Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

San Francisco, CA: Bayfront Park Loop

Escape to the lush green hills and pristine saltwater marshes of Bayfront Park on this 2.8-mile loop just minutes from the Bay Area suburbs.

Rating

Starting from the parking lot on Marsh Road, head east on a wide, unnamed, gravel path. In the saltwater tidal pond to the south, look for the numerous species of water fowl–such as egrets, canvasbacks, grebes, avocets and shovelers–that call the park home. With the Bay Area serving as an important stopover on the migratory Pacific Flyway, the park flaunts nearly 180 species of birds, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Continuing on, follow the trail west as it meanders between salt ponds to the south and low-lying hills to the north. Keeping your eyes open for owl burrows on the side of the trail, turn left to head north at mile 0.6 before reaching a four-way intersection at mile 1. From here, catch tranquil panoramas of the adjacent Don Edwards S.F. Bay National Wildlife Reserve, home to the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast.
From the junction, turn left to head toward the hilly heartland of the park. Then climb several mild switchbacks en-route to an elevated vantage point offering vistas of the Sausalito Canal, the greater Richardson Bay, and Bayfront’s extensive trail system. From here, follow the path as it cuts inland and then south through grassy, tree-dotted meadows. At mile 2.5, climb another mild hill to return to the trailhead and complete the loop.
-Mapped by Dave Miller

To Trailhead

From San Francisco, head south on US-101 for 27 miles and take exit 406. Turn left at Marsh Rd. and follow for 0.3 miles. Parking lot is on the right.

Leave a Reply