SUN­DAY DRIVE

Martin Luther King Jr. Re­gional Shore­line

San Francisco Chronicle - - OUTDOORS - — Tom Stienstra

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.

Leah Mil­lis / The Chron­i­cle 2016

A snowy egret wades through the marsh at the Martin Luther King Jr. Re­gional Shore­line.

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