Point County Recreation Area &
Coyote Point Museum
San Mateo County Parks,
San Mateo County
From northbound Highway 101 in San Mateo County, exit Dore. Turn left onto North Bayshore Boulevard, and turn right onto Coyote Point Drive. Once past the entrance kiosk, follow the signs to either the "beach access" or the museum.
From southbound Highway 101 in San Mateo County, exit Poplar. Follow the green "parks" signs: turn right onto Humboldt, then right onto Peninsula, and then once past the "circle," turn left onto Coyote Point Drive. After you pass the entrance kiosk, follow the signs to either the "beach access" or the museum.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
$6 entrance fee for the park; additional fees for the museum. Lots of parking in several lots. Restrooms at museum and near the beach. No maps available. There is no direct public transportation to the park.
The Official Story:
SMCP's Coyote Point page
Coyote Point Museum website
Park office 650-573-2592
Map Choices and more info:
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
Map from SMCP
Map from the Bay Trail's website (pdf)
Peninsula Trails, by Rusmore, Spangle, and Crowder, has a simple map and park information (order this book from Amazon.com).
Truthfully, active adults will probably find Coyote Point too small and close to civilization for hiking excursions. But for active adults with children, the recreation area is a great destination for day-long excursions. Coyote Point Museum features exhibits about nature and the environment in the Bay Area, plus outdoor wildlife habitats with many birds and a few mammals (I particularly like the badger). Within walking distance or a short drive, the recreation area boasts picnic areas, a swimming beach, snack bar (seasonal), and a short paved shoreline path. Grassy manicured lawns (no dogs are allowed in the park) provide plenty of romping room for kids with energy to burn. The shoreline is a fine spot for birdwatching, or identifying planes on their final approaches to SFO, but traffic noise from Highway 101 is pervasive near the beach.
In the 1920's an amusement park occupied this space, replete with roller coaster, merry-go-round, and dance pavilion. Foul-smelling breezes wafting west from the sewage-contaiminated bay caused attendance to plummet, and the park closed in 1923. San Mateo County acquired the land in 1962.
The shoreline path is part of the Bay Trail, which continues to the north and south from Coyote Point. A walk can be extended out of the recreation area, but trekking in either direction is not particularly pleasant. The southern leg drifts past a marina and toward the San Mateo Bridge. The northern leg passes the Peninsula Humane Society (a depressing experience), then draws close to the highway as the path continues along the shoreline.
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