Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline
What you see: The Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline is only a few minutes from Interstate 880 in San Leandro. Yet millions drive right on by the Hegenberger Road exit without a clue as to what what is close by: pretty San Leandro Bay, with water’s-edge picnic sites, easy shoreline walks and a launch for kayaks.
Location: The best access is off Doolittle Road on the shore of San Leandro Bay, just east of Oakland International Airport.
When you get there: As you arrive at San Leandro Bay (on your right), Doolittle Road passes a series of three parking areas and staging areas (also on the right).
Rail Picnic Site: The first parking area provides access to a boat launch, fishing pier and the Rail Picnic site, named after a shorebird. The southern end of the Doolittle Trail, a short walk along the shore, also starts here. A restroom is available.
Doolittle Staging Area: From Rail, a short distance down the road is parking for the Shoreline Center (group facility, available for rent), a launch for kayaks or canoes, and two picnic sites. The northern end of the Doolittle Trail, a short waterfront walk, is available here. A restroom is available.
S.F. Bay Trail: From Doolittle Staging Area, you can drive ahead on Doolittle, at Harbor Bay Parkway, continue straight a short distance to parking on the right. This is adjacent to a model airplane field (and, across the road, a golf course). Nearby, across from the T-intersections with Harbor Way Parkway, is a trailhead for the San Francisco Bay Trail. It runs along Doolittle Pond, a wildlife area, turns along San Leandro Bay and extends to a bridge for walkers and cyclists. No facilities.
Bird watch: From Doolittle Staging area, it’s a short distance by kayak across Airport Channel to the edge of 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh. In winter, this is a resting spot for migratory shorebirds. The variety always seems to be changing. Doolittle Pond also provides prospects. With or without a kayak, bring your binoculars and bird ID book. Cost: Parking, access free. Map/brochure: Available at park entrance, PDF at website.
Contacts: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, (888) 3272757, option 3, Ext. 4541; Shoreline Center, (510) 544-3164; East Bay Regional Park District, (888) 327-2757, www. ebparks.org.
HOW TO GET THERE
From San Francisco: Cross the Bay Bridge and at the 80-880-580 split, take I-880 south for 0.5 miles, bear left to continue on I-880 and continue 8.3 miles to the exit for Hegenberger Road. At Hegenberger Road, drive 0.9 miles to Doolittle Drive. Turn right on Doolittle and drive 1 mile (San Leandro Bay will be on your right). You will pass three parking sites on the right: 1. For the boat launch, picnic site and fishing pier. 2. For the kayak launch, picnic site, trailhead for Doolittle Trail. 3. Access to model airplane field and nearby San Francisco Bay Trail.
Distances: 3 miles from Oakland International Airport, 4 miles from San Leandro, 14 miles from Berkeley, 18 miles From Dublin, 20 miles from downtown San Francisco, 26 miles from Walnut Creek, 26 miles from San Mateo, 31 miles from San Rafael.
A snowy egret wades through the marsh at the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline.