Thursday, 19 February 2015

San Pablo Bay Trail

Enticed by ads for the San Francisco Bay Flyaway festival we decided to visit Mare Island to visit the festival,  find a trail and spot some birds. Luckily the weather was great and we were able to do all 3. 
Starting from the peninsula we drove to Vallejo via the San Mateo Bridge - google maps does try to send us over the Bay bridge, but this way is a little less chaotic. The drive took about 40 minutes and was mostly along the freeway. To access Mare Island you have to cross the Mare Island Causeway bridge -a Vertical Lift Span Bridge.

You have to drive through some retro style old navy buildings and warehouses - the historic Mare Island Naval Shipyard to reach Expo Building 253 to visit the San Francisco Bay Flyway festival. Once there the festival was an interesting collection of  information about the San Pablo Bay and its wildlife including photo and art exhibits, a series of lectures - we attended the ones on the American Kestrel and Ferruginous Hawkand some eclectic stalls - mostly staffed by birding enthusiasts. We asked there for directions to the closest trail and were pointed to the San Pablo Bay trail.

This trail is beautiful if a bit eerie, with a vast marshland and little low tide islands along the trail. The trail is along a large squarish area fenced in with a high white fence, very foreboding. There is car parking (not obvious - drive down the unpaved road), dogs and bikes are not allowed, and there are danger signs posted warning of hazardous waste in the fenced in area. We spotted red-winged black birds, Canada geese and some ducks.

All in all a quiet walk in a wildlife and habitat refuge, where you can start to see the regenerative effects of restoration efforts.

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