The San Francisco Bay Trail at San Leandro Bay is a surprisingly scenic short hike in Oakland, California. San Leandro Bay itself is a small bay between Alameda Island, Bayfarm Island, and Oakland. There are several creeks draining into the bay here, including Lion Creek and San Leandro Creek. This creates a rich but delicate ecosystem. The mudflats are important feeding grounds for shore birds, and at low tide you will see lots of them way out in the distance. At high tide, the shore birds will be huddled closer to the shore, where you can see them better, but please don't disturb them or let your dog chase them.
One notable feature of this hike is Arrowhead Marsh. You can see clearly on the map below, it juts out into the bay and looks a bit like an arrowhead. This marsh is covered in a non-native cordgrass that chokes the marsh and prevents shore birds from feeding. Healthy intertidal wetlands are important breeding and feeding grounds for birds, amphibians, fish, insects, and even mamals. When I visited, there was a boardwalk for viewing the marsh, but it was closed.
There are a few ways to approach this hike. If you take BART to the Colosseum station and walk, you will start at Lion Creek. You can also continue walking south past the airport to Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline, or north past Alameda.
This is a flat, paved trail suitable for walking or biking.
If you are driving, this portion of the trail is just off I-880 in Oakland. There are parking areas at the North and South ends of the trail. (See the map above.) You can get there easily on BART, although the walk around the Colosseum is not the most fun. Just walk North from the Colosseum BART station on San Leandro St until you get to 66th Ave. Turn right on 66th, which will take you across the freeway and straight to the Bay Trail.
Coots and ducks (mallards, surf scoters, buffleheads,) sandpipers, snowy egrets, Canada geese, ring-billed gulls, California gulls. (And much more!)
My favorite part of the annual Saint Stupid's Day Parade on the first of April, is seeing the puzzled looks of the passers-by. No matter how popular the parade gets, the office workers never seem to have any idea what's going on. Anyway, I missed the last two years, so I was very happy to be there today.
It was New Year's Eve, and I went to watch the sunset in Emeryville. This stretch of the San Francisco Bay Trail is difficult to get to on foot, but there is a great view of the Port of Oakland, with its iconic cranes. As always, I am fascinated by the diverse wildlife juxtaposed with the urban environment.
Crab TrapsThe San Francisco Bay Trail at Everyville, California. Snowy Egret at Emeryville MarinaThe San Francisco Bay Trail at Everyville, California. EmeryvilleThe San Francisco Bay Trail at Everyville, California. The Port of Oakland from EmeryvilleThe San Francisco Bay Trail at Everyville, California.
I have been living in the Bay Area for a while now, and I keep hearing about this "San Francisco Bay Trail." I have walked and photographed a few sections of the Bay Trail in the past, but in the coming months, I am going to explore it much more intentionally. Many sections of the Bay Trail go through existing public parks, marinas and otherwise built-up places. But the most exciting parts for me are the areas that are set aside as nature preserves.
A couple of days ago, I visited San Leandro Bay, which is the bit in between Oakland, Alameda, and Bay Farm Island.
Arrowhead MarshArrowhead Marsh at San Leandro Bay, Oakland, California. These intertidal wetlands are important breeding and feeding grounds for birds, amphibians, fish, insects, and even mamals. The non-native cordgrass that chokes this marsh prevents shorebirds from feeding.
The picture above is of Arrowhead Marsh. These intertidal wetlands are important breeding and feeding grounds for birds, amphibians, fish, insects, and even mamals. The non-native cordgrass that chokes this marsh prevents shorebirds from feeding.
This is a ring-billed gull. It can be very difficult to tell the different species of gulls apart, but I'm learning.
It was a cold and overcast day at the Berkeley Marina, and I was in the mood for some experimental photography. I also love seeing the wildlife down by the bay.
American CootAn American Coot at Berkeley Marina, Berkeley, California. The Dancing Sail BoatsA multiple exposure of boats docked at Berkeley Marina, Berkeley, California. Berkeley MarinaBerkeley Marina, Berkeley, California. Coots on the BayBerkeley Marina, Berkeley, California. The Rocks and the WavesBerkeley Marina, Berkeley, California.
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© Gareth Bogdanoff
Gareth Bogdanoff is an environmentalist photographer exploring the clash of natural beauty and urban life in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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