Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 11, 2020

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline 

TRAC sent an email recommending the Landfill Loop Trail as an excellent choice if you’re looking for a Bay Trail experience offering scenic vistas and abundant bird life without crowded conditions. This email suggests visiting East Bay Regional Park District’s scenic Point Pinole Regional Shoreline as another fine option ( The park now is fully staffed with restrooms open at trailhead staging areas only.

Extending more than a mile into San Pablo Bay, 2,432-acre Point Pinole is the largest shoreline park in the nine-county Bay Area. It offers 13.5 miles of trails, including 6.3 miles of Bay Trail. Most of these trails are on wide, unpaved roads repurposed from 80 years of explosives manufacturing history. There are four miles of wide, paved trail — the 1.5-mile Dotson Family Marsh Trail and a 2.5-mile route connecting the Giant Highway Staging Area with the broad, 1250-foot long fishing pier. This extensive trail system offers many loop options with widths that generally make it easy to maintain “social distance”. Walk, jog and bicycle on right side of trails to maintain social distance, and pass on far left when safe to do so. Carry a mask to wear when it isn’t possible to maintain the recommended 6’ separation from people not residing with you.
There are three trailhead staging areas: Atlas Road, Giant Highway and Dotson Family Marsh at the end of Goodrick Avenue as shown in red on the attached park map. Automobile entry gates for Atlas and Giant staging areas are open from 7 AM to 7 PM during the summer. The Dotson Family Marsh entry gate is opened by 8:00 AM and closed around 6 PM, depending on staffing level. As with other parks and trails, it’s best to visit Point Pinole on weekdays when there are fewer people. On weekends, the unprecedented need for parks and trails resulting from COVID-19 restrictions causes staff to close parking lots at intervals to avoid overcrowding at trailhead staging areas. If you elect to visit on a Saturday or Sunday, try to go either early or late in the day. The Dotson Family Marsh Staging Area is most peaceful on Monday, Tuesday,Thursday and on other days before 9 AM and after 4 PM, because the firing ranges are closed at the nearby Richmond Rod & Gun Club.
Referring to the attached San Francisco Bay Trail map, bicyclists may ride the Bay Trail from as far away as Emeryville and Yerba Buena Island to enter the park via the Dotson Family Marsh Staging Area. CLICK HERE for driving and public transit directions (

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