Friday, November 22, 2013
Since the beginning of autumn and the end of daylight saving time, I’ve scaled back on my riding and just slowed down to be in pace with the subtle changes of the season. The rides are much shorter and easier which allows for more break time to explore and poke around.
I’ve had this route in mind for a very long time and just never got around to doing it until today. It begins at the San Leandro Marina and meanders along the shoreline around San Leandro Bay to Alameda and continues west to Alameda Point for a stop at the USS Hornet. The second half includes a jaunt along the shoreline of Bay Farm Island and concludes with a gorgeous loop around the shoreline of Tony Lema Golf Course and Marina Park.
There is plenty of free non-restricted parking at the marina with water and restrooms located across the way in the blue building with a pay phone on the outside.
We exit the marina to Marina Blvd and loop around Aurora Dr to Williams St and Neptune Dr and hop onto the trail that goes along the shoreline of Oyster Bay Park. This former landfill has transformed into a beautiful well-maintained grassy park that offers gorgeous views of the East Bay Hills and SF Bay! You can even see planes approaching the runways to the Oakland Airport.
At the junction, we take a left to continue on the trail that goes along the new BART rails to the underpass at Airport Dr. The trail ends at Air Cargo Way so we hang a left and head west on Ron Cowan Pkwy; this road cuts through the open fields and cargo areas around the Oakland Airport to Harbor Bay Pkwy.
Harbor Bay Pkwy heading north has wide lanes with no shoulder and minimal traffic. It goes pass the putting greens around Chuck Corica Golf Complex and comes to an end at Doolittle Dr. Doolittle Dr has quite a bit of traffic that travels along the north end of the airport with views of the planes at the Oakland Aviation Museum.
We take Swan Way and hop onto the Arrowhead Marsh Trail into Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline. This trail offers great views of the blue waters around Airport Channel. You can even go up the wooden Observation Tower and look through the telescope to check out the native plants and birds around Arrowhead Marsh.
The series of creek crossings over the San Leandro Creek and Elmhurst Creek takes us onto the Garretson Point Trail with fabulous views of San Leandro Bay! We cross Damon Slough and continue on the Damon Marsh Trail; this path stays along the shoreline of San Leandro Bay through the wetlands and marshes of the wildlife sanctuary around Damon Marsh. Take the time to stop and check out the art installation at the viewing point-Pacific Current. It’s a beautiful stainless steel viewing shelter with a granite bench-WOW!
The trail comes to a bridge crossing over East Creek Slough and continues to Tidewater Boating Center out to the industrial area near High St in Oakland. This short stretch of trail has amazing views of the bay, the Tidal Canal bridge on High St, the palm trees in Alameda and the hundreds of birds around the marshlands!
We cross the High St Bridge into Alameda and make an immediate right turn onto Marina Dr; this road goes through the residential neighborhoods out to Versailles Ave with some nice fall colors remaining on the tree-lined streets.
Santa Clara Ave is a busier street with lots of gorgeous old Victorian homes and four different churches within blocks of each other.
We continue on Sherman St to the industrial business parks along Atlantic Ave towards the residential subdivisions and the College of Alameda on Ralph Appezzato Memorial Pkwy. Main St takes us out to Alameda Point along the Inner Harbor with views of the cranes and cargo container ships at the Port of Oakland.
At Alameda Point, we take the Northgate entrance into the Naval Air Station to the USS Hornet Museum on W Hornet Ave. The wide open streets go pass the empty hangars, administration buildings and other closed facilities around the old Naval Base.
We exit Alameda Point and weave our way around the city streets towards Robert W Crown Memorial State Beach. The 1.4 miles along Shore Line Dr offers fabulous views of San Francisco Bay and has multiple access points to the tiled restrooms with flushing toilets along the sandy shorelines of the beach.
We cross the Bay Farm Island Bicycle Bridge at Towata Park and take the Bay Trail around Bay Farm to Ron Cowan Pkwy. We retrace our route along the shoreline of Oyster Bay Park back to San Leandro.
We head south on Doolittle Dr through the Marina Faire neighborhood and continue around the industrial business parks along Farallon Dr and Wicks Blvd to Lewelling Blvd. Leweling Blvd goes through a small residential community around Heron Bay and leads us out to the Bay Trail off Neptune Dr.
The Bay Trail goes along the eastern shoreline of SF Bay through the marshes and wetlands around Tony Lema Golf Course with spectacular views of the bay and beyond!
We cross the canal and stay on the trail for a ride around Small Boat Lagoon at Marina Park. This is a stunning loop with all around views of the bay and incoming planes going to the Oakland Airport!
Marina Park is a very well maintained with lots of grassy areas and picnic tables. They even have an asphalt parcourse/fitness trail with outdoor exercise equipment. You can’t get this kind of scenery at the gym!
The trail through the park takes us to Pescadero Point Dr at the south end of the San Leandro Marina. This road takes us directly back to the marina parking lot off Mulford Point.
I should’ve done it route sooner! It’s a wonderful leisurely scenic flat route along the gorgeous shoreline around San Leandro and Alameda. Bring your own food and have lunch at the USS Hornet or have a sit down lunch at one of the many cafes on Webster St.
42.49 Miles with 300′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 33′
Max grade: 5%
Weather: GREAT! Sunny, cool and breezy with strong NE winds. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the high 60’s
I am blessed and grateful!
Follow this route for today’s ride: