Easy out and back walk along Oakland wetlands.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 1.7 mile out and back walk is very easy. The shoreline
area is completely flat.
Paved sidewalk-style trails and one shore boardwalk segment.
Less than 1 hour.
Any time is nice.
From Interstate 880 in Alameda County, exit Hegenberger (exit 36). Drive
west on Hegenberger about 1 mile, then turn right onto Doolittle. Drive
north on Doolittle about 0.3 mile, and turn right onto Swan Way. Almost
immediately, turn left into the park. Drive on the park road about 0.8 mile
to the parking lot at the end of the road.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth
data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Pay phones, stores, restaurants, and gas back on Hegenberger. No camping.
No parking or entrance fees. Lots of parking in a paved lot. Drinking water,
restrooms, and a map (under glass) at the trailhead. There are designated
handicapped parking spots and wheelchair access to flat paved trails. Several
AC Transit buses run along Doolittle, at the shoreline's perimeter. Visit
the Transit Info website
Trails are multi-use. Dogs are permitted (must be leashed in marsh area).
The Official Story:
EBRPD's MLK Regional
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
from Bay Trail website.
David Weintraub's East Bay Trails has a good map and descriptions
of a shoreline hike (order
this book from Amazon.com).
Jr. Shoreline in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured
photos from this hike.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline is elevated above a common
city park by Arrowhead Marsh, a small wetland remnant on the edge of San
Leandro Bay. On a visit to the shoreline you might see pelicans, hawks,
ducks, swifts, swallows, egrets, and tiny shorebirds in the marsh, bay,
and sky. Wildlife in this setting is a surprise, since the park is small,
and is squeezed on all sides by industrial businesses. Interstate 880 is
only about 1 mile to the east, and Oakland Airport sits off to the southwest.
There are multiple entrance points to the
shoreline, permitting easy access and a variety of flat, unchallenging
walks. In the heart of the park an elevated platform provides a good vantage
point for birdwatching, but you're bound to catch glimpses of wildlife
throughout the shoreline. If you're interested in exploring the bay on
there are a few boat launches as well as several short fishing piers.
Picnic areas, restrooms, and a manicured lawn
are nice extras for joggers, dogwalkers, and folks out for a stroll on
the paved paths. From this trailhead in the middle of the park there are
a few walking options, all easy and fairly short. Two parallel paths along
San Leandro Creek create a logical 1.8 mile loop that stretches from the
marsh to Hegenberger and back. Arrowhead Marsh Trail lingers along the
southern arm of the bay, while Garretson Point Trail reaches north to
the Garretson Point trailhead. Both these trails are out-and-back, and
neither provides a true natural experience: Garretson Point Trail skirts
industrial buildings, while Arrowhead Marsh Trail offers unobstructed
views of Oakland Airport
buildings and traffic on Doolittle Drive.
Begin at the information signboard,
near the elevated observation platform. Walk on the paved path, ducking
under the platform and emerging at the edge of a grassy lawn. Although
natural unmaintained settings are always appreciated, the site of cool,
trimmed, green grass in the dead of summer is a decadent pleasure.
You may want to take a tour of the interpretive displays on the platform,
which explain about the shrinking wetlands and restoration efforts. If
so, veer right and take the steps up to the platform. If you want to skip
it, simply continue about 200 feet to an unmarked T junction. Turn
Flat paved Arrowhead Marsh Trail edges along
the water, with fennel, coyote brush, and mustard softening a shoreline
0.10 mile, near some benches, turn right onto the boardwalk.
Slightly elevated above cordgrass and pickleweed,
the boardwalk stretches into the marsh, where you might see white
egrets and great blue herons. If you train your gaze west you may see
a bit of the San Francisco skyline peeking out over a little hill. The
boardwalk ends at 0.16 mile -- turn around and retrace your
steps back to Arrowhead Marsh Trail, then turn right.
There are picnic areas and planted trees
on the left, but to the right a jumble of shoreline plants suggest a more
natural landscape. You may see dock, fennel, sea lavender, sea
fig, and yellow-flowered gumplant. Butterflies and dragonflies
flit about in the summer. If you're lucky enough to spot a pelican out on the bay, keep an eye on
the giant bird's antics -- pelicans love to fly over water and splash
down for a fish. Squirrels are common through here, and the hawk I glimpsed
out of the corner of my eye may explain the presence of squirrel and rabbit
remains scattered along the trail. At 0.93 mile, you'll draw near a shoreline
parking lot just off Swan Way and Doolittle Drive. Traffic and airport
noise seems to be loudest in this area. Turn around and retrace your
steps back to the trailhead.
Total distance: 1.74 miles
Last visit: Tuesday, August 6, 2002