Contents:

Introduction

Access

Description & Views

  Seaport Blvd.

  Pacific Shores Center

  Port and Marina

  Seaport Centre

Links


Bay Trail Links:

Bay Trail Home

Bay Trail Map: South Bay

Guided Photo Tours

   Redwood Shores

   Menlo Park




Port of Redwood City

Boat launching ramp and docks

Redwood City boat launching facility at the marina, with the Seaport Conference Center in the background

Introduction

Redwood City and Redwood Creek were named after the redwood trees that were cut down in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 19th century. They were floated down Redwood Creek, and shipped out to San Francisco at the creek's deepwater channel on the Bay. Today, the port of Redwood City is the only deepwater port in the South Bay and is an important bulk shipping center. Materials such as concrete, gypsum, aggregate, and liquid chemicals are loaded onto large cargo ships docked at the port. In more recent years, high-tech industrial parks have been built near the port. Despite all this industrial activity, the port has attractive parks and trails.

The Bay Trail here is a landscaped, wide concrete sidewalk that runs alongside Seaport Blvd. all the way to the Pacific Shores Center industrial park. It then runs around the center and along Westpoint Slough through a landscaped park. Side trips off Seaport Blvd. lead to a small waterfront park, the Redwood City Marina, and a stretch of trail around the Seaport Centre industrial park.


Access Information

The Bay Trail around the Port of Redwood City is a somewhat isolated segment. There are no off-road trails connecting it with the Bay Trail segments to the east and west. From Bayfront Park in Menlo City, the proposed Bay Trail follows along Haven Avenue. This is primarily an old industrial area, with no views of the Bay. There are no bike lanes on 2-lane Haven Avenue. Haven turns into East Bayshore Road, which follows along several mobile home parks, a junkyard, and some commercial office buildings. A tall soundwall separates the road from Hwy 101. There is a bike path only along the north side of the road, but it ends when the road turns to the right to meet Seaport Blvd. At the intersection of Seaport Blvd. and East Bayshore Road, the Bay Trail begins. It runs along Seaport Blvd. You can reach Seaport Blvd. directly by taking the Seaport Blvd. exit from Hwy 101. Unfortunately, there is no convenient parking at the start of the trail.

There is plenty of parking in the marina area. You can cross Seaport Blvd. and go to the Redwood City boat ramps at Chesapeake Drive or farther along to the Redwood City Marina at Seaport Court. If you continue on Seaport Blvd., you come to Pacific Shores Center. There are several large parking lots for visitors and trail users. The Bay Trail runs along the edge of the center and ends on Westpoint Slough near Redwood Creek. Since parking is limited at East Bayshore Road and no parking is allowed on Seaport Blvd., it's best to park either at the boat ramps, the marina, or the visitor's lots at Pacific Shores Center to enjoy this section of the Bay Trail.


Description and Views

The sections below describe the following trail sections: Seaport Blvd from its start at East Bayshore Road to Pacific Shores Center; the trails and parklands at Pacific Shores Center itself, the trails and parks along the waterfront at the Port of Redwood City and marina; and the trail along Redwood Creek around Seaport Centre. The mileage readings below were taken using a GPS receiver. Your mileage may vary.

Seaport Blvd.

This trip begins at the start of the trail at the intersection of East Bayshore Road and Seaport Blvd.

East Bayshore Road
This is looking down East Bayshore Road, at the intersection with Seaport Blvd. Note that there is no trail parking on East Bayshore Road. Behind the buildings on the north side of the road is a salt pond, currently closed to public access. The future Bay Trail route may parallel East Bayshore Road by using the salt pond levee.

Start of the trail on Seaport Blvd.
This is the start of the trail, which is a wide concrete sidewalk running next to Seaport Blvd. To the right, you can see the corner of a large salt pond. If the Bay Trail someday goes along the edge of the salt pond, you should be able to take it all the way to Bayfront Park in Menlo Park.


The trail runs next to a marsh, with power towers

Birds by the trail
Birds in the marsh by the trail:


A skimmer feeding in the marsh


The trail is landscaped. This is a shady part. The trail reaches an intersection with Chesapeake Drive 0.4 miles from the start. You can cross at the signal and follow Chesapeake Drive to reach the boat docks.


The trail approaches the intersection of Seaport Blvd. and Seaport Court. There is a signal here, 0.7 miles from the start of the trail. Cross at the signal to reach the marina.  Also, Seaport Blvd. splits into 2 parallel roads. The main road on the east goes to Pacific Shores Center. The trail continues on running next to this road. The frontage road on the west allows access to the port facilities and a small park (see below).


The salt ponds east of the trail were originally owned by the Leslie Salt Company. There is a large tank here that looks like a container of salt.

This is a view looking up the trail, which runs next to Seaport Blvd., with salt ponds on the right.


This is a view east across the salt ponds of the hills at Menlo Park's Bayfront Park, the next off-road section of the Bay Trail to the southeast.


The appearance of the salt ponds changes with the seasons. After the salt is dried, it is scraped off the drying beds and loaded into rail cars like these above for processing.


This is a view northeast across the salt ponds to Pacific Shores Center.


Pacific Shores Center

Pacific Shores Center is a large industrial park at the end of Seaport Blvd., 1.3 miles from the start of the trail. The buildings house a number of high-tech businesses, including a well-known computer animation company. There are extensive recreational facilities in the middle of the complex. A public trail runs around the perimeter of the center and leads to a park along Westpont Slough. (See here for a map of the center.)



Pacific Shores Center Entrance


Start of the trail around the perimeter of Pacific Shores Center


View of the salt pond from the trail


Along the trail are rest areas, like this, with benches.


The trail turns and runs next to a drainage channel. At the end is a large visitor's parking lot.


Next to the parking lot is a lawn. The trail leads along the lawn to the edge of Westpoint Slough, 2.1 miles from the start. The park area along the slough is called Waterfront Park.


There are 3 plazas along the waterfront. This one is called Shore Bird Plaza.


Along the wall are relief sculptures of shore birds.


There is a large lawn with wavelike berms west of Shore Bird Plaza.


This is Moon Phase Plaza, showing phases of the moon


Running through part of the park is an area landscaped to look like a meandering creek bed.


These steps are at the edge of Bay View Plaza. The inscription behind the highest steps is an excerpt from Richard Henry Dana's Three Years Before the Mast, describing San Francisco Bay.


There is a large lawn at the west end of the park, surrounded by gardens


The trail turns into a smooth gravel surface


The lawn is a popular place for kite-flying. Behind it are bulk-processing facilities at the port. There is a large visitor's parking lot next to the lawn.


At the end of the trail, 2.6 miles from the start, is a picnic table, overlooking Westpoint Slough and Greco Island. You can see Redwood Creek to the west.

To return, either back-track along the trail, follow the road through Pacific Shores Center, or go through the middle of the center.


There are walkways, lawns, pools, and sculptures in the center.


The center has playing fields and a recreation center.


Port and Marina

Redwood City's port and marina lie west of Seaport Blvd. along Redwood Creek. Parts of the waterfront are private and off-limits to the public. Other parts are publicly-accessible. There is a small park here. To reach it, you must be on the frontage road west of Seaport Blvd. Turn west on Herkner Road at the Port Office. There is a gate and guardhouse, but the shore is open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm daily.


This is a view of the small park, which has benches, lawns, and picnic tables.


There are boat docks here. The area to the south is off-limits to the public, so there is no direct route along the waterfront to the marina. To reach the Marina, go back on the frontage road, head south, and turn right on Seaport Court.

The marina has some newly-constructed buildings in the Cape Cod style, which are mostly professional offices. The buildings are surrounded by nicely-landscaped lawns. 


Here is a boardwalk leading to a viewing platform along the waterfront, with picnic tables. The other end of the boardwalk leads to a conference center.


This is a public fishing pier on Redwood Creek. On the other side of Redwood Creek is Middle Bair Island.


A paved path winds between the lawns and the waterfront. Benches and shade trees are along the path. The benches provide nice views of the boats sailing in and out of the harbor. Boats of all size, including some large luxury yachts are docked in the marina.


Restaurants occupy a large circular building. They have a gazebo and an outdoor dining area behind a glass wall.


This is near the end of the path and lawns. The area beyond is fenced off.


Returning back near the conference center, this plaque commemorates the rededication of the Port of Redwood City Marina in 1994. Farther along to the left is a sailing school and a yacht club. The sidewalk runs along the edge of the marina.


As it nears Seaport Blvd., the sidewalk turns and runs around the end of the marina.


Opposite the marina is a long boardwalk with benches.


The boardwalk ends at the lawn and sidewalk by the boat launching facility. There are benches and tables here.


This is the Port of Redwood City's boat launching facility at the end of Chesapeake Drive. There are restrooms and water here. You can continue from here to the next section.

Seaport Centre

There is a 0.7-mile long stretch of public trail (not part of the Bay Trail) along Redwood Creek at the edge of the Seaport Centre industrial park. To reach it, take Chesapeake Drive to Saginaw Drive. Turn right on Cardinal Way.


Cardinal Way leads to Stanford University's Rowing and Sailing Center. This is a large boathouse facility open to Stanford students and staff. There are a few public parking spaces to the right of the boathouse.


Beyond the rowing center is the Marine Science Institute. This is a non-profit educational institution offering science and environmental education programs. The institute runs the educational Discovery Voyages boat trips on the bay for school children.


The public trail begins to the west of the Stanford Rowing Center. It is a paved path, with benches and picnic tables along the way.


One of the buildings has an interesting sculpture made of poles and cables.


The path follows a bend in Redwood Creek. On the other side of the creek is Middle Bair Island, which is not open to public access.


The path runs between the parking lot for the industrial park and Redwood Creek.


Across Redwood Creek, you can see the boats docked at Pete's Harbor.


The path is shaded by trees, then runs under a solid line of bushes.


Across the channel is the entrance to the Bair Island Marina. Near it is the parking lot and access point for the trail leading to Bair Island. Redwood Creek


The path ends at the end of the parking lot of the industrial park. The area beyond is not open to the public.

At the time of this writing, there is currently no official Bay Trail route from Seaport Blvd. north to the next section at Bair Island. There is a pedestrian bridge over Redwood Creek next to Hwy 101, but the only way to reach it is through the private (but open to the public) Docktown Marina. The bridge leads to an empty field next to the newly-built Peninsula Marina on Bair Island Road. If you take Bair Island Road to the right, it leads to Pete's Harbor. This is another marina with a wide variety of boats. From here you can look across the channel to get a good view of Bair Island. There is a large new parking lot for Bair Island. Across the street, a trail leads to the entrance of Bair Island itself.

Bair Island is actually a series of three islands that were former salt ponds. Parts of the outer two islands are part of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The inner island is the only one accessible from land and was recently purchased by the Peninsula Open Space Trust. It is open to the public and is a popular place for jogging, dog-walking, and biking. Rules are posted. Levee trails lead around the perimeter of the island, with views of San Carlos Airport, Steinberger Slough, Smith Slough, and the outer islands. Other trails cross through the center of the island. The inner island is a mixture of dry mud flats, wetlands, and waterways. There are plans to restore the marshland on the island and provide new Bay Trail routes.

A paved trail leads from the Bair Island entrance causeway at Whipple Road, parallels Hwy 101, and ends at Skyway Road. Skyway Road can be taken to Redwood Shores Parkway. At the end of Twin Dolphin Drive is a new entrance to the Bay Trail that runs around Redwood Shores.

Links

Port of Redwood City, Overview, History, Facilities Map, Recreational Facilities
Recreation & Waterfront Access at the Port of Redwood City & Seaport Boulevard Area
Stanford Crew Boathouse
Stanford Sailing offers community access
Marine Science Institute
History of the Port of Redwood City
Historic Photos: Port of Redwood City
Navigation Chart to Port of Redwood City
Port of Redwood City: Seaport of Silicon Valley, California
Map to Redwood City boat launching area
Bits of History: Pictures of Redwood City
Westpoint Marina
San Mateo County
South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project
Pacific Shores Center

Developed: 9/26/2007 by Ronald Horii
Information and opinions expressed here are the responsibility of the author.
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