Walking Between 2 Freeways and a Bay

What’s that? How do I get there? When?

These are the questions I ask myself when I see a flat place to walk. No place have I asked myself more often about than the spot I see when hurtling down Hwy 101 to San Francisco crossing Richardson Bay. Oh, the taunt of a tidal marsh trail with walkers, joggers and bicyclists.

Tidal Marsh on Richardson Bay

Finally, two weeks ago on our way back from San Francisco, we decided to find the trailhead. We took the Hwy 1 exit and took a right on Pohono St. A mostly vacant office building provides a shuttle stop and parking lot for Muir Woods (when it’s full) and a place to park for access to this section of the Bay Trail.Gigantic Rosehips

We actually walked around the office building, admiring the view down the Bay and the gigantic rose hips posing as radishes.

Another lovely entrance to the Bay Trail, but Mt Tamalpais is straight ahead. This trail connects the Golden Gate Bridge, through Ft Baker, Sausalito and on its way north to where we were picking it up.

Bay Trail Entrance

We walked under Hwy 101 and had one of those ‘aha’ moments enjoying the mix of nature and powerful man-made constructions. The original structure across Richardson was a lift bridge in 1931. The current bridge was finished in 1956. The path is converted from a NorthWest railroad line.

Under Hwy 101 at Richardson Bay

The path is paved, for use by bicyclists. People, etc. should walk in the dirt next to the trail. This makes sense, except in rainy season. Maybe we’d have fewer difficulties in Sonoma County if we had such choices.

The time we visited it was high tide, so the bird population was almost non-existent. Even given the roaring freeway and Hwy 1 nearby, birds will be wherever the food is. The tide was filling Coyote Creek and covering some of the trail in that direction. Signs indicated there would be trail work this fall to improve a trail that goes over to Tennessee Valley.

Trail at Coyote Creek

We continued on. But not too far. With the freeway noise, it’s not going to be my favorite walk. But I understand the popularity. The trail continues to Bothin Marsh and Bayfront Park, if you want to stay on the Bay – or you can go into Mill Valley.

Richardson Bay View

Along the various inlets of San Francisco Bay, the Bay Trail in Marin County makes a great contribution to walking and biking paths. Find your part of the Bay Trail.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

Trail crossing at Coyote Creek

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4 thoughts on “Walking Between 2 Freeways and a Bay

  1. Hee, you sound like my guy…. I always want to investigate new parks and natural areas, and he’s equally interested in unmarked natural areas. Which is great, as long as these uncharted areas can be navigated by humans (read: one can quickly escape any gators). I love seeing your pics of Mt. Tam…! Such a wonderful area.

    • Yeah, well these places are pretty tame – ‘gatorwise’ – there’s birds and all else is nocturnal. Up Mt Tam or out Tennessee Valley, it might get more interesting.

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