|San Francisco Bay Trail|
|Length||356 mi (573 km)|
|Location||San Francisco Bay Area, United States|
|Use||Hiking, Bicycling, Jogging, Rollerblading, Birdwatching, Environmental Education|
|Waymark||Yes, continuous shoreline trail around San Francisco and San Pablo Bays|
San Francisco Bay Trail
The San Francisco Bay Trail is a bicycle and pedestrian trail that when finished will allow continuous travel around the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. As of 2020, 356 miles (573 km) of the trail have been completed. When finished, the trail will be over 500 miles (800 km) of paved and gravel paths, bike lanes, and sidewalks, linking 47 cities across nine counties and crossing seven toll bridges. It is a project of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), in collaboration with other agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups.
The trail is intended to provide recreation for hikers and bicyclists, viewpoints for wildlife, space for environmental education, and corridors for bicycle transportation as well as access to historic, natural and cultural sites, including over 130 parks.
The Bay Trail is an interconnected trail system that links parks, open spaces, points of interest, and communities on or near the bay shoreline. It will not only encircle the Bay but will also provide access inland to open spaces and preserves, streams, and the Bay Area Ridge Trail, which forms the second of two concentric rings around the bay.
Sections of the Bay Trail exist in all nine Bay Area counties. The longest continuous segments include 26 miles (41 km) primarily on gravel levees between East Palo Alto and San Jose in Santa Clara County; 25 miles (40 km) in San Mateo County between Millbrae and San Carlos; 17 miles (27 km) in central Alameda County from San Leandro to Hayward; and 15 miles (24 km) along the shoreline and on city streets through Richmond in Contra Costa County. The northernmost trail section passes through San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Protected bicycle and pedestrian lanes exist on six Bay Area toll bridges: Golden Gate Bridge, Carquinez Bridge, Benicia-Martinez Bridge, Dumbarton Bridge, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and the Bay Bridge. In the last case, the path cannot be used to cross the bay, as the western span lacks a bike path. The San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, the longest bridge in California, currently lacks a pedestrian or bike path entirely.
The idea for the Bay Trail was launched in the Fall of 1986, when state Senator Bill Lockyer of Hayward was having lunch with a local editor in a waterfront restaurant. The end-of-session legislative frenzy was over, and Senator Lockyer was in a reflective mood. “Let me try this idea out on you,” he said to his companion. “What if we tried to develop a pedestrian and bicycle path around the bay, with access to the shoreline?” His luncheon partner applauded the idea and urged the senator to pursue it. The outcome was Senate Bill 100. Coauthored by all Bay Area legislators, the bill passed. It defined parameters of the planning process, designated the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) as the lead agency, and provided $300,000 for the preparation of a Bay Trail Plan by July 1, 1989. The Bay Trail Plan, adopted by ABAG, shows a network of trails that meander and loop along the shore, connecting all nine surrounding counties and crossing the region’s toll bridges.
The San Francisco Bay Shoreline Guide was revised in 2012. It provides information about the natural and cultural history of San Francisco Bay and includes maps for 325 miles of the shoreline Bay Trail open to the public. Published by University of California Press for the California Coastal Conservancy.
The San Francisco Bay Trail maps were released in May 2013 and last updated in 2018. The box set of 25 cards and a large fold-out map provide detailed information about the trail and points of interest along its route. Production of the maps was funded in part by the California Coastal Conservancy.
The San Francisco Bay Trail Plan: A Recreational Ring Around San Francisco Bay was published in 1989 by the Association of Bay Area Governments. The plan includes the trail alignment, project goals, policies and implementation strategies for the Bay Trail.
The Dumbarton Bridge is the southernmost of the highway bridges across San Francisco Bay in California. Carrying over 70,000 vehicles and about 118 pedestrian and bicycle crossings daily, it is the shortest bridge across San Francisco Bay at 1.63 miles. Its eastern end is in Fremont, near Newark in the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and its western end is in Menlo Park. Bridging State Route 84 across the bay, it has three lanes each way and a separated bike/pedestrian lane along its south side. Like the San Mateo Bridge to the north, power lines parallel the bridge.
San Francisco Bay is a large tidal estuary in the U.S. state of California, and gives its name to the San Francisco Bay Area. It is dominated by the large cities of San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.
The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay in California. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries about 260,000 vehicles a day on its two decks. It has one of the longest spans in the United States.
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is a regional park on the shores of the San Pablo Bay, California, in the United States. It is approximately 2,315 acres (9.37 km2) in area, and is operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. It includes the Dotson Family Marsh and the Point Pinole Lagoon and hosts the North Richmond Shoreline Festival.
The Richmond–San Rafael Bridge is the northernmost of the east–west crossings of the San Francisco Bay in California, USA. Officially named after California State Senator John F. McCarthy, it bridges Interstate 580 from Richmond on the east to San Rafael on the west. It opened in 1956, replacing ferry service by the Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail is a 22-mile (35 km) paved bicycle path that runs mostly along the shoreline of Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles County, California. The coastal bike trail is widely acknowledged as Los Angeles’ “most popular bike path.”
The Arroyo Seco Bicycle Path is an approximately 2-mile (3.2 km) long Class I bicycle path along the Arroyo Seco river channel in the Northeast Los Angeles region of Los Angeles County, California. It parallels to the Arroyo Seco Parkway also in the canyon.
The Santa Clara River Trail is a paved bicycle and walking path in the city of Santa Clarita, California.
People in the San Francisco Bay Area rely on a complex multimodal transportation infrastructure consisting of roads, bridges, highways, rail, tunnels, airports, seaports, and bike and pedestrian paths. The development, maintenance, and operation of these different modes of transportation are overseen by various agencies, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Association of Bay Area Governments, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. These and other organizations collectively manage several interstate highways and state routes, two subway networks, two commuter rail agencies, eight trans-bay bridges, transbay ferry service, local bus service, three international airports, and an extensive network of roads, tunnels, and bike paths.
Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, California, is operated by East Bay Regional Park District, and is a multi-use park for joggers, windsurfers, kayakers, photographers, picnickers, and people walking dogs. It has access for pedestrians and via public transit, private vehicles, and bikes. It also features a concession offering food for people and grooming for pets. A longtime community organization and nonprofit, Point Isabel Dog Owners and Friends (PIDO), is active in the maintenance and improvement of the park.
California's transportation system is complex and dynamic. Although known for its car culture and extensive network of freeways and roads, the state also has a vast array of rail, sea, and air transport. Several subway, light rail, and commuter rail networks are found in many of the state's largest population centers. In addition, with the state's location on the West Coast of the United States, several important ports in California handle freight shipments from the Pacific Rim and beyond. A number of airports are also spread out across the state, ranging from small general aviation airports to large international hubs like Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
The Richmond Greenway is a pedestrian and bicycle path in Richmond, California.
Bike East Bay, formerly known as East Bay Bicycle Coalition, is a Californian non-profit organization that worked since 1972 toward "promoting bicycling as an everyday means of transportation and recreation" in Alameda and Contra Costa counties of the California's East Bay. As a tax-exempt 501(c)3 grassroots bicycle advocacy organization, Bike East Bay endeavors to broaden awareness of bicycling with local, regional, and state government agencies and their staff, as well as elected officials, and the general public they represent.
The Los Angeles River bicycle path is a Class I bicycle and pedestrian path in the Greater Los Angeles area running from north to east along the Los Angeles River through Griffith Park in an area known as the Glendale Narrows. The 7.4 mile section of bikeway through the Glendale Narrows is known as the Elysian Valley Bicycle & Pedestrian Path. The bike path also runs from the city of Vernon to Long Beach, California. This section is referred to as LARIO, or more formally, the Los Angeles River Bikeway.
Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline is a park in San Leandro, California, part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). It is located along the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay directly to the south of Oakland International Airport. The property was originally used as a landfill for 37 years, until it was filled to capacity in 1977, when it was capped with a clay cover. EBRPD bought the property in 1980, intending to use it as a park.
The Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath also known as the Long Beach Bike Path is a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) path along the Pacific Ocean from Shoreline Village in downtown Long Beach, California to Belmont Shore, Los Angeles County. It was completed in 1988 and is used by walkers, joggers, and skaters. In 2013 the California Coastal Commission approved a second path for pedestrians to run parallel to the path used primarily by bicyclists.
Los Angeles River Bikeway, also known as LARIO, is a 29.1 mi (46.8 km) bikeway along the lower Los Angeles River in southern Los Angeles County, California. It is one of the completed sections of the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path planned to run along the entire 51 miles (82 km) length of the LA River.
San Jose, California has various cycling routes on roads and trails used by both commuters and recreational riders. The city has plans to expand the current 285 miles (459 km) of bike lanes to 400 miles (640 km), and the current 60 miles (97 km) of trails to 100 miles (160 km). San Jose was ranked as a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists.
Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline is a park located in Oakland, California along the shore of San Francisco Bay at the foot of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It is part of the East Bay Regional Parks District. The park opened on October 21, 2020.