Avenue.
GETTING THE R E From I-880 in Oakland, take Hegenberger Rd. west
toward the airport. Turn right on Doolittle Dr. (Highway 61), right on
Swan Way, then left into the park.

126 E A S T B AY S H O R E
510/562-1373; www.ebparks.org
M5 am–10 pm
RESERVATIONS Group picnic:
510/636-1684
PARKING/RE S TROOMS All of the park’s lots have blue spaces. Accessible
restrooms are between the King Fisher and Plover picnic areas on the
entrance road and at the Arrowhead Marsh lot, but the latter have no stall
doors. The restrooms at Garretson Point have grab bars only on the sides,
the toilet height is 15 inches, and the women’s stall allows only a frontal
transfer. The men’s has a lowered urinal and no stall door. A good accessible
restroom is between the Blue Heron and Rail picnic areas at the park’s
western side, off Doolittle Drive.
Union Point Park to Jack London Square
UN I O N P O I N T P A R K , opened in
September 2005, is a nine-acre
waterfront park in an industrial area just
south of Dennison Street on Embarcadero
East. The Bay Trail runs along the
park’s entire waterfront as a 1,500-foot promenade, with views of Alameda
across the Oakland Estuary, as well as of downtown Oakland. For even more
expansive views, follow the spiral path to the top of the man-made hill. The
park also has an accessible playground and picnic areas.
From the northern end of Union Point Park to Estuary Park is about 1.5
miles. You can take the shoreline path part of the way, winding through
industrial and commercial areas as well as hotels and residential complexes,
but along busy Embarcadero you must take the sidewalk in some stretches.
Perhaps the most interesting spot before you reach Estuary Park is Embarcadero
Cove, a small complex of Victorian buildings (with steps), gardens,
shops, a marina, and a former lighthouse, which once stood at the Oakland
harbor entrance and is now Quinn’s Lighthouse restaurant. A wheelchair lift
will take you to the second floor for views of Alameda. Also along this
stretch, between two hotels north of Embarcadero Cove, is the wooden San
Antonio Fishing Pier.
Five blocks southeast of Jack London Square is Estuary Park, a pleasant
place where Lake Merritt flows out and the tide flows in. Easily missed
because it’s not visible from the Embarcadero, the park has a fishing pier
with a steep ramp, a large grass field, a group picnic area sheltered under

A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 127
RESERVATIONS Estuary
Park group picnic area:
510/238-3187
an arbor, and a concrete shoreline terrace close to the water. An accessible
public boat launch is next to the Jack London Aquatic Center, which has a
dock that is also wheelchair-accessible except at very low tide. The Bay
Trail (partly asphalt, partly decomposed granite) runs along the shore to
Jack London Square, passing two private marinas, an office-and-condominium
complex, a restaurant, and a fishing pier. Benches are scattered
alongside the trail. The decomposed-granite section may have puddles
during the wet season.
GETTING THE R E Union Point Park: From I-880 South, exit at 16th
Avenue. Turn left on Embarcadero and continue to the park entrance. From
I-880 North, exit at 23rd Ave. and turn left at the bottom of the ramp, following
the sign toward Alameda. Stay in the right lane as you cross over the
freeway and take the first right (following the sign toward 880), onto East
Seventh St.; stay straight to avoid entering the freeway. East Seventh soon
becomes Embarcadero East and continues to the park entrance.
Estuary Park: From I-980 West, exit at Jackson St. and continue straight
along Fifth Street. Turn right onto Oak St. for four blocks, where it runs
into Embarcadero, stay left and take Embarcadero to the park entrance.
From I-880 North, take the Fifth Ave. exit. Go under the freeway, turn right
on Embarcadero, and continue to the park entrance.
PARKING Several blue spaces are at both ends of Union Point Park and in
hotel lots to the north of it.Angled street parking is along Embarcadero East.
Two blue spaces with no access aisle are next to Quinn’s. Two blue spaces are
▼ ▼
The Bay Trail along Oakland Estuary
EILEEN ECKLUND
next to the Aquatic Center in the Estuary Park lot and one is in a public/
private lot on the western side of the park. A paid public lot with several blue
spaces is at Embarcadero West between Harrison and Webster Streets.
RESTROOMS The accessible restroom at Estuary Park has a steep curb cut
onto the sidewalk in front of it. Accessible restrooms are in the harbormaster
building adjacent to the Jack London Marina (open weekdays 7 am–9 pm,
weekends 10 am–9 pm).
Jack London Square
EMBARCADERO BETWEEN ALICE AND CLAY STREETS, OAKLAND
JACK LONDON SQUARE isn’t really a
square—it’s a six-block area defined
by shops, restaurants, a hotel,marinas, and
open space along the Oakland Estuary. At
its center at the foot of Broadway is a plaza
where crowds gather for evening concerts,
the twice-weekly farmers market, and
other events. Alameda is across the water;
to your right as you face the water is a ferry
landing serving San Francisco, Alameda,
the Giants’ ballpark, and Angel Island; and,
just beyond, the USS Potomac, Franklin D.
Roosevelt’s presidential yacht, is docked.
The Bay Trail runs along the water within
Jack London Square and for about a mile
east to Estuary Park. In 2006 the Square
was being redeveloped to include new
housing, stores, hotels, restaurants, and
office space. Brick paving stones throughout
the square can be bumpy in a manual
wheelchair.
Jack London’s waterfront haunt,Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon,
at the corner of Webster and Water Streets, has accessible outdoor tables.

A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 129
General information:
http://jacklondonsquare.com/
Event hotline: 866/295-9853
Alameda/Oakland Ferry:
510/522-3300
USS Potomac: 510/627-1215
Farmers market: 800/949-FARM
MUSS Potomac tours:
Wed., 10:30 am–3:30 pm;
Fri. and Sun., noon–3:30 pm
Farmers market: Sun.
year-round, 10 am–2 pm;
Wed. May–Oct, 10 am–2 pm
FEES USS Potomac tours: $7;
seniors 60 and above, $5;
under 13, free.
NOTE To get to the Square
without crossing the railroad
tracks, use the pedestrian
bridge across the Embarcadero
from the fourth floor of the
Washington St. parking garage.
Nearby is the log cabin London lived in during the Klondike gold rush,
which was replicated using some of the original logs and moved here from
the Yukon Territory in the late 1960s. Diamond-shaped plaques in the pavement
and on facades highlight historical facts about London, the waterfront,
and Oakland and its port. An accessible public boat ramp where you can
rent canoes and kayaks is at the foot of Franklin Street.
Taking one of the regular tours of the Potomac, known as the “floating
White House” in FDR’s time, poses an access challenge but is worth the
effort. A short, steep ramp with a tight 90-degree turn leads to the main
deck, and the various rooms are connected by a 27-inch passageway.With
assistance, I managed in my motorized wheelchair. Although a threshold
prevents wheelchair access into the dining area and bedroom, I could still
get a good view, and was thrilled to be aboard this historic vessel. You can
also view photos and a 12-minute film about the yacht in the visitor center.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Several blue spaces are in pay lots at Washington
St. between Second St. and Embarcadero, at Webster St. and Embarcadero
West, and at the foot of Broadway.Valet parking is available just within the
main entry to the square on Broadway and near the foot of Franklin St. on
Water Street. Accessible restrooms are on the ground floor of the Washington
St. parking garage and adjacent to both ends of the Broadway garage.

130 E A S T B AY S H O R E
Farmers market at Jack London Square MALCOLM LUBLINER
Lake Merritt
I-580 GRAND AVENUE OR LAKESHORE AVENUE EXIT
LAKE MERRITT, with its surrounding
3.4 miles of trail and 75-acre Lakeside
Park, is to Oakland what Central
Park is to New York—an oasis in the
heart of the city. People stroll or jog along
the shore, children watch the ducks and
geese, climb and slide on play structures,
and visit Children’s Fairyland. You can
listen to concerts in the summer, wander
though an impressive garden center,
learn to sail, or just linger on lawns
shaded by oaks and a variety of other
trees. At night, the trailside “Necklace of
Lights” glitters on the water.
The lake was created in 1869 when a
dam was built across a tidal estuary. Its
water is a mix of salt and fresh because a
channel, at 12th Street, connects the lake
to the Oakland Estuary, allowing for tidal
flushing. Thousands of waterfowl and
shorebirds stop by during their migrations
along the Pacific Flyway, and many
birds reside year-round. In 2006, the City
was getting ready to restore some salt
marsh at the 12th Street Channel, thereby
improving water quality in the lake and restoring some wetland habitat. This
was one of several major projects, including new accessible pathways or other
wheelchair access improvements, that were getting underway at Lake Merritt.
Until these projects are completed, if you want to circle the lake by wheelchair
you will have to switch back and forth from sidewalks to dirt paths to
paved trails. Be alert. There is no protective curb where the trail is close to the
water, and bird droppings can make the ground slippery. The most heavily
A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 131
Oakland Parks and
Recreation: 510/238-7275;
www.Oaklandnet.com/parks/
facilities/points_lakemerritt.asp
Lake Merritt Boating Center
(Sailboat House): 510/238-2196
Rotary Nature Center:
510/238-3739
Garden Center: 510/238-3208
Bonsai Garden: 510/763-8409
Junior Center of Art and
Science: 510/839-5777
Camron-Stanford House:
510/444-1876
Children’s Fairyland:
510/452-225, 910/452-2259
MLakeside Park: 6 am–10 pm;
call individual facilities for hours
FEES Parking: $2 per vehicle
on weekends and holidays
Children’s Fairyland: $6 per
person (includes unlimited
rides); under 1 year free;
Magic Keys, $2
Camron-Stanford House: $5;
seniors, $4; ages 12-18, $3;
under 12, free
used area, and the trickiest to navigate,
is where most of the attractions are—
the wildlife refuge, Boating Center/
Sailboat House, Rotary Nature Center,
Garden Center, and Fairyland.
I started my trip around the lake
at Euclid and Grand Aves. in Lakeside
Park, taking the trail that leads to the
right as you face the lake. Five small
man-made islands, just offshore, soon
come into view. Depending on the
season, they are home to coots, cormorants,
egrets, herons, gulls, grebes, ducks, geese, and other birds. There are
picnic tables along the shore on sloping lawns, but they lack accessible paths.
A small play area off the trail has ramps for access to play structures, but sand
on the path makes travel a bit difficult.
The Rotary Nature Center offers displays and environmental programs
related to the surrounding area and its wild inhabitants, plus an
aviary for injured birds and a pen for freshwater turtles rescued from the
lake’s brackish waters. An accessible picnic table is next to the turtle pen.
Just beyond the Nature Center is the Junior Center of Art and Science,
offering classes, workshops, exhibits, and events for children.Across Bellevue
Avenue, the park’s main drive, a sloping lawn is the site of summer
theater productions.
The most accessible route leading west from the Junior Center is Bellevue
Avenue, which is wide enough for cars to share the road with wheelchairs
and bicyclists. An alternate route, starting just past the Junior Center, leads
left down the steep driveway to the Boating Center, through the parking lot,
and up the driveway on the other side to a service road alongside the lake.
The Boating Center rents various non-motorized boats and offers sailing,
rowing, kayaking, and canoeing classes. Although no adapted boats are available,
the Oakland Park and Recreation’s accessibility specialist works to
accommodate people with disabilities.
Beyond the boathouse and across Bellevue Avenue is an entrance to the
Garden Center, which has an array of theme and vegetable-demonstration
132 E A S T B AY S H O R E
EILEEN ECKLUND
gardens, and a Bonsai Garden tucked in behind beautifully fitted wooden
doors. Docent-led tours are available.
Crossing back over Bellevue Avenue and continuing on the paved trail,
you come to a junction. Take the trail straight and then bear left to arrive at
Children’s Fairyland, a ten-acre fairytale theme park more than 50 years old
and best suited for children still young enough to delight in turning a “magic
key” to activate a talking storybook. The park admits adults only if they are
accompanied by a child.Wheelchair access throughout is pretty good and
continues to be improved.
A left turn back at the trail junction leads down a moderately steep hill to
the shoreline trail and an old-fashioned bandstand, where the municipal band
plays on many summer Sundays.The trail continues past a small beach that has
a concrete climbing structure for children, then travels along the shore toward
Grand Avenue; the asphalt was broken and bumpy when I was here.At Grand
Avenue, roll on the sidewalk a short distance to Harrison Street,where you turn
left and connect again to the paved shoreline trail. After .5 mile, you pass an
accessible public pier.When the trail ends at Lakeside Dr. and 17th Street, take
the sidewalk along Lakeside.You soon pass the old Municipal Boathouse, and
a little farther, at 14th Street and Lakeside, the historic Camron-Stanford
House.Built in 1876 and the first of many stately homes that once stood on the
lakeshore, it is now a museum,with exhibits detailing domestic life in the years
1875 to 1885. Only the ground floor is wheelchair-accessible.
Skirting the lake’s southern shore, you pass the Alameda County Courthouse
and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, then cross the viaduct
over the Lake Merritt channel. A very steep concrete ramp heading down to
the water’s edge offers no accessible path of travel, so stick to the sidewalk,
which leads to another section of shoreline trail along the east shore. At the
foot of East 18th Street, travel around a small platform on the sidewalk to
reach the shoreline trail, here hard-packed dirt. The shoreline trail and the
sidewalk both allow you to complete the loop around the lake.
GETTING THE R E From I-580 East in central Oakland, exit at Grand Ave.,
turn right on Grand, then left on Bellevue Avenue. From I-580 West, exit at
Lakeshore Ave., go straight one block to Grand Ave., and then left on Grand
and left on Bellevue.

A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 133
PARKING Most of the accessible parking is at the entrance to Lakeside
Park on Bellevue Ave.; elsewhere there is only on-street parking. Four blue
spaces are at Fairyland, two are at the lawn bowling entrance, two are by the
crosswalk just past the lawn bowling entrance, five are by the Garden Center,
and five are at the boating center. There is one blue space each in the lots
north and south of the Municipal Boathouse.
R E S TROOMS Accessible restrooms are at the Nature Center and Boating
Center (the men’s toilet is 15 inches high), and near the Garden Center on the
service road between the lawn bowling area and the center’s main entrance.
Fairyland has two accessible restrooms for customers. The accessible public
restroom at the old Municipal Boathouse is on the north side of the building.
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park
DR I V I N G A M I D the countless
trailer trucks that barrel around
Oakland’s busy port and its giant steellimbed
gantry cranes, I was convinced I
would never find Middle Harbor Shoreline
Park. Just as I was about to give up,
the salvaged mast of the USS Oakland,
an anti-aircraft cruiser decommissioned in 1949, welcomed me to the
park’s east entrance.
This 38-acre landscaped green space in the midst of the vast industrial
landscape of the working port is unique and well worth the effort it takes to
find. Opened in 2003, it was the site of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet supply center
from World War II until 1998. The Oakland’s mast heralds the park’s
many historical maritime features, including bollards for tying up ships, pier
remnants, and the outlined footprint of the Navy’s four-acre warehouse.
Other features include a sandy beach, an amphitheater, and nearly three
miles of wide, level trails that weave through the park. From the .75-mile
shoreline promenade that links the park’s center to its southern end you can
see wildlife, broad sunsets, container ships being loaded and unloaded, and
a large salt marsh being restored (2007 is the estimated completion year).
▼ ▼
134 E A S T B AY S H O R E
510/272-4810
MDawn to dusk
RESERVATIONS
Picnic areas: 510/636-1684
At the park’s center, near the two parking lots, is Point Arnold, a 16-acre
grassy peninsula with a wharf (44-inch railings), accessible viewing telescopes,
and several picnic sites. Several interpretive panels make this area
something of an outdoor museum.
Trails and habitat overlooks are on the park’s southern end, a scenic 10-
acre peninsula that was the site of the Western Pacific Mole, an early 20thcentury
railroad terminal that provided both a shipping connection for local
and international freight and a ferry station to take railroad passengers to
and from San Francisco. Trails throughout have eroded and are rough in
places, but the Port is working to repair them.At the handsome observation
tower, both elevators were out of service when I visited and were scheduled
to be repaired sometime in 2006. The elevators are locked when park staff
is not on duty (staff hours are 7 am–4:30 pm in winter, longer in other seasons);
you may want to call ahead to ask if they’re working and open. An
alternate paved trail near the parking area that serves the Mole leads to the
first level of the observation tower.
Returning to Point Arnold on the promenade, head west from the wharf
on a .5-mile cement-treated sand trail paralleling Seventh Street and the
railroad tracks to reach Port View Park. You will find benches and an overlook
along the trail.
A L AMEDA AND OA K L AND 135
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
GETTING THERE From San Francisco, take I-80 East to I-880 South to the
West Grand Ave./Maritime St. exit. Continue straight, then turn right on
Maritime St. Turn right onto Seventh St., follow it to the intersection with
Middle Harbor Rd., continue straight through the intersection, then take the
first right into the park. From the northern East Bay, take Highway 24 West
to I-980 west. Exit at 11th/12th Sts. onto Brush Street. Continue straight,
turn right onto Seventh St., follow it to the intersection with Middle Harbor
Rd., continue straight through the intersection, then take the first right into
the park. From the South Bay, take I-880 North and exit at Seventh St.
toward W. Grand Avenue. Turn left onto Seventh St., follow it to the intersection
with Middle Harbor Rd., continue straight through the intersection,
then take the first right into the park.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS The lot off Middle Harbor Rd. has three blue
spaces at its north end. At its southern end is a road serving the Mole. Four
blue spaces are at the start of the road and eight blue spaces are at the end.
The lot off Seventh St. has three blue spaces. Accessible restrooms (open
during staff hours) are west of the Oakland’s mast near the east parking lot
and on the ground floor of the Mole’s observation tower.
Port View Park
JU T T I N G O U T I N T O San Francisco
Bay on a man-made peninsula, this little
park, once a railway terminus, offers
great views of operations at the nearby
Port of Oakland Seventh Street Terminal. It is also a popular fishing spot.During
the week, the diesel trucks coming and going at the port are a constant
reminder that you are on a working waterfront, the heart of Oakland’s commerce.
Weekends tend to be more tranquil. The octagonal-shaped fishing
pier’s 44-inch high railings are easy to look under but may impede fishing
from a wheelchair. The paved junction between the path from the parking lot
and the pier has a slight grade difference that manual wheelchair users may
need help with. ▼

136 E A S T B AY S H O R E
MRoom With A View:
Mon.–Fri., 10 am–3 pm
The park’s other main attraction, just west of the parking lot, is the
“Room With a View” exhibit in the Train Tower, where railway personnel
directed traffic. A wheelchair lift takes you up to the second story, affording
fantastic views of the port, the Bay Bridge, and both downtown Oakland and
San Francisco, which are about equidistant from the pier. Take a look at the
exhibit, too, where you will learn about Oakland’s role in the development
of the Bay Area.
GETTING THERE See directions for Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.At the
stoplight at Middle Harbor Rd., turn right onto Seventh Street.Turn left into
the park before reaching the Ben Nutter Terminal, where Seventh St. ends.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Four blue spaces are in the lot near the park’s
entrance.Accessible restrooms are at the west end of the Train Tower and at
the end of the trail across from the fishing pier (no stall doors).
Emeryville
and Berkeley
T H E M I L E - L O N G Emeryville Peninsula, a curling finger jutting out
into the bay, was one of the last major landfill projects on the bay. Its two
marinas and three small parks are connected by two miles of paved Bay
Trail.High-rise apartment and office buildings and restaurants overlook the
wildlife-rich mudflats and marshes on both sides of the peninsula. The Bay
Trail, paved (with a parallel dirt lane) runs two miles alongshore from
Emeryville to Berkeley. On the Berkeley waterfront, there is almost always a
lot going on at the marina and César Chávez Park. People fly kites, play with
dogs, fish from the 3,000-foot Berkeley pier, boat and windsurf, and bring
children to a nature center and Adventure Playground.
▼ ▼
E M E RY V I L L E AND B E R K E L E Y 137
Emeryville Marina Park and Bay Trail Loop
I-80 POWELL STREET EXIT, EMERYVILLE
PO W E L L S T R E E T L E A D S to the
Emeryville peninsula’s tip, where
the small lawns ofMarina Park—screened
by cypress and pine trees—face the bay. From the paved Bay Trail on the bay
side of the lawns, a visitor’s view sweeps counterclockwise from the Richmond–
San Rafael Bridge and Mount Tamalpais to Sausalito and the Marin
Headlands to the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco and then to the Bay
Bridge. You can enter the trail at the Emeryville Pier, near the parking lot at
the end of Powell Street. The 750-foot pier—less crowded and windy than
the Berkeley Pier—stretches east toward the East Bay hills. From the foot of
the pier, facing the parking lot, a right turn takes you to the park.
A left turn on the trail at the foot of the pier will take you .25 mile along the
docks of Emeryville City and Emery Cove Marinas to the small lawn at Davenport
Mini Park,where you can watch people working on their boats and other
boats coming and going.From here the paved trail continues east to Trader Vic’s
restaurant. A .3-mile boardwalk takes off on the eastern side of Trader Vic’s and
travels along the bay side of the Watergate condominiums, where a large sheltered
deck provides a view of the Berkeley Marina to the north. The trail continues
inland, ending at a small lawn just west of Chevy’s restaurant.
To make the full two-mile loop of the peninsula, continue inland on the
sidewalk. At Frontage Road, small, concrete-terraced Shorebird Park is on
your left, with madrone trees, an arbor, a short accessible pier, and wood
sculptures on abandoned pilings in the water. If you turn left here, a .3-mile
paved section of Bay Trail takes
you along Frontage to Point
Emery, a popular trailhead for
walkers, runners, and rollerbladers
heading north toward
138 E A S T B AY S H O R E
Hot dog stand at the foot of the
Berkeley Pier
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
MMarina Park: 7 am–10 pm
E M E RY V I L L E AND B E R K E L E Y 139
the Berkeley Marina on the Bay Trail. To continue the loop, turn right
instead and take the sidewalk along Frontage south one block, then turn
right again on Powell Street. Follow Powell until the stoplight at the Watergate
office towers entrance.Cross Powell here, and return to Marina Park on
the paved and level .5-mile trail that hugs the shoreline. The Emeryville
Crescent, one of the largest marshes in Eastshore State Park, is on your left.
PARKING All the paved lots at the end of Powell St. have at least one blue
space. Lots 3 and 6 have no accessible path to the trail. Emery Cove has two
blue spaces, one with no access aisle. Point Emery has one blue space. Onstreet
parking only for Shorebird Park.
RESTROOMS The public restroom at Emeryville City Marina’s Pier #1 has
no accessible features. The best alternatives are at Trader Vic’s and Chevy’s
restaurants, about one mile east.
César Chávez Park
I-80 UNIVERSITY AVENUE EXIT, BERKELEY
WH EN YOU V I S IT TH I S 90-ACRE peninsular park, it’s hard to believe
that in the 1950s and ’60s the city of Berkeley operated a garbage
dump here and was planning to extend the city two miles into the bay by filling
in 2,000 acres of water. So, say a word of thanks for the three women who
formed Save the Bay in 1961 and launched a movement that eventually led
to the creation of many parks and trails where buildings and roads had been
planned. Their names are Kay Kerr, Esther Gulick, and Sylvia McLaughlin.
The park, now an urban wonder, bears only one obvious sign of its former
use as a dump: a fenced-in chimney that vents methane gas from the stilldecomposing
stuff below. People come here to watch the sunset, fly kites, and
in many other ways enjoy the place. Acrobatic kite flying is a common, yearround
attraction at this park. To see something truly dazzling, check out the
Berkeley Kite Festival and West Coast Kite Championship, the largest kite flying
festival in the United States, held here every July.Walkers and wheelchair
riders, children learning to ride bikes, and joggers use the 1.25-mile paved trail
that runs along the water, circling the hill where kites fly.West of the off-leash
dog area in the park’s center, a rough dirt trail leads to the highest point of
▼ ▼
another hill and my favorite destination: a solar calendar. Rocks have been
placed in a circle to indicate the sun’s location on the horizon at sunrise and
sunset through the seasons. I managed to weave my way around the ruts near
the calendar in my power wheelchair, but those in manual wheelchairs may
need assistance, as on the other dirt trails that crisscross the hill.
South from the cul-de-sac at the end of Spinnaker Way, the shoreline trail
winds through the northern end of the Berkeley Marina, passing the Olympic
Circle Sailing Club and traveling through two boat launch areas and the Double
Tree Hotel complex. Turning south, it follows Marina Boulevard to University
Avenue and a large deck overlooking houseboats, then leads west
through the southern end of the marina, toward the Berkeley Pier.
Berkeley Marina, Pier,
Shorebird Park, and Nature Center
UN I V E R S I TY AVENUE ENDS in the southern half of the marina near the
foot of the Berkeley Pier (44-inch railings), likely the most visited pier in
the East Bay, despite generally breezy conditions. This 3,000-foot pier is all that
remains in usable condition of what once was a 3.5-mile pier serving car ferries;
if you take the bumpy ride to the end, you’ll see remnants of the rest of it.
140 E A S T B AY S H O R E
DAN ROBBIN Bonnie Lewkowicz at the Berkeley Kite Festival, César Chávez Park
E M E RY V I L L E AND B E R K E L E Y 141
From the pier you can follow the shoreline north, past Skates-on-the-
Bay restaurant to the Berkeley Yacht Club, then loop back along the harbor.
Beyond the yacht club is tiny Horseshoe Park, a quiet retreat near the docked
boats. The marina office and nearby Marina Sports Center, also known as the
bait shop, are farther east. Here you can charter a boat or buy snacks, bait,
and tackle.
South of the pier, in the northeast corner of the large parking lot across Seawall
Drive, is the entrance to Shorebird Park. Sheltered by trees on the west and
north, this park has flat grassy areas, picnic tables at water’s edge, and a small,
inaccessible, rocky beach.At low tide you are likely to see many shorebirds; south
across the water you see Emeryville’s office towers. Nearby are the Shorebird
Park Nature Center, a straw-bale structure, and the Adventure Playground,
where children can experiment with building materials and climb structures
designed by children.Heading east, the trail skirts the South Sailing Basin, passing
the Cal Sailing Club and Cal Adventures. The public small-craft boat launch
here has a very steep ramp. (Note that neither the Cal Sailing Club nor Cal
Adventures offers adapted boats.You can find some in San Francisco through
the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors.) Beyond the launch, the paved trail
turns north before ending at University Avenue. Plans call for a paved trail that
will continue east from here, connecting to the new Eastshore State Park.
Berkeley Marina
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Berkeley Parks and
Recreation, Marina Division:
510/981-6740
Nature center and playground:
510/981-6720
MParks: 6 am–10 pm
Pier: 24 hours daily
Nature center: Tues.–Sat.,
9 am–5 pm
Playground: School season,
weekends 11 am–4 pm;
summer, weekdays 9 am–5 pm,
weekends 11 am–5 pm
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Blue spaces are plentiful. For César Chávez Park
and the marina’s northern area, accessible portable toilets are on Spinnaker
Ave. before the cul-de-sac and near the dog area.More restrooms are under
construction between the public boat launch and the lot serving berths A–E.
For the southern area, accessible restrooms are on the east side of the marina
office (locked 5 pm–4:30 am), the foot of the pier (no stall doors), and
between the nature center and the playground (locked 5 pm–6 am).
Albany and Richmond
FOR MANY YEARS this stretch of East Bay shoreline was used primarily for
industry—including, during World War II, the Kaiser shipyards—as well as
for railroad transport and garbage dumps. Now you can spin along it for
more than five miles on the Bay Trail, passing wetlands, parks, new housing
complexes, and historical sites along the way. ▼
142 E A S T B AY S H O R E
César Chávez
Park
Horseshoe Park
Spinnaker Wy.
Marina Blvd.
South Sailing
Basin
Nature Center
Berkeley
Pier
Seawall Dr.
Adventure
Playground
Berkeley Marina
Sports Center
University Ave.
To
Berkeley
& I–80
P P P
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
BERKELEY MARINA AND CESAR CHAVEZ PARK
Albany Waterfront Trail
I-80 BUCHANAN STREET EXIT, ALBANY
TO CATCH A SUNSET without the crowds of the nearby Berkeley Marina,
visit the Albany Waterfront Trail at the foot of the Albany Bulb, an old
overgrown landfill that is slated to become a park. The Bulb itself is not
wheelchair-accessible, but from an accessible trail entrance in the middle of
the parking area you can take the mostly level Waterfront Trail to the left and
up a short, steep incline to a viewing area with benches, perched above the
bay. From here you can see the San Francisco skyline and watch dogs frolicking
on the small beach below. If you can handle a rocky ride, you may
want to continue on the hard-packed dirt-and-rock trail that follows the
south side of the Bulb. Rebar and other rusty metal poking out from the
berm on the landward side are remnants of the old dump, which was covered
with soil and, over time, changed into a rough, brushy and grassy wildland.
Homeless people improvised homes in the brush and were eventually
evicted.Artists came to create sculptures from debris washed ashore by winter
storms. But most of the Bulb is not wheelchair accessible.
If you take the Waterfront Trail in the other direction from the parking
area, it can be the starting point for a long spin—more than five miles one
way—to the north on the Bay Trail, past a marsh and a slough and through
several Richmond shoreline parks. The route begins with a flat, paved .5-mile
trail alongside the mudflats.More than 90 species of birds, both resident and
migratory, have been spotted here. There are two ramped viewing decks and
several interpretive panels. Farther on, the trail runs parallel to I-580 for
about a mile, and the oncoming traffic can be intimidating despite a concrete
barrier. Someone intent on exercise or in training for a race may, however,
appreciate this long uninterrupted ride.A stop sign helps you cross the busy
intersection at Central Avenue and Rydin Road, after which you can travel
along the shore on the Bay Trail to Richmond for another three-plus miles.
GETTING THE R E From I-80, take the Buchanan St. exit and turn toward
the bay. The road dead-ends in a cul-de-sac at the Waterfront Trail and Eastshore
State Park. ▼
A L B ANY AND RICHMOND 143
PARKING/RESTROOMS There are no accessible parking spaces, but a space
midway along the fence, next to a street lamp and close to the trail’s accessible
entrance, may have enough extra room to deploy a lift. There are no
restrooms or water.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
to Shimada Friendship Park
I-80 OR I-580 CENTRAL AVENUE EXIT, RICHMOND
IF YOU HAVE A D O G or simply like
dogs, check out Point Isabel Regional
Shoreline, a 23-acre park where dogs are
allowed off leash, as long as owners watch
them closely and pick up after them. A
self-serve/full-service pet grooming business,
Mudpuppy’s, is in a small building off the Isabel Street parking lot, and
a refreshment stand, the Sit and Stay Café, is nearby.At Mudpuppy’s you can
pull a wheelchair up alongside a low tub to wash your pet before returning
home. Dogs often get muddy here by romping in the marsh—where they are
not supposed to go.
There are two entrances to Point Isabel. From the Isabel Street lot, a .5-
mile trail, with uneven asphalt in places, leads to a wooden bridge over
Hoffman Channel. Along the way are numerous places to picnic or fish
(state fishing license required). From the second park entrance, off Rydin
Road just south of the Hoffman Channel bridge, you can also connect to
the paved Bay Trail, which runs outside the dog park fence and extends west
for 2.5 miles to Shimada Friendship Park and Marina Bay Park, then continues
.75 mile more to Lucretia Edwards Park. The breezy, level stretch of
trail along Hoffman Marsh and Meeker Slough is a good place to look for
shorebirds. The route is popular with cyclists, joggers, and (on-leash) dog
walkers. Don’t go right and over the bridge at the first intersection you
come to, or you’ll end up on 51st Street
Just past Meeker Slough, the Bay Trail forks. The branch leading away
from the bay is a tree-lined path between the slough and an apartment complex
that takes you to Marina Bay Parkway and Marina Bay Park. The

510/235-1631
MPoint Isabel: 5 am–10 pm
Shimada Friendship Park:
sunrise to sunset
144 E A S T B AY S H O R E
branch leading toward the bay also takes you to Marina Bay, but it’s a longer
and more scenic shoreline ride with access to two small parks and views of
nearby Brooks Island. First the trail winds around a housing development to
Shimada Friendship Park, named for Richmond’s sister city in Japan. One of
the picnic tables scattered on the grass has a concrete path to it, but the fixed
seating makes it difficult to pull up close to the table. Past the park a little
way along the trail, concrete ramps lead to sandy spots where you can get
closer to the rocky shoreline and hang out with people fishing. Concrete
spaces next to the bayside benches allow a wheelchair to pull in. From the
Shimada Park parking lot you can take a shortcut to Marina Bay Park by
picking up the direct Bay Trail route across the street.
GETTING THE R E From I-580 or I-80 in Richmond, exit at Central Ave.
and take it west to the U.S. Postal Service Bulk Mail Center; turn right onto
Rydin Rd. for the Rydin entrance or continue to the Isabel St. entrance at the
end of Central. To get to Shimada Park, take I-580 to the Marina Bay Park
Parkway exit, and follow Marina Bay Parkway to its end at the bay.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces are in the lot at the end of Rydin
Rd., two are at the end of Isabel St., and three are by the restrooms. Shimada
Friendship Park has two blue spaces without access aisles. An accessible
portable restroom is near the Rydin parking lot. The restrooms near the
Isabel entrance have grab bars and a wide door but room for only a frontal
transfer, and the stall isn’t deep enough to close the door. Shimada Park’s
accessible restrooms have no stall doors.
▼ ▼
Mudpuppy’s, Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Vincent Park, Marina Bay Park,
and Lucretia Edwards Park
I-580 MARINA BAY PARKWAY EXIT, RICHMOND
CO N T I N U I N G W E S T F R O M
Shimada Friendship Park on the
Bay Trail, you soon come to Vincent Park,
where accessibility was a design priority.
The playground, encircled by a firm rubberized
surface, is accessible, as are the picnic area and a large lawn.Where
the trail turns north, a historical panel about the former Kaiser shipyard
explains this area’s importance as a shipbuilding center during World War II.
The wide, level trail continues to the marina harbor (watch for bird droppings).
At the Bay Yacht Club you may want to stop and gaze at the boats.
Continuing on the Bay Trail you come to Marina Bay Park, where the
Rosie the Riveter Memorial, dedicated in 2000, celebrates the women who
worked in the Kaiser shipyards during World War II building Liberty Ships
and who constituted up to 27 percent of the workforce at the Richmond
yard. The walkway from the memorial toward the water is inscribed with
testimonials from some of these women. Of the several picnic areas surrounding
the memorial, three (1, 2, and 8) are accessible. To be safe, reserve
a table in advance.
If you come here on a Sunday morning, you can end your stroll with a
brunch at Salute restaurant, or pick up picnic goodies from the mini-market/
deli next to it. Both can be reached from the Bay Trail or from Schooner
Drive.Approaching them on the Bay Trail, you need to surmount a two-inch
lip and follow the wooden boardwalk to the far end of Salute, then turn right
up the steep sidewalk that runs behind the restaurant. Continuing on the
Bay Trail past Salute, you come to the harbormaster’s office and an accessible
boat launch, and then to Lucretia Edwards Park.
Reached from the Bay Trail or Marina Way South, two-acre Lucretia
Edwards Park is a tribute to the woman who fought for the protection of this
shoreline for many years. You can enjoy the park’s great views from accessible
picnic tables and benches, and boot prints throughout the park point
146 E A S T B AY S H O R E
MSunrise to sunset
RESERVATIONS Picnic areas:
510/620-6793
visitors toward former Bay Area shipyards. On the floor of a plaza near the
water, shadowy human figures representing liberty and victory are set in
concrete, surrounding a granite map of the Bay Area.Nearby, tiered concrete
steps lead down to the water.
GETTING THE R E To reach Vincent Park by car, continue past Shimada
Park on Peninsula Drive. To Reach Marina Bay Park from I-80 East, exit I-
580 toward the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, then exit at Marina Bay Parkway,
turn left onto the parkway, and take it over the freeway to Regatta Blvd.
and the park entrance. From I-80 West, exit at Cutting Blvd. and take it west
for 1.5 miles. Turn left at South 23rd St./Marina Bay Parkway, cross over I-
580, and continue to Regatta Way. For Lucretia Edwards Park, take I-580 to
the Marina Way South exit, and follow it to its end.
PARKING Two blue spaces are in Vincent Park. Parking for the Bay Yacht
Club is on-street with no blue spaces. Four blue spaces serve both the
Rosie the Riveter Memorial and Marina Bay Park—two next to the bay
and two at the entrance across from the memorial. Lucretia Edwards Park
has two blue spaces. To access the sidewalk, travel through the lot back to
the entrance.
RESTROOMS The Vincent Park restrooms are accessible, as is the portable
toilet on the inland side of Marina Bay Park’s lot. Accessible restrooms in
Lucretia Edwards Park are near the parking lot.
▼ ▼ ▼
The Bay Trail near Marina Bay Park
LAWRENCE ROBBIN
Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline
I-580 CANAL STREET EXIT, RICHMOND
TH I S SHORE L I N E PARK , with adjacent
Keller Beach, is a fine place for a family
outing. It is mostly flat, open, and easily
accessible. Its main features are a shallow
saltwater lagoon and the smooth, wide,
asphalt path that meanders for a mile around it. The lagoon’s shore is dirt and
when it’s dry, a wheelchair can easily get to the water’s edge. Swimming and
wading are not allowed. Railroad tracks and a chain-link fence separate the
park from the bay. The asphalt path leading south past the Canvasback picnic
area takes you to Ferry Point.
Barbecue grills and picnic tables on packed dirt are scattered among
clusters of trees in the park, and many are reachable via narrow paved walkways
that connect to the main path. Two horseshoe pits and an inaccessible
play area are near the south parking lot.
Keller Beach, at the park’s north end, is much less accommodating, but
it’s worth the effort if you want seclusion, greenery, and views. A sidewalk
follows Dornan Dr. north from Miller/Knox to the pedestrian entrance to
the beach. The asphalt path leads very steeply down from the road to the first
of three tree-lined terraces that overlook the beach and the bay.
The accessible upper terrace has picnic tables, grills, and benches, all
placed on pavement. Considerably higher than the beach, this terrace offers
a good view of Angel Island and San Francisco. From here the path travels
steeply down to the sandy beach, beyond which is the third terrace with
more picnic tables, benches, and grills. Erick Mikiten, who wrote the first
edition of this guide, noted: “The asphalt paths between terraces are some of
the steepest paths I’ve encountered. I had a loaded backpack slung on my
chair’s push handles and had to lean completely forward to avoid tipping
back on the struggle back up the road.”
GETTING THE R E Exit I-580 at Canal St., turn south on Canal, right onto
Cutting Blvd., left onto South Garrard, and proceed south through the tun- ▼
148 E A S T B AY S H O R E
510/235-1631
M5 am–10 pm, gates open
8 am–8 pm
nel where the road turns into Dornan Drive. The park is less than .5 mile
past the tunnel.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Each of the three Miller/Knox lots has four blue
spaces, but only the spaces in the north lot have access aisles. You can park
on Dornan Dr. for closer access to Keller Beach.Miller/Knox’s four accessible
restrooms—two at the north lot, one at the south lot and one at the Pintail
picnic area by the lagoon—have no sinks. The small Keller beach restroom
is inaccessible.
Ferry Point Pier
JUST SOUTH OF Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline, at the end of Dornan
Drive, the remnants of a pier and pump house stand against the distant
backdrop of ChevronTexaco’s storage tanks. From the early 1900s to the late
1960s, this was the western terminus of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe
Railroad. Barges and ferries took railcars,
freight, and people from here to ferry slips
at San Francisco’s China Basin and Pier 43.
To see the old pier, take the asphalt trail
that leads left from the Ferry Point parking
lot and out onto the recently built concrete recreational pier.
Leading right from the parking lot, away from the pier, is a wide, level
asphalt path that leads to the lagoon at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Take the first
driveway on your right past Miller/
Knox Regional Shoreline. The lot has
two blue spaces. Directly in front of the
blue parking spaces is an accessible
restroom without a sink.


A L B ANY AND RICHMOND 149
DAN ROBBIN
M5 am–10 pm, gates open
8 am–4 pm
29
12
Carquinez Strait
Mare Island Causeway
Sonoma Creek
Napa River
Petaluma River
Mare Island
Mare Island Strait
Vallejo Ferry Terminal
Pinole Shores
Regional Park
Carquinez
Bridge
Benicia/
Martinez
Bridge
Benicia
Marina
Martinez
Regional
Shoreline
To
Antioch
Benicia State
Recreation Area
Dillon
Pt.
River
Park
JFK
Memorial
Park
Imola Ave.
Shollenberger
Park
Petaluma Marina
San Pablo Bay
National
Wildlife Refuge
San Pablo Bay
San Pablo Bay
National
Wildlife Refuge
Sears Pt.
Bridge
To
Davis/Sacramento
To
Santa Rosa
To
Calistoga
Pt. Pinole
Regional
Shoreline
Richmond-
San Rafael
Bridge
Pt.
Molate
Pt.
Wilson
San Pablo Ave.
Pinole
Bayfront
Park
CARQUINEZ STRAIT and
NORTH BAY SHORE
151
Carquinez Strait
and North
Bay Shore
AT I TS FAR E A S T ERN R EACHE S , San Francisco Bay is
connected to the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta by sixmile-
long Carquinez Strait, once a major shipping channel. No
longer centers of industry and commerce, the towns in this
region are attracting new residents and businesses from the San
Francisco and Sacramento metropolitan areas.Wheelchair riders
will find accessible trails in Pinole, Martinez, and Antioch
Regional Shorelines and in Benicia State Recreation Area, as well
as in several smaller parks around the strait. The small towns
along the shore can also be fun to explore.
The shore along San Francisco Bay’s northern end, San Pablo
Bay, is still a marshy region, although much of it was diked and converted
to agricultural uses. Other areas were devoted to military
purposes or developed into salt
ponds. Now much of the historical
wetland expanse is being
restored as part of the San Pablo
Bay National Wildlife Refuge,
Sonoma Baylands, and other
preserves. Little of this area is
accessible to the public, but two
shoreline parks, one on the Napa
River and one on the Petaluma
River, are worth a visit.
Carquinez Strait
EILEEN ECKLUND
Pinole
P I N O L E, F O R M E R L Y T H E S I T E of an explosives plant and with an oil
refinery as neighbor, might seem an unlikely place for outdoor excursions.
In fact, though, it has one of the larger waterfront parks in the Bay Area,
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, and two smaller parks along the water’s
edge. Between them you’ll find several miles of trails—through meadows,
along hillsides, and skirting marshes and mudflats—picnic areas, and a fishing
pier, as well as some spectacular views of San Pablo Bay.
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
I-80 RICHMOND PARKWAY EXIT, RICHMOND
NO R T H E A S T O F R I C H M O N D ’ S
industrial tracts, this 2,315-acre
regional park has meadows, marshlands,
pebbly beaches, and towering eucalyptus
trees.Parchester Marsh and Whittell Marsh
at Point Pinole are among the bay’s few
unscathed natural salt marshes.
From the 28-inch-wide pedestrian
entry in the main parking lot, the smooth
asphalt of Point Pinole Road (part of the
Bay Trail and closed to most automobile
traffic) leads approximately 1.5 miles out
to an accessible fishing pier. Dirt and
gravel paths run from the road to beaches and marshes. Some of these are difficult
to navigate because of overgrown brush, loose surfaces, and moderately
steep grades, but—especially to the east—most trails are nearly level, wellgraded
gravel, and less heavily used. Accessible picnic tables and barbecue
M5 am–10 pm
RESERVATIONS Group
picnic: 510/636-1684
Shuttle escort and shuttle
schedule: 510/237-6896
FEES Parking: $5 when
attendant present
Dogs (except service dogs): $2
Roundtrip shuttle: $1; ages
6–1 1, $.50; free for seniors
62 and up, the disabled,
and children under 6
grills are about .25 mile from the park
entrance, near Point Pinole Road, and
more are near the pier.
From the parking lot, Point Pinole
Road climbs to a railway overpass that
may require assistance for a manual
wheelchair user, then slopes gently up
to the Giant Cluster picnic area. From
here on, the road is fairly level except
for a downhill stretch just before a
pond, until it narrows a little and
slopes down for a few hundred yards
as it approaches the pier. The journey
out is mostly easy, but the return trip
can be long and difficult, especially uphill past the pond. The shuttle, which
runs Thursdays through Mondays between the main entrance and the picnic
area near the pier, is inaccessible to wheelchair riders.You can phone the
park office a day in advance to arrange a “shuttle escort,” so that you can follow
the bus in your car to designated parking at the pier. You can also
arrange for an escort at the park when the shuttle is running.
Among the fish you might catch from the pier are striped bass, shark,
kingfish, and sturgeon. Each person may use up to two rods or lines. Other
regulations are posted. Some of the pier’s benches are inaccessible because
they are surrounded by windbreak walls on three sides and are too close to
the guardrail on the fourth side. The heavy wooden top rail is near eye level
for some wheelchair users. To the west across San Pablo Bay is Mount
Tamalpais, and to the east multicolored petroleum storage tanks squat in
staggered rows on Contra Costa County hillsides.
GETTING THERE Exit I-80 on Richmond Parkway and take it west toward
the bay. Turn right on Atlas Rd., which becomes Giant Highway, and follow
the signs to the park entrance on Point Pinole Road.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The lot at the main entrance has three blue spaces
and the lot before the pier has two. Accessible portable toilets are at the
▼ ▼
P I N O L E 153
The fishing pier at Point Pinole
DAN ROBBIN
entrance, the Giant Cluster picnic area, the intersection of the Bay View Trail
and Point Pinole Rd., and by the parking area before the pier. An accessible
outhouse is at the foot of the pier.
Pinole Shores Regional Park
I-80 APPIAN WAY EXIT, PINOLE
V I EWS OF SAN PABLO BAY are magnificent
from the paved hillside trail
of this park at Point Wilson, just east of
Point Pinole.Mount Tamalpais rises in the
west, to the east are the oil refinery in
Rodeo and the hills ringing Carquinez Strait, and to the north are the flat baylands
of Napa and Petaluma. In spring, the grasses along the trail are tall and
green,wildflowers and birds are out in force, and cool breezes swirl off the bay.
This stretch of Bay Trail runs upslope between a housing development and the
shoreline railroad tracks; you can watch the trains pass below you.
From the parking lot you can take the trail to the left or right. If you’re facing
the bay, a left turn takes you toward Point Wilson, along the moderate
slopes of a grassy hillside from which you can see across the water to the eucalyptus
forest at Point Pinole. It’s a little over .5 mile out to the end of the trail
and a turnaround spot, with benches along the way. A right turn from the
parking lot leads you east, briefly along an oak-shaded clifftop section of trail,
then down a steep slope into Gately Gulch, a willow-shaded streamside area
where I saw many red-winged blackbirds. The trail then climbs steeply to reach
the top of an open hillside, where it levels off. This slope and the climb on the
return to the parking lot were no problem for me in my power wheelchair but
would be quite a workout for a manual wheelchair user. The distance from the
parking lot out to the trail’s end at a gated turnaround is also about .5 mile.
GETTING THE R E Exit I-80 East on Appian Way. Turn left on Appian Way,
left on San Pablo Ave., and right on Pinole Shores Dr., and follow it to the park
entrance, at its end.
PARKING The parking area has one blue space.
▼ ▼
154 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
M5 am–10 pm
Parking lot: 8 am–4 pm;
till 6 or 7 pm in summer
Pinole Bayfront Park
TENNENT AVENUE, PINOLE
TH E V I EWS FROM T H I S SMALL PARK
are similar to those from Pinole Shores
Regional Park, just a short distance to the
west, but here you can get closer to the shoreline.Next to the parking lot, a lawn
bordered by picnic tables and barbecue grills overlooks mudflats and marshes.
On the bay side of the lawn, a paved trail with benches along it follows the
shoreline,swinging around the Pinole Sewage Treatment Plant, which can emit
some strong odors. At the far side of the treatment plant, the trail surface
becomes gravel as it turns inland and follows Pinole Creek to a gate.Go around
the gate and turn left, crossing the bridge over Pinole Creek, then left again after
the bridge, following the trail out onto a small peninsula.Near the tip, the trail
forks, leading on the right to a small, accessible wooden observation platform
that puts you close to the marsh and on the left to benches overlooking the bay
and mudflats.
If you want to take another .5-mile ride on a level, paved stretch of the Bay
Trail, drive across the train tracks just outside the park’s entrance, turn left on
the frontage road (which dead-ends at this point), park in the gravel area near
the railroad tracks, and wheel across the road toward another bridge over
Pinole Creek.Don’t cross the bridge; instead, continue straight on a paved trail
that runs inland along the western bank of Pinole Creek to Fernandez Park,
just before San Pablo Avenue. This park has a baseball diamond, a basketball
court, playground equipment set on sand, accessible picnic areas, and a lawn.
P I N O L E 155
Pinole Bayfront Park
DAN ROBBIN
M6 am–dusk
GETTING THERE From Pinole Shores Regional Park, turn left on San Pablo
Ave., take it into downtown Pinole, and turn left on Tennent Avenue.Where
the road splits, veer left over the railroad tracks just outside the park’s entrance.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS One blue space is in the Bayfront Park lot.
Restrooms at Bayfront Park are open 8 am–3:30 pm and have good access,
except for a sloped entry with no level platform and door handles and locks
that are all 53 inches high. At Fernandez Park, the sink does not have knee
clearance and the toilet is 16 inches high.
Martinez and Antioch
M A R T I N EZ RE G I O N A L S H O R E L I N E , which adjoins historic downtown
Martinez,Waterfront Park, and the marina, is a very popular spot for family
outings and sporting events. Fishing is the main draw at tiny Antioch/Oakley
Regional Shoreline.
Martinez Regional Shoreline
HIGHWAY 4 ALHAMBRA EXIT, MARTINEZ
FOR AN ALL-DAY EXCURSION in northern Contra Costa County, combine
a visit to the 344-acre Martinez Regional Shoreline with a stop at
historic downtown Martinez. The Shoreline’s eastern section, off North
Court Street, has 1.5 miles of gravel trail that loop around a large meadow
with accessible picnic tables and a pond. The pond loop offers excellent
birdwatching and connects to paths leading out to the public fishing pier
and the Martinez Marina. The pier’s 44-inch high railing prevents easy fishing
from a wheelchair. This shoreline section is adjacent to Waterfront Park,
which has soccer and softball fields, bocce ball courts, a skateboard park,
picnic areas, and a playground.
▼ ▼
156 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
To explore the Shoreline’s western section,
park at the Berrellesa Street staging
area, also known as Grangers’Wharf. The
trail leading out of the lot joins the Pickleweed
Trail, which runs along the water.
You might also use this hard-packed dirt
trail to cross over from the park’s eastern section, but a short hill, narrow
boardwalk, and steep, arched bridge over Alhambra Creek make that a challenging
route. About .5 mile from the wharf and heading west, the Pickleweed
Trail narrows to 20 inches. I turned back, passing alongside marshes
with abundant bird life.
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 4 in Martinez at Alhambra Avenue. Go
north on Alhambra to Escobar St., turn right on Escobar to Ferry St., left on
Ferry, and over the railroad tracks into the park. For the Berrellesa staging
area, take Ferry to Marina Vista (just before the railroad tracks into the
park), turn left, then right on Berrellesa.Via Amtrak, get off at the Martinez
Station and cross the tracks into the park.
PARKING The lot at the main entrance to the park off North Court St. has
four blue spaces near the restrooms, the one at the foot of North Court St.
has three, and the one off Joe DiMaggio Dr. in Waterfront Park has two. The
dirt lot at the Berrellesa St. staging area has an accessible parking sign, but
limited street parking on Berrellesa offers better access to the trailhead.
▼ ▼
An old Southern Pacific engine sits near the entrance to Martinez Regional Shoreline.
EILEEN ECKLUND
925/228-0112
MDawn to dusk
RESERVATIONS Picnic area:
510/636-1684
RESTROOMS The North Court St. entrance has accessible restrooms at the
northwest corner of the parking lot. The accessible stall has no doors and
room only for a frontal transfer. The restroom in Waterfront Park in the lot
off Joe DiMaggio Dr. is the same, except the stall has a door. The portable
restroom in the Berrellesa St. lot is inaccessible.
Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline
SAN JOAQUIN RIVER OFF HIGHWAY 160
AT TH E FOOT OF HIGHWAY 160’ S
Nejedley Bridge (better known as
the Antioch Bridge), on the south side of
the San Joaquin River, is a 7.5-acre park
that’s popular for fishing and waterside
picnics. Tucked in between two marinas, the park has a 550-foot pier from
which people catch striped bass, sturgeon, steelhead, salmon, and other fish,
depending on the season, though 44-inch-high railings prevent easy casting
from a wheelchair. Should you reel in a meal, you can clean it at an accessible
cleaning station. Better yet, you can cook it minutes later on one of many

158 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
Carquinez Strait
Marsh
Meadow
Pickleweed
Trail
Martinez Marina
Waterfront
Park
Fishing
Pier
Marina Vista
AmtrackStation
Joe DiMaggio Dr.
N. Court St.
Berrellesa St.
Ferry St.
Southern Pacific
Railroad
BOAT
LAUNCH
P
P
P
MARTINEZ REGIONAL SHORELINE
925/754-8720
MPark: 5 am–10 pm
Pier: Open 24 hours
barbecue grills set near the picnic tables scattered throughout the park on
hard-packed dirt and gravel pads. Catalina ironwood trees provide shade. A
paved trail loops around a central meadow, and at the foot of the pier a
plaque marks the spot of the 101st campsite of the 1775–76 Juan Bautista de
Anza expedition, which established Spanish colonies in California.
GETTING THE R E Heading east on Highway 4 from I-80, take Highway
160 where it splits off from 4. Exit at Wilbur Avenue. Turn right on Wilbur
and immediately left on Bridgehead Road. The park is at the north end of
Bridgehead Road.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two blue spaces in the parking lot are next to the
trail entrance. Two accessible restrooms are on the eastern side of the park
near the fish-cleaning station.
Benicia
I T ’ S E A S Y TO SPEND A DAY or more exploring the area around Benicia,
with the quiet, small-town charm of its waterfront parks and historic downtown
and the natural beauty of nearby Benicia State Recreation Area. You’ll
find accessible sections of both the Bay and Ridge Trails here.
▼ ▼
B E N I C I A 159
Benicia Marina
CIT Y OF BENICIA
160 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
Benicia Marina and Pier
I-780 EAST FIFTH STREET EXIT
TH E F I R S T C I T Y IN C A L I F O R N I A to be incorporated, in 1847, Benicia
briefly served as the state capital in 1853. Today, with a population of
28,000, it’s a pleasant old town that invites meandering along the waterfront,
in the historic district along First Street, and through several parks.
To begin this trip, head for the Benicia Marina at the foot of East Fifth
Street, in the southern part of town.Looking south across Carquinez Strait you
see the refinery in Martinez. From the parking area you can pick up a trail of
decomposed granite that runs along the shoreline next to the marina entry
road, circles tiny William Turnbull park, then loops back along the berths and
around the inland shore of the marina to the harbormaster’s office at the end
of East B Street.You will find benches all along this stretch of Bay Trail. From
the harbormaster’s office, take the sidewalk along East B Street to First Street.
Turn left on First and travel to its end, at the old Southern Pacific (SP) train
depot, which now houses a community organization and gift shop.Here you
can pick up a free brochure for a self-guided walking tour of historic downtown
Benicia; most sites are on First Street or nearby side streets.
Past the SP depot, a small peninsula created from landfill juts out into
Carquinez Strait. At the end of the peninsula is the small Benicia Pier, popular
with fishermen. It offers great views of the Carquinez Bridge to the west,
the hills of Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline across the water, and Mount
Diablo to the east. An asphalt path runs around the peninsula’s perimeter.
GETTING THE R E From I-780, exit at East Fifth St., and take it toward
the bay.
PARKING At the Benicia Marina and Yacht Club, one blue space is at both E
and F docks and one with no access aisle is in front of the harbormaster’s office
at the end of East B Street. Four blue spaces (only one with an access aisle) are
in the parking area off East B St. near First St., and three are on the peninsula.
RE S TROOMS At the marina, across from the boat launch, a public restroom
(open 8 am–5 pm) is accessible, but the sink is high and the door is
hard to lock. According to city parks staff, accessible restrooms have been
constructed on the peninsula since our visit.
▼ ▼ ▼
West Ninth Street Park
I-780 FIFTH STREET EXIT, BENICIA
ON E M I L E N O R T H W E S T of First Street,West Ninth Street Park (at
West J and I Streets) is in a charming old neighborhood on the
city’s waterfront. It has a large lawn, playground, boat launch, accessible
picnic tables, and sand volleyball court. The small beach is inaccessible,
and the ramp to the pier is very steep. The paved shoreline path circles
Commodore Jones Point (named for the founder of the U.S. Naval Academy),
traveling around a raised circular structure with a ship’s mast at its
center. Across Southampton Bay you see the hills of Benicia State Recreation
Area and the Carquinez Bridge.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Four blue spaces are in the lot at the foot of West
Ninth Street. Accessible restrooms are near Commodore Jones Point.
Benicia State Recreation Area
I-780 COLUMBUS PARKWAY EXIT
TH I S 720- AC R E PA R K L I E S along the narrowest stretch of the Carquinez
Strait and has four miles of Bay Trail, some of it on a ridgetop overlooking
grassy hills and marshes. The 3.5-acre Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic
Garden displays native trees, perennials, shrubs, and grasses. From well-placed
picnic tables and benches, some accessible, you look out at Southampton Cove,
Benicia Bridge, and Mount Diablo.

West Ninth Street Park
SARA POLGAR COURTESY BCDC
The park road, shared by vehicles,
pedestrians, and bicyclists, is the first section
of Bay Trail you come to. From one
of two parking areas near the park’s
entrance, you can roll down this road,
skirting salt marsh in a sheltered cove of Southampton Bay and passing
wooded picnic sites on the way to the road’s end at Dillon Point. Additionally,
a wide, level, paved .5-mile section of the Bay Trail with an exercise
course leads southeast from the park entrance, past marshes and alongside
Military West Road for .5 mile.
For more of an off-road experience and great views, drive or roll 1.5 miles
past the entrance on the park road to a parking lot on your right, uphill. From
there you can follow a two-mile, gravel and decomposed-granite section of Bay
Trail that gently climbs a hillside and levels off as it heads inland, away from
Southampton Bay.At the first intersection (shortly after the trailhead), stay left
along the ridge.At the second intersection, a steep dirt path turns inland; in my
power wheelchair, I was able to take this path to the top of the hill, where I had
a 360-degree view, but those with manual wheelchairs will find it challenging.
Returning to the Bay Trail, turn left to retrace your path to the parking lot or
right to follow the trail around the peninsula to its end at South Regatta Drive.
GETTING THE R E From I-780, exit at Columbus Parkway and take an
immediate left into the park. To get to the parking lot for the .5-mile trail
and exercise course along Military West Rd., take the Military West Rd. exit
off I-780, then turn sharply right into the lot.
PARKING Just past the entry station is a parking area where you can parallel
park off the sides of the road; there are no blue spaces. The lot at the
trailhead 1.5 miles from the entrance has two blue spaces (one with an
access aisle); just past it is the lot for the botanic garden,which has five (two
with aisles). On the road below the trailhead is one blue space, and two (with
no access aisle) are farther down the road. On-street parking is at the trail
entrance on South Regatta Drive. The lots clustered near Dillon Point have
a total of four blue spaces, and two are in the lot off Military West Road.
RESTROOMS The accessible restrooms at the trailhead 1.5 miles from the
entrance are down a gravel path that might be problematic for manual
▼ ▼ ▼
162 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
707/648-1911; www.parks.ca.gov
M8 am–sunset
FEES Parking: $4 per vehicle
wheelchairs. The stall is not deep enough to close the door, transfer is frontal
only, and the sinks are high. Accessible restrooms in the uppermost lot at
Dillon Point have no lowered urinals, the stalls are short, and transfer is
frontal. An accessible portable toilet is by the lot off Military West Road.
Vallejo
MANY P EOPLE AROUND T HE BAY AR E A think of Vallejo only as home to
the amusement park Six Flags Marine World, and have never thought to
explore the city and its waterfront. That is a shame, because a trip here can
combine an exhilarating ferry ride on the bay, a leisurely stroll along the
waterfront, and a picnic or dining near the water’s edge.
Vallejo Marina
MARE ISLAND WAY, VALLEJO
MY E X C U R S I O N T O the Vallejo
waterfront from Berkeley confirmed
that public transportation can be
a very pleasant option for an outing. I
took BART from Berkeley to San Francisco
and rolled two blocks from the Embarcadero station to the Ferry
Building. There I picked up a delicious lunch and caught the comfortable
and accessible BayLink Ferry to Vallejo. The ride’s 55 minutes flew by as all
the new views of San Francisco Bay cities held me mesmerized.
The ferry dock on Mare Island Way is across the strait from Mare Island
and near the Vallejo visitor center. The public buses that leave from here
include the #9 for Marine World. The #80 bus from Vallejo to the El Cerrito
BART station, which I would take later for my trip home, leaves from York
and Marin Sts., a few blocks east. From the dock, a wide, paved promenade
VA L L E J O 163
Ferry: 707/643-3779 or
877/643-3779 (toll-free);
www.baylinkferry.com
that is a section of the Bay Trail takes you either north or south along Mare
Island Strait.Heading north (to your right as you face the water) will take you
to the Vallejo Marina in approximately .25 mile and River Park in another .5
mile. Fishing is permitted along the promenade, which has 42-inch railings.
At the Vallejo Yacht Club, a parking lot interrupts the promenade and you
must continue a short distance along Mare Island Way. The promenade
resumes shortly after you pass the Yacht Club. Just beyond a stretch with
restaurants, boat slips, a boatyard, and a Coast Guard station, your path
reaches an open gate. Go through it and travel under the Mare Island Causeway,
briefly on dirt, then on decomposed granite, to River Park. The dirt section
under the bridge requires careful navigation (see River Park, below).
South of the ferry dock is a shorter section of the shoreline promenade.
Headed that way you see the Carquinez Bridge in the distance and the former
Mare Island Naval Shipyard and other industrial buildings across Mare
Island Strait. A quarter-mile before the promenade ends at Brinkman Marine
and Norm’s Bait Shop, you pass memorials related to and artifacts from the
shipyard. A crescent-shaped concrete wall commemorates the decommissioning
of the USS Nautilus, the nation’s first nuclear submarine, at Mare
Island in 1980. Other attractions here include a nine-inch cannon from the
Civil War–era USS Hartford and a “24-pounder”artillery gun from the frigate
Independence, which served in the Pacific Squadron in the mid-1800s.
GETTING THERE From I-80, take the I-780/Benicia and Martinez/Curtola
Parkway exit and take Curtola Parkway toward Vallejo. Curtola Parkway
becomes Mare Island Way; as you follow this along Mare Island Strait, you
will come to the ferry terminal and marina.
PARKING Along Mare Island Way,
seven blue spaces are in the lot by
the ferry terminal near Georgia St.
and two are in a public boat launch
lot south of the ferry landing by


164 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
Mare Island Strait
VALLEJO CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
VALLEJO CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU
Brinkmans Marine. Along Harbor Way in the marina, four are in the first lot
just off Mare Island Way, four are in each of the two lots at the marina office,
and three are in the lot by Vallejo Boatworks.
RESTROOMS Accessible restrooms are in the Ferry Building in San Francisco,
aboard the ferry, in the Vallejo visitor center, and in the Vallejo Marina
in the first lot off Harbor Way.
River Park
I-80 TENNESSEE STREET EXIT, VALLEJO
LOCATED ON THE EASTERN SHORE
of the Napa River at the end ofMare
Island Strait and north of the Vallejo
Marina, 55-acre River Park has 20 acres of restored salt marsh that you can
observe from a .5-mile shoreline levee trail. During my June visit, magentacolored
mallow lined the trail and birds were plentiful.
There are two ways to get to the levee trail.You can start from the paved
promenade that leads north .75 mile from the Vallejo ferry dock, or you can
drive directly to the park’s main entrance on Wilson Avenue. I took the
promenade, which turns to dirt and connects to the decomposed-granite
levee trail under the Mare Island Causeway.Deep ruts, a short steep hill, and
a cross slope required careful navigation. Now inside the park, I continued
north another .5 mile to a small pedestrian bridge with a step. This is the

The ferry is a comfortable way to travel between San Francisco and Vallejo.
M6 am–sunset
turnaround point for wheelchair riders. If you enter from Wilson Avenue,
however, you avoid the difficult section under the bridge. Instead you pick
up a short decomposed-granite path that leads from the parking lot to the
shoreline levee trail. Looking north from the end of the levee trail at the
pedestrian bridge, you see Sears Point Bridge on Highway 37 and Mare
Island across the strait.
GETTING THE R E Exit I-80 on Tennessee St., go west toward the bay, and
turn right on Wilson Avenue. From the Vallejo Marina, continue on Mare
Island Way to Wilson Avenue (don’t take the Mare Island Causeway or you’ll
end up on the island).
PARKING/ R E S TROOMS Eight blue spaces are at the park entrance off
Wilson Avenue. The closest accessible restroom is at the Vallejo Marina .5
mile south.
Napa and
Petaluma Rivers
THE NORTH SHORE OF San Pablo Bay is critical wildlife habitat for the bay,
and nearly all of it is set aside for that. There are places to explore, though,
including two parks along the Napa and Petaluma Rivers, one with multiple
sports and recreation facilities, the other a protected wetland.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Park
STREBLOW DRIVE OFF HIGHWAY 221, NAPA
TH I S 340- A C R E P A R K at the southern end of the city of Napa encompasses
the 2.5-mile Napa River Trail, the one-mile paved River to Ridge
Trail, several baseball and softball fields, a golf course, volleyball courts, a
boat launch, and areas for radio-controlled model airplanes. Lawns shaded
▼ ▼
166 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
by large trees surround the picnic grounds,
where many tables set on decomposed
granite have barbecue grills at wheelchair
height. The ramps into the playground
put you onto fibar, the artificial wood
fiber designed to be accessible. Drinking
fountains are accessible.
Start your trip from the second parking
lot past the duck pond for best access
to the trails and boat launch. From here,
the Napa River Trail leads north for about a mile and, to the south, forms a
1.25-mile loop. The entire trail is level except for one slight slope at its south
end as it leaves the river and heads east toward the hills.
The paved northern River Trail runs on a levee that crosses the Napa
River marsh terraces, which were built to protect against floods. Another
gravel trail runs along this stretch closer to the river, making a loop, but it is
an extremely bumpy ride and challenging for manual wheelchair users. On
my visit, both trails ended at a pedestrian bridge that was closed during renovation
of the nearby Imola Avenue vehicle bridge over the river. By late
2006, when the bridge work is expected to be completed, the paved trail will
continue over the pedestrian bridge and extend another 300 feet to pass
under the Imola Avenue bridge. The city plans to extend the trail north
.5 mile from Imola in two or three years, and sometime later to run it
another two miles to downtown Napa.
From the southern loop of the River Trail, steep, inaccessible dirt paths
lead to popular fishing spots. Benches above offer good places for watching
birds on the water. Inland from the river, a large meadow with fennel, wild
radish, and field mustard lies between the trail and two baseball fields. Butterflies
are plentiful here in season, and you may also see radio-controlled
planes buzzing around.
The River to Ridge Trail also starts near the boat launch. It passes the picnic
grounds and runs parallel to the park’s entrance road. It has some moderate
slopes after passing the duck pond. The paved section ends at Highway
221, where there are no curb cuts, and resumes across the road as a dirt trail,
preventing access from here to Skyline County Park, one mile away.
NA PA AND P E TA LUMA R I V E R S 167
Picnic reservations and general
information: 707/257-9529
Model airplane permit:
707/257-9529
MPark: 7 am–8 pm
Napa River Trail: sunrise to
sunset
Model plane flying area:
8 am–2 pm
GETTING THE R E From Highway 29 North, turn right on Highway 221
(downtown Napa/Lake Berryessa). After about two miles, turn left on Streblow
Dr. and follow it to the end.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The duck pond lot has no blue spaces, but each of
the park’s three other lots has several. Accessible restrooms are located
throughout the park. One by the boat launch has good access but no sink.
An accessible portable toilet is by the baseball fields, and the restroom by the
volleyball court is accessible except that it has no grab bars.
Shollenberger Park
OFF HIGHWAY 116 (LAKEVILLE HIGHWAY), PETALUMA
TUCKED INSIDE AN INDUST R I A L PARK on the banks of the Petaluma
River is Shollenberger Park, a wetland
teeming with wildlife and native
plants. Soon this area could become one of
the most watched and protected wetlands,
since the prestigious Point Reyes
Bird Observatory Conservation Science,
an ornithological research institution with
125 employees, is scheduled to move into a new building on the edge of the
park in 2006. The 2.25-mile crushed gravel Shollenberger Loop Trail (a small
section at the beginning is paved) encircles the city-owned dredge-spoils
ponds, holding silt from recent Petaluma River dredging, and briefly parallels
both the Petaluma River and Adobe Creek.
Pick up a self-guided tour brochure at the
trail’s first interpretive panel, and look for
birds and other wildlife. Within the first ten
minutes of our hike we saw two king snakes,
three western pond turtles, and five lizards.
Trail users include mothers with strollers,
business people on lunch break, and
▼ ▼
168 C A R Q U I N E Z S T R A I T AND NORTH B AY S H O R E
M6 am–9 pm
NOTE Docents lead tours
Oct.–June, second Sat. of the
month, 9 am
Burrowing owl at Shollenberger Park
BOB DYER
BOB DYER
birdwatchers. You will see picnic
tables and benches here and there.
You can add the Petaluma Marina
to your journey by crossing the
pedestrian bridge over Adobe
Creek and taking the one-mile
Marina Trail to your left. This
quiet path passes behind an
office complex, crosses seasonal
wetlands via several bridges, and
eventually ends at the marina.
The trail is composed of various surfaces, but all are level and firmly packed.
If you start from the marina instead and work your way to Shollenberger
Park, go right on Baywood Drive past the Sheraton Hotel. The trail entrance
is across from the hotel at the southern end of the parking lot.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 North take the Highway 116
(Lakeville Highway) exit in Petaluma and go east about one mile. Turn right
on South McDowell Blvd., go .3 mile, and take a right at the driveway opposite
Cader Lane, just before a large parking lot.
PARKING/RESTROOMS One blue space is at the entrance to Shollenberger
Park.No accessible parking is by the trail entrance off Baywood Dr.; the closest
is in front of the Sheraton Hotel. An accessible restroom and drinking
fountain are across from the blue space at the park entrance.
▼ ▼
NA PA AND P E TA LUMA R I V E R S 169
Birdwatching at Shollenberger Park
BONNIE LEWKOWICZ
White pelicans
Las Gallinas Valley
Sanitary District
Pickleweed Park
Pt. San Pedro Rd.
John F. MacInnis
County Park
McNear’s Beach
Sausalito Pt.
Sausalito
Ferry Terminal
Pt. San Pedro
San Rafael
Bay
Richardson
Bay
Tiburon Blvd.
Pt. San Quentin
Larkspur
Ferry Terminal
Paradise Beach
County Park
Angel
Island
Corte Madera
State Ecological
Preserve
Golden Gate
National
Recreation Area
Mt. Tamalpais
State Park
Bothin Marsh
Dunphy
Park
Bay
Model
Bayfront Park
Tiburon Audubon
Sanctuary
Starkweather
Shoreline Park
Tiburon Ferry Terminal
To
Santa Rosa
Golden Gate Bridge
Richmond–San Rafael
Bridge
Blackie’s Pasture
Paradise Dr.
Ayala Cove
MARIN
BAY SHORE
Marin Bay Shore
MARIN COUNT Y ’ S bay shoreline, from Black Point
near Sonoma County to the Golden Gate Bridge, is
richly varied,with wide marshes, forested hills,wildlife reserves,
beaches, coves, and urban areas. North of San Rafael, not much
of the shoreline is accessible. From San Rafael south, however,
you will find lots to explore. From Larkspur and Sausalito you
can catch the ferry to San Francisco, and from Tiburon you can
take one to Angel Island State Park.
Sausalito waterfront
DAN ROBBIN
171
San Rafael to
Corte Madera
A STRING OF PARKS ALONG this part of the bayshore offers waterfront trails,
fishing piers, playgrounds, and outstanding birdwatching, particularly at Las
Gallinas Valley Sanitary District and Corte Madera Ecological Reserve.
Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District
HIGHWAY 101 LUCAS VALLEY ROAD/SMITH RANCH ROAD EXIT, SAN RAFAEL
JUST NORTH OF the Marin County Civic
Center, bordering McInnis Park on
San Pablo Bay, a 3.5-mile level, hardpacked
trail winds around 350 acres of fresh and saltwater marsh, irrigated
pasture, and ponds. Don’t be discouraged if you detect a smell of sulphur.
This is the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District’s Wastewater Reclamation
Project. The ponds hold treated wastewater. But keep on going and you will
find yourself in a truly tranquil place where birdsong fills the air and dried
grasses crackle in the wind during the dry seasons. You can see Mount Diablo
to the east,Mount Tamalpais to the west, and all sorts of wildlife, including
a fantastic array of birds.
415/472-1734 X10
Pond at Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District
EILEEN ECKLUND
Next to the classroom building by the parking lot, a steep concrete path
leads across a bridge to the main trail. Two loop trails soon branch off and
circle the storage ponds. On one of those loops I saw white pelicans. The
shocks on my power wheelchair absorbed the jostling from riding over rocks
on the trail, but someone in a manual wheelchair with small front casters
may need to exert extra effort to negotiate the rocks. Although posted signs
warn of restricted areas, district personnel have said that only the fenced
areas are off limits. I did not travel the entire network of trails but was
assured that the main trail is level except for one easy incline at its end.
GETTING THE R E Exit Highway 101 at Lucas Valley Rd./Smith Ranch Rd.
and take it east toward the bay. Cross the railroad tracks and take the first
left. The half-mile driveway leads to the entrance.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS The small parking lot has one blue space. The
classroom by the parking lot has accessible restrooms open only from 7 am
to 2:30 pm.When these are closed, use the accessible restrooms at nearby
John F.McInnis County Park.
John F. McInnis County Park
THIS 441-ACRE PARK on the northern
bank of Las Gallinas Creek is a popular
family destination and sports lover’s
paradise. It has tennis courts and a soccer
field, baseball diamond, nine-hole golf
course, driving range, miniature golf
course, skate park, and restaurant. Kayaks
and canoes can be launched into Las Gallinas
Creek from an accessible pier. The
lower section of the miniature golf course, near the snack bar, is accessible.
A dirt hiking trail leads out to San Pablo Bay from the south side of the
main parking lot by the golf course.At the trail’s beginning are several shaded
resting spots with benches and views of the creek.While level, this trail has
large imbedded rocks that force you to keep zigzagging. Shortly past the golf
▼ ▼
S AN R A FA E L TO COR T E MADERA 173
Park: 415/499-6387
Golf course: 415/492-1800;
www.mcinnisparkgolfcenter.com
Batting cages and miniature golf:
415/491-5995
M7 am–10 pm. Snack bar:
Sun.–Thurs., 10 am–7 pm;
Fri. and Sat., 10 am–8 pm
course, signs warn of flying golf balls, the trail narrows, and the value of
pressing on becomes questionable.
For longer accessible trails in this part ofMarin, I recommend the pretty
trails at the nearby Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District’s Water Reclamation
Project.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Six blue spaces are in the corners of the main lot
by the golf course, two are at the skate park, two at the tennis courts, and two
in the lot at the bottom of the hill.Accessible restrooms are on the northwest
side of the main parking lot next to the batting cages and at the skate park.
McNears Beach
EAST OF DOWNTOWN SAN RAFAEL
OFTEN BATHED IN SUNLIGHT when other parts ofMarin are fogbound,
this popular 52-acre park offers a swimming pool, tennis courts, a
fishing pier, group picnic areas, a mile-long beach, and views of rocky
islands near the shore.
From the south parking lot you can follow the walkway to the concrete
fishing pier. Northward along the walkway is a gently rolling lawn often
occupied by sunbathers. Parking at the north lot puts you closer to the pool,
beach, tennis courts, and picnic area. Go around the snack bar past the tennis
courts to the pool, which is surrounded by ample level deck space and
has a portable lift operated by pool staff. Set under palm trees amid bay
views are four accessible tennis courts. Behind the pool are group picnic
sites, of which four are accessible (#1–3, 6).
Where the lawn meets the sandy beach, a gentle slope prevents direct
access to the beach.Traveling along the back side of the lawn, the walkway leads
up a steep hill and turns to packed dirt. I easily navigated the first hundred feet
of the hill before the path became too narrow to continue. The turnaround
spot, however, overlooks the bay and in season is surrounded by wildflowers.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 North, take the Central San Rafael
exit and turn right on Second St., which merges into Third Street. Take
Third St. east; it becomes Point San Pedro Rd., which you follow northeast
for 3.5 miles; then turn right onto Cantera Way.
▼ ▼
174 MARIN B AY S H O R E
MApril 3–May 27, 7 am–7pm;
May 28–Sept. 5, 7 am–8 pm;
Sept. 6–Sept. 21, 7 am–6 pm;
Oct. 31–April 2, 8 am–5 pm
Pool open Memorial Day to
Labor Day, 10 am–6 pm
FEES $2 walk-in
Parking: Summer, $8 per vehicle
weekends, $7 weekdays;
winter, $5.
Pay at accessible machine in
north parking lot.
Pool: $4
RESERVATIONS Group picnic
areas: 415/499-6387
Reserve tennis courts at the park.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The north lot has three blue spaces and the south
lot has one. The restroom serving the pool and tennis courts is moderately
accessible. Only frontal transfers at the toilet. The women’s has grab bars on
both sides, while the men’s has them on one side.Neither has accessible dressing
rooms, but there is a large open space that could work. At the beginning
of the pier are an accessible portable restroom and drinking fountain.
Pickleweed Park
CANAL STREET, SAN RAFAEL
IN T H I S T EN-ACR E PARK, wide paved
paths lead to a picnic area and a playground,
both with stable, firm surfaces.
Some of the play equipment is accessible.
There is a children’s center in the park,
and a community center that was being renovated in 2006 and scheduled to
be completed by the end of the year.A loop trail of less than .5 mile encircles
a grass baseball field and follows the southern shore of San Rafael Creek near

S AN R A FA E L TO COR T E MADERA 175
DAN ROBBIN
MSunrise to sunset
RESERVATIONS Picnic areas
and ballfield: 415/485-3077
its outlet into San Rafael Bay. Leading east from the playground along the
creek, the trail is paved for a stretch, then hard-packed dirt for a few hundred
yards, then paved again by the ballfield. During my visit in late summer, the
air was fragrant with fennel as I neared the end of the trail.
You can extend your trip from the southeastern edge of Pickleweed Park
another two miles round-trip by taking the rough bayside trail that leads
from behind the community center through Jean and John Starkweather
Shoreline Park (see below). Shortly after passing tiny Schoen Park, the trail
links up with a paved trail. A sign further inland by the road tells you when
you’ve arrived in Shoreline Park. To reach Shoreline without going through
Pickleweed you can ride on the sidewalk leading east from the children’s
center to the park entrance.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 North, take the Central San Rafael
exit. Turn right on Second St., right on Grand Ave., which turns into East
Francisco Blvd., and left on Medway Rd.,which runs into Canal Street. Take
Canal St. to the right and follow it to the park. From Highway 580 West,
merge onto Highway 101 North and take the Central San Rafael exit, then
follow the directions above.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Two parking lots (no blue spaces) off Canal St. at
either end of the park serve both the park and the community and children’s
centers.When the community center reopens, another lot will be available
next to it.An accessible restroom is between the picnic area and playground.
▼ ▼
176 MARIN B AY S H O R E
San Rafael Creek runs past Pickleweed Park.
EILEEN ECKLUND
Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline Park
NORTH OF POINT SAN QUENTIN, SAN RAFAEL
THE BAY TRAIL LEADS south on a
paved and dirt levee from Pickleweed
Park to Jean and John Starkweather Shoreline
Park, a narrow strip of parkland that stretches for three miles along the
bayshore, past residences and a marsh.Alongside the trail at one of two wooden
platforms with benches you can watch shorebirds, or further along take a ramp
to the water’s edge and listen to small waves lap against rocks.
In Shoreline Park, the trail runs parallel to the bay for about .25 mile,
with unobstructed views of the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge and West and
East Marin Islands, then turns inland and leads to a junction offering three
options. The first is a concrete ramp leading down to a small rocky inlet, the
second is a hard-packed dirt and paved levee trail that travels south along the
bay for one mile toward Point San Quentin, and the third is the paved trail
you have been following, which now leads west from the junction, wraps
around a housing development and past a marsh, and ends at a sidewalk that
travels into the same housing development. The levee trail toward Point San
Quentin is the longer and more interesting trip. Its approach, however, is a
short but steep paved hill that may be problematic for manual wheelchair
users, especially on the return uphill. To avoid this hill and the dirt section of
the trail, drive to Pelican Way, off East Francisco Boulevard, and pick up the
trail there; it continues for less than .25 mile. Fewer people travel this section.
GETTING THE R E Follow the directions to Pickleweed Park, then continue
past the park on Canal St. to the Spinnaker Point housing development,
where Shoreline Park begins. To park at Pelican Way, follow the directions to
Pickleweed but stay on East Francisco Blvd. to Pelican Way, then turn left and
follow it to the end.
PARKING/RE S TROOMS Parking (no blue spaces) is on the street by the
trail entrance on Spinnaker Point Dr. and in the lot at the end of Pelican
Way. Accessible restrooms are at Pickleweed Park.
▼ ▼
S AN R A FA E L TO COR T E MADERA 177
MSunrise to sunset
Corte Madera Ecological Reserve
HIGHWAY 101 TAMALPAIS DRIVE EXIT, CORTE MADERA
WI TH SOME FOUR MILE S of trails weaving through a 125-acre restored
salt marsh, this reserve is a great place for bird-watching. A paved
sidewalk on its western edge near Highway 101 allows for a smooth ride, but
the noise of traffic detracts from the natural sounds. Far more interesting are
the hard-packed gravel and dirt levee trails, which offer vistas of the marsh,
open water, and views of the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge and San Quentin
State Prison.However, these trails may be difficult to navigate. They are narrow
in some places and may be impassible during the rainy season. To reach
the levee trails, start at the intersection of San Clemente Drive and Tamalpais
Drive. I needed assistance in my power wheelchair for the steep inclines
leading from the lower levee trail to the upper trails, so those will be especially
tough for manual wheelchair users.
PARKING/RESTROOMS The large gravel lot on Tamalpais Dr. has ten blue
spaces. Several more are in the Village at Corte Madera mall, across the road
from the reserve; use crosswalks with traffic lights. The closest accessible
restrooms are at the mall.
Tiburon Peninsula
and Angel Island
THE SMALL, EXCLUSIVE TOWN of Tiburon began in the 1880s as a hamlet at
a Northwestern Pacific Railroad terminus. Today, the town’s shops and
restaurants draw many visitors. The 2.5-mile Tiburon Peninsula Historic
Trail runs along the waterfront from the peninsula’s eastern shore to downtown.
Ferries departing from docks off Main Street serve San Francisco and
Angel Island State Park,where you can visit old military buildings and a former
immigration station.Visits to scenic Paradise Beach County Park on the

178 MARIN B AY S H O R E
eastern shore of the peninsula and the Tiburon Audubon Sanctuary on the
western shore can also be worthwhile.
Paradise Beach County Park
PARADISE DRIVE, TIBURON
THIS PRETT Y 19-ACRE PARK on the
east shore of the Tiburon Peninsula
is set on a steep hillside overlooking the
bay, with the Richmond–San Rafael
Bridge in the distance. On a sunny day
you’ll see sailboats and yachts skimming
the waves. Lawns are shaded by trees and
several picnic areas with barbecue grills
are set on hard-packed gravel and decomposed granite. Because of the hilly
terrain, access around the park is limited. The lawn overlooking the tiny
inaccessible beach is popular for picnicking. The fishing pier is level
(46-inch railings), but the paved path from the parking lot to the pier is
very steep. Other paths might be challenging for manual wheelchair users,
but I had no problems in my power wheelchair.
T I B U RON P E N I N S U L A AND A N G E L I S L AND 179
MSpring/fall, 7 am–7pm;
summer, 7 am–8 pm;
winter, 8 am–5 pm
FEES $7 per vehicle, $2 walk-in
RESERVATIONS Group picnic
areas: 415/499-6387
Paradise Beach pier and picnic area
EILEEN ECKLUND
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101, go east on Tiburon Blvd., left on
Trestle Glen Blvd., and right on Paradise Drive. Proceed two miles to the
park entrance.
PARKING/RESTROOMS Five blue spaces are in the lower lot. The restroom
near the pier has an accessible stall with a wide door, grab bars, a tight entry
turn, and room for only a frontal transfer.Accessible portable toilets are next
to the picnic areas.
Tiburon Peninsula Historic Trail
TIBURON BOULEVARD OFF HIGHWAY 101 TIBURON/MILL VALLEY EXIT
ON THE EASTERN SHORE of
Richardson Bay, at the intersection
of Tiburon Boulevard and Trestle Glen
Boulevard, is a 12-acre public open space
called Blackie’s Pasture, dedicated to a
horse named Blackie who grazed here for
28 years. This is where people park to begin
hiking the wide, paved, and mostly level
Tiburon Peninsula Historic Trail, which runs 2.5 miles along the water through
Richardson Bay Park to downtown Tiburon. This trail was once part of a train
route bringing food and supplies to Tiburon, as you can learn from photographs
mounted on plaques along the trail. On weekends this scenic trail is
heavily used by joggers, hikers, skaters, and cyclists.
Near the trail’s beginning, several paths lead off toward Richardson Bay.
The first, a short hard-packed dirt trail, ends at a lovely shady spot with
benches where you can look
out at Sausalito and San Francisco;
the second, with hardpacked
gravel, takes off just
past a restroom at the southern
side of a bridge over a creek
bed. It hugs the shoreline and
winds around grassy hills, con-
▼ ▼
CALEB HUGHES
Donohue Depot: 415/435-1853
MDonohue Depot: April–Oct.,
Sun. and Wed., 1–4 pm
RESERVATIONS Permits for
organized sports at McKegney
Green: 415/435-4355
180 MARIN B AY S H O R E
necting back, on a very steep incline, to the
main trail. The children’s play area, tucked
against the hillside, is most easily reached by
continuing on the main trail past a portable
restroom. Beyond a group of picnic tables, one
of which is accessible, a path leads downhill to
a swing set and a ramped play structure. A
sandbox surrounds the play structure, so the
ramp is not very useful.
Next on the trail is McKegney Green, a
large grass playing field that is a good place to
stop and enjoy the scenery. From here you
travel alongside multimillion-dollar homes perched on the hillside. The bay
view starts to disappear as trees enclose the trail, providing shade and obscuring
nearby residences.Two miles later the trail ends at Mar West Street and continues
on sidewalks to downtown Tiburon.
Across Main Street the Historic Trail continues to Elephant Rock on a
.25-mile exposed-aggregate concrete path along the water.Grassy areas with
benches give you reason to stop and admire Angel Island, which looms large
across the water.Donohue Depot, a small building housing the Tiburon Rail
Ferry Museum, is farther up the trail. The last stop, Elephant Rock, sits a few
feet offshore and is reached by a ramp. The wooden deck surrounding the
rock has small gaps through which you can see the water below.
GETTING THE R E From Highway 101 take the Mill Valley/Tiburon exit,
heading east on Tiburon Blvd. approximately two miles to Blackie’s Pasture
(before Trestle Glen Drive).
PARKING Two blue spaces are at Blackie’s Pasture and one is at the small
lot at Donohue Depot on Paradise Drive. For parking in downtown Tiburon,
see “Angel Island,” below.
RESTROOMS Accessible restrooms are a few hundred feet past the bridge
at Blackie’s Pasture. One accessible portable restroom is across from the children’s
play area.An accessible restroom is on the first level of the ferry landing
in Tiburon.
▼ ▼ ▼
T I B U RON P E N I N S U L A AND A N G E L I S L AND 181
CALEB HUGHES
Angel Island State Park
OFF TIBURON IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY VIA FERRY OR PRIVATE BOAT
ACCE S S I B LE BY FE R R I E S from San Francisco, Tiburon, and Oakland/
Alameda, this forested 740-acre island has a network of trails that
offer panoramic views of the bay, San Francisco, and Marin County. You
can picnic near the ferry dock in Ayala Cove and visit three old garrison
buildings.Many people bring bicycles. Although the island’s difficult terrain
and historical buildings pose many challenges to the wheelchair rider,
the park has put great effort into making the overall experience more accessible.
An accessible campsite is available by reservation. Environmental
Traveling Companions, a nonprofit outdoor adventure-guide company
specializing in disability access, offers day-long and overnight kayaking
trips to the island. The air can be quite cool on the ferry and on the island.
Layered clothing is advisable.
The ramp at the Tiburon ferry landing is steep, the one at Ayala Cove less
so.When you arrive on the island, check the dockside information board to
see which tours are being offered, and make sure you have a map and know
the return ferry schedule. A short asphalt road from the ferry landing to the
ramp-equipped visitor center passes a small gift shop and a large lawn with
182 MARIN B AY S H O R E
Ayala Cove
LYNN EICHINGER, ANGEL ISL AND ASSOCIATION
many picnic tables and barbecue grills.
The visitor center’s historical displays and
dioramas of native plants and animals are
complemented by two short self-start
videos, one chronicling the island’s history
from the last ice age up through its
use by the Miwok Indians and the U.S.
military, the other focusing on the years
between 1910 and 1940, when Chinese
immigrants were detained and interrogated
on the island. A scale model of the
island is mounted too high for easy viewing
from a wheelchair.
The Cove Café deli near the visitor
center has patio seating. From there you
can board an accessible tram (room for
two wheelchairs only) for a one-hour
tour that circles the island on Perimeter
Road, making brief stops at Camp
Reynolds and the Immigration Station.
You can explore the island on your own
by following the Perimeter Road loop, a
paved—and often steep—five-mile-long
fire road. The path from the visitor center
to Perimeter Road begins with a long uphill
stretch that is a challenge even for a
strong manual wheelchair rider. The
slope of this hill is matched by three other
steep climbs and one steeper hill along
the loop. If you’re using a manual wheelchair,
wear gloves to protect your hands
on the way down. Where smaller trails
cross the road, there is usually a picnic
table or bench.
T I B U RON P E N I N S U L A AND A N G E L I S L AND 183
Park: 415/435-1915,
parks.ca.gov
Angel Island Association:
415/435-3522; angelisland.org
Environmental Traveling
Companions: 415/474-7662;
etctrips.org
FERRIES From Tiburon
(daily May–Oct., call for rest
of year): 415/435-2131,
angelislandferry.com
From San Francisco (daily) and
Oakland/Alameda (summer
weekends only): 415/705-5555;
blueandgoldfleet.com
MPark: 8 am–sunset
Ayala Cove visitor center:
10 am–5 pm
Docent-led tours at historic sites:
weekends, April–Oct.
Cove Café, tram tours,
and bicycle rentals: call
415/897-0715 or visit
www.angelisland.com
RESERVATIONS
Ferries: Tiburon ferry takes
group reservations only;
$2.25 surcharge for phone
reservations for Blue
& Gold Fleet
Group and docent-led tours:
Angel Island Association,
415/435-3522
Tram tours: Angel Island
Company, 415/897-0715
If you need assistance, call
ranger station, 415/435-5390
Campsite: Reserve
America, 800/444-7275;
reserveamerica.com
(continued next page)
When you turn right from the Ayala
Cove path onto Perimeter Road, you first
come to Camp Reynolds, also known as
West Garrison, about one mile down the
road. One of three garrisons on the island
(access to all of which involves steeply
sloping roads), this is the easiest to enter.A
campground here has one level and accessible
campsite and accessible pathways to
the restroom.
The old Immigration Station, which
was also North Garrison, is about one
mile in the other direction from the
intersection of the Ayala Cove path and
Perimeter Road. That includes a .5-mile
climb at first, and then a level stretch. The entrance road down to the station
is extremely steep, but well worth the challenge for those who want a
close look. A lift to a side door provides wheelchair access to the station
building. From 1910 to 1940, Chinese and other Asian immigrants were
interrogated here and detained in cramped quarters under the provisions
of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred most Chinese citizens
from immigrating to the United States. Some poems carved into the walls
by detainees tell of their sadness and frustration. In early 2006, the Immigration
Station was closed for extensive restoration; it was scheduled to
reopen at the end of the year.
About .5 mile beyond the Immigration Station is the entrance to Fort
McDowell, the East Garrison. The path leading down to it is shorter and
nearly as steep as the one from Ayala Cove, but there is a flat resting place
midway. If you are not with a ranger guide who can open the accessible side
entrance to the garrison’s guardhouse, you will need to send someone up
the front entrance steps to have it opened. The entry had a dip in the floor,
requiring me to back in to avoid bottoming out my footplate. Immediately
I found myself in a chilly, ominous place, surrounded by prison cells. The
guardhouse was used by the military for troops who misbehaved. From this
184 MARIN B AY S H O R E
(continued from previous page)
FEES Ferries (includes state
park fee): Tiburon: age 12
and up, $10; age 5–11, $8;
age 4 and under, free
(limit 1 free fare per paying
adult); bicycle, $1
Blue & Gold Fleet: age 13
and up, $13.50; age 6–12, $8;
age 5 and under, free
Tram Tour: adults, $12.50;
seniors 62 and up, $10.50;
children 6–12, $8.50; under
age 6, free if seated on lap;
call for group rates
Campsite: $15–20 per night
room you can access the main floor via a lift. A display of interpretive panels
explains the military’s presence on the island from 1863 to 1963.
GETTING THE R E Scheduled passenger ferries (no cars) depart to Ayala
Cove from San Francisco, Tiburon, and Oakland/Alameda (weekends only),
with connections from Vallejo. Tiburon offers the most daily trips,with two
boats serving the island. In Tiburon I found it easier to board the smaller
Bonita because the larger Angel Island required that my chair be lifted over
a three-and-a-half-inch step at the top of the ramp. There is no set schedule
for when either boat is used.You can also sail or kayak to the island on your
own or arrange to charter a boat and moor at Ayala Cove.
PARKING Three blue spaces are alongside the shops on Tiburon Blvd.,
near the ferry terminal on Main Street. The other option is a paid lot, several
of which are nearby; see angelislandferry.com for locations and rates.
R E S TROOMS In the accessible restroom on the first level of the ferry
landing in Tiburon, look for the widest door (no sign). Two accessible restrooms
are at the ferry dock at Ayala Cove and a third is near the platform
picnic site. Each of the three garrisons has clean, accessible restrooms. The
Immigration Station’s two accessible restrooms are in a building along the
switchback sidewalk from the entrance road.
Sausalito and Mill Valley
A TRIP ALONG THE SAUSALITO waterfront leads you through a picturesque
downtown often crowded with tourists and past a yacht harbor. On the north
side, a 2.5-mile pedestrian-and-bicycle path leads from Harbor Drive to Mill
Valley’s Bayfront Park, crossing Bothin Marsh on a boardwalk.
▼ ▼ ▼
S AU S A L I TO AND M I L L VA L L E Y 185
Sausalito Waterfront
MY E X C U R S I O N B E G A N on the
sidewalk along Bridgeway, the
waterfront street that begins at Richardson
Street, near Sausalito’s southeastern
edge, and runs by Yee Tock Chee Park and
through downtown. Benches along the
way invite you to linger, enjoying views of San Francisco, Angel Island, and
the waterfront scene as you listen to the water lap against the shoreline riprap.
Yee Tock Chee Park, small and on the shoreline, is an intriguing sculptural
exercise in concrete and geometry. A ramp leads in from Bridgeway,
but then the park has three levels, mostly created by fan-shaped steps that
vary from one to six inches in height, making wedge-shaped platforms. A
short stairway leads up to a lookout platform at water’s edge. There is no
wheelchair access to these platforms, but any other place in the park has a
good view of the bay and the hillsides above Sausalito.
From the park, continue through downtown on Bridgeway’s sidewalk
past Plaza Viña del Mar. To explore the waterfront, turn right on El Portal,
which leads to the ferry-landing plaza, with benches and more bay views.
Triangular Gabrielson Memorial Park nearby also has several benches and
a path near the water. That path continues on to the Spinnaker Restaurant
186 MARIN B AY S H O R E
Along Sausalito’s waterfront
DAN ROBBIN
Bay Model: 415/332-3870
MBay Model: Tues.–Sat.,
9 am–4 pm; Earl F. Dunphy
Park: 5 am–11 pm
and the Sausalito Yacht Harbor, where a boardwalk runs along the water
from Bay Street to Johnson Street, offering close-up views of grand yachts.
Other public shoreline access points include a small dock and benches overlooking
Pelican Harbor at the end of Johnson Street, and a public pier on the
bayside of Turney Street that wraps around a restaurant and continues
north to Locust Street.
North of downtown, back on Bridgeway at Napa Street, is the mostly
inaccessible Earl F. Dunphy Park. Bordered by trees, it has a gazebo, sand
volleyball court, and small sandy beach. If you don’t mind traveling across
grass, this is a spot where you can enjoy a quiet break from downtown.
Instead of returning to the sidewalk and the din of traffic on Bridgeway,
cross Napa Street at the Dunphy Park parking lot to connect to a pedestrian
path that leads through the Marinship area, where Liberty Ships were built
during World War II. The path becomes dirt and gravel for 100 feet as it
winds slightly uphill behind an office complex. There is a three-inch curb
where it reconnects to an asphalt trail. This path then leads to Marinship
Way, where you’ll find the Bay Model Visitor Center. Built in 1957 and operated
by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a scientific research center, the
sprawling building is now a public education center. It features a massive
hydraulic model of San Francisco Bay—built at floor level—that can simulate
currents, tidal action, sediment movement, and the mixing of fresh and
salt water. Interpretive panels and hands-on exhibits offer opportunities to
learn about the bay’s history and ecosystem.
Heading north from the Bay Model, to avoid negotiating a 24-inch passage
around a pole on Bridgeway’s sidewalk, stay on Marinship Way until
Harbor Drive, then turn left to return to Bridgeway and the end of your
downtown waterfront tour.The paved pedestrian-and-bicycle Sausalito–Mill
Valley Trail begins here and leads 1.5 miles north to Bothin Marsh, and from
Bothin, one mile further to Bayfront Park in Mill Valley.
PARKING Downtown has no streetside blue spaces. Blue spaces are in lots
near the ferry landing and at the Sausalito Yacht Harbor off Johnson Street.
One blue space is behind the public restroom on Bridgeway at Anchor St.,
two are in the lot on Locust St., one is on the southern side of Dunphy Park,
and four are at the Bay Model.

S AU S A L I TO AND M I L L VA L L E Y 187
RE S TROOMS The stalls in the small public restroom at the corner of
Bridgeway and Anchor St. only allow for a frontal transfer, the men’s room’s
lowered urinal is too close to the wall for an easy approach, and there is limited
space for opening the door to the women’s restroom. Restrooms inside
and outside the Bay Model are open only when the building is open. The
outside restroom has good access. Those indoors have stalls too shallow to
close the door, and only allow for a frontal transfer.
Bothin Marsh and Bayfront Park
HIGHWAY 101 STINSON BEACH EXIT, MILL VALLEY
THE BI K E L ANE and sidewalk along Bridgeway in downtown Sausalito
connect with the Sausalito–Mill Valley Trail at Harbor Drive. This wide
level asphalt section of the Bay Trail, popular with cyclists, runners, and
rollerbladers, leads 1.5 miles north and under the Richardson Bay Bridge to
Bothin Marsh. The trails in its 112 acres of open space and restored salt
marsh are dirt and can be accessible during the dry season. From the south,
the Sausalito–Mill Valley Trail follows the edge of the marsh for one mile to
Bayfront Park. Along the way, the trail crosses four small wooden bridges
that rise over creeks and channels. When bicycle traffic is light, these are
great places to watch for marine life as the tide surges in or out. Shorebirds
abound and interpretive panels give historical and ecological information
about Richardson Bay.
Fourteen-acre Bayfront Park, which surrounds a quiet inlet at the
northernmost tip of Richardson Bay, offers on its western side a large dog
run, soccer fields, a skateboard park, picnic tables, and a pier for launching
small boats. The pier has one step and is steep at low tide. A bridge with a
two-inch ledge at both ends leads to the park’s eastern side, with a playground,
softball field, and more soccer fields. From the east-side parking lot,
a paved trail leads south a few hundred yards.At the “Public Shoreline” sign,
follow the decomposed-granite trail uphill for a view of the lagoon below. In
my power wheelchair I safely climbed a steep section with a cross slope, but
people in manual wheelchairs may need assistance. Steps lead down from
the crest of the hill to a .25-mile trail that hugs the shoreline, traveling
behind a landscaped condominium complex.To reach this section by wheel-

188 MARIN B AY S H O R E
chair you need to backtrack to the shoreline sign and continue on the sidewalk,
turning onto Shelter Bay Avenue where it dead-ends at the trail.
GETTING THE R E To reach Bothin Marsh from Highway 101 North, take
the Highway 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach exit, then veer right. Turn right at
Mt. Tam junction, then left at Pohono Street. To reach Bayfront Park from
Highway 101 South, exit at Tiburon/East Blithedale Avenue. For the park’s
west side, turn right on East Blithedale, left at Camino Alto, and left at
Sycamore. For the east side, from East Blithedale turn left at Roque Moraes
Dr. and right on Hamilton Drive.
PARKING Bothin Marsh parking is off Pohono St. in the Shoreline Office
Center’s parking lot. You will see Bay Trail spaces, but none are designated
blue. You can park legally in one of several blue spaces associated with the
office complex. Two lots serve Bayfront Park. Six blue spaces are in the Mill
Valley Middle School lot off Sycamore Ave. on the park’s western side. On
the park’s east side, approaching from Hamilton Dr., you will find one blue
space in the northern lot and one at the trail entrance across the road from
the public safety building.
RE S TROOMS Accessible public restrooms are in the Sewerage Agency
building on the west side of Bayfront Park. Take Sycamore Ave. and cross the
agency parking lot. The bathrooms do not have raised toilets, and the entry
door is heavy. Good accessible restrooms are in the northern parking lot on
Hamilton Drive.
▼ ▼ ▼
S AU S A L I TO AND M I L L VA L L E Y 189
Bayfront Park: 415/383-1370
MDawn to dusk
The Sausalito–Mill Valley Trail
EILEEN ECKLUND
Resources
More Guides to Trails and Parks
Few printed guides to wheelchair-accessible outings in the Bay Area exist,
and none we know of is up to date. You might check out some of the websites
listed below, but keep in mind—as you also should with this book—
that park and trail conditions keep changing. It’s wise to contact the relevant
park or agency to make sure you have current information.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY TRAIL Maps and descriptions of places along the
trail, with information on how to get there: www.baytrail.org
BAY AREA HIKER All-access and easy trails in the San Francisco
Bay Area: www.bahiker.com/extras/allaccess.html
SAN FRANCISCO BAY SHORELINE ACCESS WEB GUIDE A GIS-based
guide intended to integrate a variety of information about public
access and recreation around the bay shoreline. It is a work in progress:
http://gis.abag.ca.gov/website/ShorelineAccess/index.htm
MIDPENINSULA REGIONAL OPEN SPACE DISTRICT The District’s most
accessible trails: www.openspace.org/activities/accessible_trails.asp
TRAIL CENTER Disabilities-accessible trails and parks on the San
Francisco Peninsula and in the South Bay:
www.trailcenter.org/guides/disabilities/disabilities.htm
TRAILHEAD: TRAILS OF THE DIABLO VALLEY Paved multi-use trails:
www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/6016/paved.html
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS Accessible features in California State Parks:
http://access.parks.ca.gov
190
R E S O U RC E S 191
TRAIL EXPLORER This site invites you to search for trails with specific accessibility
features. The vast majority of the trails listed are outside the
Bay Area: www.trailexplorer.org
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE TRAILS
Wheelchair rider Ann Sieck reviews some trails she has hiked:
http://dann.netwiz.net/trails.htm
ACCESS SAN FRANCISCO
Produced by Access Northern California (www.accessnca.com) and distributed
by the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, this guide contains
information about accessible transportation, hotels and restaurants,museums,
parks, tours, and visitor attractions. Call 415/391-2000 (TDD/TTY
415/392-0328) for a free copy. The guide can be downloaded in PDF format
from www.sfvisitor.org and is also available on tape or in large-print format
from the Mayor’s Office on Disability, 415/554-6789 (TTY 415/554-6799).
THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY SHORELINE GUIDE
This lively Coastal Conservancy guide, published in 1995 by the University
of California Press, is still the most comprehensive guide to the bay shoreline,
although some parks and trails have changed dramatically and some
access information is outdated. It not only describes trails but also includes
much natural and human history, all in a concise and user-friendly format.
You can order a copy from the University of California Press, at your local
bookstore, or from the Bay Trail Project.
Guided Hikes and Outings for People with Disabilities
BAY AREA ASSOCIATION OF DISABLED SAILORS: 415/281-0212;
www.baads.org
BAY AREA OUTREACH AND RECREATION PROGRAM (BORP): 510/849-4663;
www.borp.org
ENVIRONMENTAL TRAVELING COMPANIONS (ETC): 415/474-7662;
www.etctrips.org
ON THE LEVEL TOURS: 415/921-1382; www.onthelevelsf.com
RIDE A WAVE: 831/239-3672; www.rideawave.org
SHARED ADVENTURES: 831/459-7210; www.sharedadventures.com
Public Transportation
Many parks, reserves, and trails can be reached by public transit. People with
disabilities may be eligible for discount fares. All Bay Area transit agencies also
offer paratransit service, typically a shared ride in a small bus, van, or taxi, for
people unable to use regularly scheduled public transit.Visit http://transit.511.
org/disabled/index.asp or contact the transit agency serving the area where
you live or are staying.
PUBLIC TRANSIT SERVING PARKS AND OPEN SPACES:
http://maps.openspacecouncil.org/Outdoors/
REGIONAL TRANSIT INFORMATION AND TRIP PLANNING ASSISTANCE:
call 511 or 711 (TDD) or visit www.511.org. This website also provides
links to local and regional transit operators, including ferries.
LOCAL AND REGIONAL TRANSIT OPERATORS:
AC TRANSIT: 510/891-4777; www.actransit.org; serves Alameda County
and parts of Contra Costa County
AMTRAK: 877/974-3322; www.amtrakcapitols.com; train and bus connections
between San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento
BART: 510/465-2278; www.bart.gov; serves San Francisco, Alameda, and
parts of San Mateo and Contra Costa Counties
GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT: 415/455-2000; www.goldengate.org; serves Marin,
Sonoma, and San Francisco Counties
SAMTRANS: 800/660-4287; www.samtrans.com; serves San Mateo County
and parts of San Francisco and Palo Alto
192 A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
R E S O U RC E S 193
SAN FRANCISCO MUNICIPAL RAILWAY (MUNI): 415/673-6864;
www.sfmuni.com; serves San Francisco
WESTCAT: 510/724-7993; www.westcat.org; serves west Contra Costa
County
FERRIES:
ALAMEDA HARBOR BAY FERRY: 510/769-5500; www.harborbayferry.com;
service between Bay Farm Island (Alameda) and San Francisco
ALAMEDA/OAKLAND FERRY: 510/749-5837; www.eastbayferry.com; service
between Oakland, Alameda, San Francisco, and Angel Island
ANGEL ISLAND–TIBURON FERRY: 415/435-2131; angelislandferry.com;
service between Tiburon and Angel Island
BLUE AND GOLD FLEET: 415/705-5555; blueandgoldfleet.com; service
between San Francisco, Oakland/Alameda,Vallejo, Angel Island, Alcatraz,
Sausalito, and Tiburon
GOLDEN GATE FERRY: 511 or 711 (TDD); www.goldengate.org; service between
Larkspur, Sausalito, and San Francisco
VALLEJO BAYLINK FERRY: 707/643-3779 or 877/643-3779 (toll-free);
www.baylinkferry.com; service between Vallejo and San Francisco
Parking Permits
Parking spaces are scarce in some urban areas, especially San Francisco.
Disabled visitors can get a temporary disabled parking placard ($6) from
the Department of Motor Vehicles by downloading an application at
www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg195.pdf. A doctor’s signature is required.
Out-of-state and -country disabled parking permits and placards are valid
in California.
194 A WH E E LC H A I R R I D E R ’ S G U I D E
Information about San Francisco Bay Issues
Do you want to know more about the natural features and parks on the
bay and nearby coast? Here are a few resources to start with. There are
many more.
SAVE THE BAY: 510/452-9261; www.savesfbay.org
SAN FRANCISCO BAY TRAIL PROJECT: 510/464-7900; www.baytrail.org
DON EDWARDS SAN FRANCISCO BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:
510/792-0222; www.fws.gov/desfbay
EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT: 510/562-7275; www.ebparks.org
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA: 415/561-4700;
www.nps.gov/goga
LITERACY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: 415/282-6840; www.lejyouth.org
URBAN CREEKS COUNCIL: 510/540-6669; www.urbancreeks.org
CALIFORNIA COAST & OCEAN MAGAZINE: 510/286-0934
www.coastandocean.org
CREDIT S
Editors: Brett Wilkison and Eileen Ecklund
Copy editors: Trish Beall and Hal Hughes
Producer and consulting editor: Rasa Gustaitis
Project manager: Maxene Spellman
Design and composition: Seventeenth Street Studios
Printing: University of California Printing Services
Special thanks to volunteer photographers Lawrence and Dan Robbin,
and to field checkers Foster Andersen, Ramona Arellano, David
Jonathan Cooper, Ann Cupulo-Freeman, Kristi Grotting,
Ann Sieck, and Marilyn Straka.
We want to express our appreciation to Erick Mikiten and Ralf
Hotchkiss for their unique contributions.
Thanks also to Lori Gray with the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation
Program, Laura Thompson and other staff of the Bay Trail Project, the
Coastal Conservancy, East Bay Regional Park District, Golden Gate National
Recreation Area, and the other public agencies that reviewed
text and maps for factual accuracy, and provided other help.
Front cover photo: Lawrence Robbin
Back cover photos (top to bottom): Ride a Wave photo by
Howard “Boots” McGhee; National Park Service; Caleb Hughes
MANY NAT U R A L
areas, parks, urban waterfronts,
and hundreds of miles of trails
along the California coast and on San Francisco Bay are now accessible to
wheelchair riders and others with limited mobility. This book describes
more than a hundred beautiful and interesting
sites around the entire bay and on the ocean between
Point Reyes and Santa Cruz. You will find
opportunities to watch birds and other wildlife,
picnic on blufftops and on shaded lawns by the
water, camp on an island, fish off piers, watch
sunsets over the surf, learn about the region’s
natural and human history, and enjoy yourself in
many other ways.
Too often, wheelchair riders hesitate to explore far from home because
they don’t know about barrier-free routes and the availability of
restrooms and other facilities. The
Coastal Conservancy funded this guide
as part of its public access program, to
encourage greater enjoyment of the
natural riches we all hold in common.