2.1 mile loop at a former dump site right along the bay, just south of the
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 2.1 mile loop hike is easy. The shoreline area is almost
Paved and dirt trails.
Less than an hour.
Nice all year.
From Interstate 880 in Alameda County, exit Marina Boulevard West (exit
33b). Drive west on Marina about 1.2 miles, then turn right onto Neptune.
Drive about 0.6 mile on Neptune, to 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 Marina Boulevard. No camping.
No parking or entrance fees. Side of street parking at the edge of an industrial
neighborhood. Drinking water and a map (under glass) a short distance from
the road. Portable toilets about 0.2 mile from the trailhead. There are
no designated handicapped parking spots and wheelchair access is blocked
-- a pity, since the paved shoreline trail is well-suited to wheels. There
is no direct public transportation to Oyster Bay, but AC Transit bus #55
stops within walking distance. Visit the Transit
Info website for details.
Trails are multi-use. Dogs are permitted.
The Official Story:
Map Choices/More Info:
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
Oyster Bay map
from Bay Trail website.
The Bay Trail's Oyster
Bay in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.
photos from this hike.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Oyster Bay Shoreline, a former
dump, is still under development by the East Bay
Regional Bay District, parts of the park resemble a construction site,
with heavy machinery and old slabs of concrete strewn about. But a paved
mile-long trail running along the shoreline is clean and peaceful, if
you aren't too bothered by planes landing and taking off from adjacent
The shoreline park is not heavily used.
Regulars seem to consists solely of local San Leandro retirees and folks
with dogs making a daily walk, and a handful of bicyclists. Most people
walk out and back on the paved trail, a 2-mile jaunt. Due to Oyster Bay's
remote yet industrial location, and scarce use, it's best to visit the
park with friends.
Start at the entrance gate. After
about 250 feet, you'll arrive at the information signboard and an unsigned
junction. Stay to the left on the wide paved path, a Bay Trail
a very gentle ascending grade the trail skirts a hilltop, through grassland
overrun with fennel. You may notice a sequence of numbered posts, part
of a short loop through the center of the park. Thankfully walking in
this direction the industrial area is at your back. At 0.11 mile a dirt
path departs to the left. Continue straight. You'll draw near to
a collection of planted vegetation including eucalyptus and cottonwood,
on the right. At 0.17 mile, the first of two trails breaks off to the
right, heading to a picnic area (and the portable toilets). Continue
straight on the pavement. As the trail descends a bit, there are sweeping
views south of the bay and the San Leandro Marina area. A trail heads
right (the numbered posts and the short loop goes with it). Continue
straight. Where the trail reaches the riprap-enforced shoreline, a
dirt path feeds in from the left. Bear right. An old fence sets
a trail border on the right, but there are some broken segments with paths
heading uphill, as well as more substantial (but unsigned) junctions with established
trails. Continue on the paved trail. Airplane traffic to and from
Oakland Airport is constant. A small amount of vegetation is squeezed
in along the trail -- the usual shoreline community of mustard, poison
hemlock, dock, fennel, and coyote brush, with some invasive thistles,
including yellow star. Benches are placed every so often on the right,
and you can sit, eat lunch, and enjoy the view across the bay to the peninsula
and Santa Cruz Mountains. Look for jackrabbits in the grassland on the
right, where old dumped concrete sections jut up from the weeds. As the
trail makes its way north, the airport buildings come into view. I was
tired of the airport and wanted to explore the grassland, so instead of
continuing to the end of the paved trail (the usual pattern for
and of course, an option for your walk), I decided to check out an alternate
route. At 1.32 miles, just past a bench on the left, the paved trail swings
left, and a broad dirt trail veers right and uphill. Turn right onto
the dirt trail.
My route was fragmented and somewhat confusing.
It's hard to get lost in this small park, but if you get confused aim
yourself east toward the hills (at one point I tried to navigate by searching
for the exhaust chimney across the street from the parking area). Do stay
on the trails though, and resist any urges to travel cross county: there's
quite a bit of debris in this grassland. After a few feet, a trail heads
left. Stay to the right. After a few more steps, ignore a path
to the right, and at 1.44 miles you should arrive at a T junction.
Turn right, and then continue straight past a trail heading left.
Stay on this wide trail -- you'll pass numerous other options on both
sides of the trail. The trail should usher you to a three-way junction
at 1.77 miles (when I was there a big pile of gravel served as a marker).
Stay to the left, and at the next junction, at 1.84 miles, veer
right (you should notice planted vegetation on the right, and the
portable toilet may also be visible). At the next two junctions turn
left, and then just before an ugly industrial plant at the park property,
turn right. The broad trail descends toward the trailhead, to a
junction at 2.11 miles, back at the information signboard and the hike's
first junction. Retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
Total distance: 2.13 miles
Last hiked: Thursday, July 25, 2002