Walking Pt Pinole Past to Present

Once upon a time, Mike and I lived in the East Bay. One of our first walks together was at Pt Pinole. At the time it was a new park on forgotten land jutting into San Pablo Bay.

Pt Pinole Marker to Giant Powder

I remember it for squeaky eucalyptus trees. That trail is now closed due to falling limbs.

Mike remembers that he could just walk across the railroad tracks and get to the park. There is now a safe bridge over the rails.

Pt Pinole train overpass

The 2300-acre park is much improved with wide paved trails, picnic grounds, playground, benches and lawn. Some trails are dirt and grass. This area is part of the Bay Trail system.

Pt Pinole lawn to bay

The Bay Miwok and Ohlone lived for thousands of years in the area. I’m going to guess there was some agricultural use to the land, but the Internet is not going to give me any sound information.

Pt Pinole pond

The Giant Powder Co manufactured 2 billion tons of (explosive) powder from 1881-1960. Some of the bunkers on the western edge of the park are from old storage areas. The company had move from San Francisco after an explosion and reputedly had one here in 1926.

Pt Pinole Giant Powder Co

Bethlehem Steel manufactured steel from the 1960s to 1972, when it sold some of the property to the East Bay Regional Parks. Some buildings still exist that you could rent or purchase today.

Pt Pinole Bethlehem Steel Building

Today, I could use the place as a reflection on the past or enjoy the views of the Bay from the refineries to the northeast, to the views of Mt Tam to the west.

Pt Pinole old pier

We walked to the fishing pier, by old foundations for the powder company; past the remains of a 900’ wharf and trails along the bay. The fishing pier was built in 1977 and is another feature I remember from our early trips. Check the park’s site for information on bus transit to the pier.

Pt Pinole fishing pier

On out way back, we took the more rustic Bay View Trial through bunkers and eucalyptus forest with toyon. We indeed had views of the bay in filtered afternoon light. We sat on a bench and studied Mt Tam for some time.

Pt Pinole Bay View Trail

The Hayward fault runs through this area, but I didn’t know it at the time of our walk. Also I found out that the eucalyptus were grown to cover the sound of manufacturing and trap the air pollution.

Visit the East Bay Regional Parks for more information on this park and many other fine parks near by.

Pt Pinole picnic grounds

When we left we took the Richmond Parkway to the San Rafael Bridge. I spotted another parking lot with more Bay Trail to Wildcat Creek. Another link to the past as we used to walk through Wildcat Canyon.

Other random info: We drove around the north side of the bay and crossed the Carquinez Bridge. The new bridge has a walking lane. Not sure where you can get to in Crocket when you cross the bridge, but we’ll have to try it sometime.

Pt PInole entrance


Published by Lynn Millar

Walker, reader, writer, traveller - see About Walking

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