Bay Trail Outings – Western Contra Costa County, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and San Rafael
The 36 miles of Bay Trail in Richmond offer a wide variety of options for walking, cycling and jogging. Bicyclists may ride all 36 miles in one day cycling the shoreline trail along Central Avenue through the many parks in Marina Bay, the Shipyard 3 Trail, the Ferry Point Loop encircling Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline, the Landfill Loop and Point Pinole Regional Shoreline as shown on the Richmond Bay Trail map. They also may traverse the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Trail to San Rafael destinations as described below. Here is a sampling of shorter loop walks for those walking:
Start at Shimada Friendship Park where the Marina Bay Parkway ends at Peninsula Drive. Walk right along the Bay shoreline to Vincent Park and then along the marina esplanade to explore the Rosie the Riveter Memorial sculptural exhibit in Marina Bay Park. Continue through Marina Bay Park, cross Marina Bay Parkway and follow Meeker Tidal Creek to pass the Meeker Slough bridge and return to Shimada Friendship Park.
Rosie Memorial in Marina Bay Park
Start from The Plunge at 1 Richmond Ave, Richmond 94801 at Garrard Blvd. Head south though the Ferry Point Tunnel to explore Keller Beach, follow a short trail along the shoreline and cross over abandoned railroad tracks to walk the paved trail along the lagoon to view historic Ferry Point. From Ferry Point, cross Dornan Drive to the trail along Brickyard Cove Road. After viewing the historic brick kiln, cross street carefully to walk along the public shore access overlooking Brickyard Cove Marina. Upon reaching Seacliff Drive, you’ll have two optional routes for getting to Canal Blvd. and Cutting Blvd. where you turn left to return to The Plunge. You may take the Ferry Point Loop Trail over the hill along Seacliff Drive or continue along the shoreline of Waterline residential area to the Shipyard 3 Trail and view the SS Red Oak Victory & Whirley Crane, adding 2.0 miles to the outing.
From Richmond Parkway, take Parr Blvd to trailhead staging area at 1 Parr Blvd., Richmond 94801. Head left along a tidal channel to encircle this former landfill clockwise, viewing the vast tidal marsh at the mouth of Wildcat Creek before reaching San Pablo Bay and returning along San Pablo Creek. Pause to enjoy the rich variety of migratory waterfowl and wading birds, as well as ten interpretive panels telling about the natural and cultural history of this scenic closed landfill.
Landfill Loop Trail Vista
As the largest shoreline park in the Bay Area, Point Pinole offers many options for walking all or part of its 6.3 miles of Bay Trail. You have the choice of three trailhead staging areas, i.e. at end of Atlas Road 3000 Atlas Road, Richmond 94806; 5551 Giant Hwy, Richmond, CA 94806 and Dotson Family Marsh at end of Goodrick Ave. off the Richmond Parkway. Take your choice and explore this 2432-acre park extending more than a mile into San Pablo Bay with its 80 years of explosives manufacturing history.
Giant Marsh at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
This trail in Pinole and Hercules may be accessed for a 3.0 to 4.0 miles outing from San Pablo Avenue by going to the end of the following streets:
- Pinoles Shores Drive in Pinole
- Bayfront Park at 1 Tennent Ave, Pinole, CA 94564
- Victoria Park at end of Victoria Crescent Drive in Hercules
You may start at any of these locations and enjoy San Pablo Bay vistas while walking 3.0 to 4.0 miles one way with spur trails as shown on Bay Trail Map card 15. Check out the spectacular bridge between Bayfront Park and Pinole Shores opened by East Bay Regional Park District in 2018, and the Bayfront park loop trail. Explore the spur trail leading west from Pinole Shores to view the Bay Trail gap remaining to connect with Point Pinole Regional Shoreline at Atlas Road. You may wish to stop by Leila By The Bay (Trail) for a beverage or California cuisine.
San Pablo Bay Trail
The trailhead at the intersection of Tewksbury Ave. & Castro St. in Point Richmond is 1.1 miles from the bridge, and the bridge itself is 4.4 miles long. East Bay bicyclists may reach the trailhead either by riding the Bay Trail from points as far away as Emeryville or from the Richmond BART station by taking 16th St. to the Richmond Greenway and riding the protected cycle track along Ohio Ave. to the Bay Trail. AC Transit Route 72M and Golden Gate Transit Route 40 buses stop at the Castro & Tewksbury trailhead with connections to BART and SMART, respectively. Golden Gate Transit Route 40 buses traverse the bridge with a stop at the Marin trailhead, offering the opportunity for one-way stroll westward across the bridge and returning by bus.
The Starkweather Shoreline Park trailhead just west of the RSR Bridge offers an attractive shoreline Bay Trail leading 2.0 miles to Pickleweed Park. A protected bikeway recently was installed on the Sir Francis Drake Blvd. flyover of I-580 to reach bike lanes on Anderson Drive leading to the San Rafael Transit Center and the Cal Park Hill Path linking with the Larkspur Ferry Terminal and Marin Country Mart at Larkspur Landing.
To receive these and other hard copy progress reports on Richmond’s Bay Trail, as well as announcements of special events, send an email to TRAC, the Trails for Richmond Action Committee.