Bay Trail (Belmont and others)
Bay Trail runs nearly the entire perimeter of the San Francisco Bay, and includes several trails/regions known by other names (e.g. Shoreline, Baylands). Most trails are paved and wide, but others are packed dirt or gravel.
- Beautiful wetland / estuary feel of the baylands in the South, salt evaporation ponds and wavy water in the center and South, and ocean beaches to the North!
- Wildlife include ducks, geese, herons, egrets, pelicans, seagulls, and other birds. Also keep a look out for skunks, lizards, squirrels, dragonflies, and butterflies. In the North, see sea lions, seals, and the occasional otter.
- As these trails are all around the bay, a hiker can link them up (sometimes with some creative navigation) to make a hike of many distances.
- Often placards occur along the paths to educate the hiker about the history and biology of the area. For instance, there's a great placard facing the SMART station, discussing garbage.
- Bicycles are permitted in most places, and in fact some of the hilly regions make great places to learn to mountain bike.
- Dogs allowed on leash in most places - see recommended route descriptions to verify this.
- The trail runs through several parks, which offer several amenities. See Shoreline Park, Baylands Park, Alviso and Don Edwards and Crissy Field for example.
- The more urban parts of the trail run past several historic areas and business areas. See Embarcadero for instance.
- Some spans of the trail are not well used, so may feel unsafe to the lone traveler. Consider travelling with an adult or canine companion.
- There are not generally a lot of places for breaks along the trail, unless the trail runs through a park like Shoreline Park , Baylands Park ,Crissy Field, Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park, or Embarcadero.
- The trail sections are not all linked up, so be ready to do some research on how to creatively navigate to get from one section to the next, if that is your goal.
- Stay on the trails to avoid ticks and poison oak!
With varied trail conditions, in general this trail is not handicapped accessible. However, trails associated with Alviso, Shoreline Park, Baylands Park, Belmont Slough Trail (two options listed below), Ryder, Seal Point, Harborview, and Coyote Point , Embarcadero, and Crissy Field are paved or fine gravel and flat, so seem suited for handicapped use.
- Recommended Routes
Try the following for some well developed stretches of the Bay Trail from North to South: