Mare Island Heritage Preserve
- Partially Accessible Parking
- Accessible Picnic Table
- Accessible Restroom
- Accessible BBQ
- Dogs allowed
Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is a 215-acre park located at the south end of Mare Island on land that formerly served as the U.S. Navy's first Naval Ammunition Depot. The Mare Island Heritage Trust is a small non-profit organization that operates a small campground and two yurts and also maintains a visitor center and a few hiking trails at the preserve. The one accessible option for staying overnight is the Old Tennis Court Yurt. It’s an interesting and unique experience for an urban getaway with a somewhat remote feel but due to some access limitations one must be flexible and imaginative. Much like all of Mare Island, the campsite and surrounding area is quirky and its identity is in transition. To get your bearings it’s a good idea to read about the island before you visit.
What might be lacking in access is made up for by the gracious manager’s willingness to accommodate. Upon arrival she will meet you to ensure that the yurt is set up properly for your needs. The yurt and cooking/picnic area are situated on the ruins of what was once a tennis court for naval officers and their families before the island was decommissioned.
While the campsite is located beside a road behind a few trees, the road is closed to vehicular traffic, except for Trust volunteers and other campers. It is however open to foot traffic until sunset so you might see a few hikers. Once night falls the place is yours and flashlights and lanterns are a must, as it can get quite dark. Just up the road from the campsite is an old naval graveyard and across the street are buildings filled with “expired” munitions. If you’re looking for a luxury campsite, this is not it. It’s best suited for those who don’t mind a little grit and can forgive the lack of ideal access.
- Accessible Parking:
- Partial – No designated accessible parking space with access aisle, van accessible, Hard surface, slope not greater than 1:12
- Accessible Picnic Table:
- Yes – reachable by firm and stable path, firm and stable surface, knee clearance at least 27" high
- Entry to Sleeping Unit:
- Entry by ramp with slope of 1:12 or less, at least one door less than 32" clearance
- Paths of travel:
- Accessible paths of travel to sleeping area, registration, and restroom.
- More Info:
- Parking a van in a spot that has enough space to lower a ramp can be tricky manuevering around low hanging tree branches.
- Unit Reviewed:
- Old Tennis Court Yurt
Surrounded by old acacia and native oaks with glimpses of the Napa River/Mare Island Strait the yurt site is equipped with several picnic tables, a communal cook area with a propane grill, a nice stainless counter prep area, plates, cups and utensils, and camp stoves; their height is not wheelchair accessible but they can be relocated to a lower, accessible table. The door opening is 30" and once inside the 16’ yurt you'll find the decor eclectic with vibrant colors and Dory (Disney character) themed flooring brightening the space. Three beds fill up the space so maneuvering in a wheelchair is tight however if you don’t need all of the beds the manager can remove one. When you reserve the yurt you also have the option to pitch tents on the surrounding asphalt but there is an additional charge per person.
- light switch no higher than 48"
- sleeps 5, 1 queen, 1 double and a twin bed, bed(s) are moveable
- unit is not heated,unit does not have air conditioning or fan,no potable water is available ensuite
- Bathroom Features:
- door has at least 32" clearance, at least 5'x5' turn circle, at least 28" clear space at toilet, grab bars on back wall and at least one side of toilet, toilet height between 17" and 19", standard-height showerhead.
- More Info:
- String lights hung around the upper perimeter of the yurt are the only lighting. A hanging toggle switch for the lights is blocked by a lightweight table that can easily be moved to create better access. There are no showers or sinks at the ports-potty. No potable water available.
- Useful to know:
Bring your own cleaning supplies. There are no shower facilities. Clean linens, pillows and blankets are provided, but since there is no heat, extra blankets or a sleeping bag is advised as the fog often rolls in at night.-
- Nearby Attractions:
From the yurt you can hike the road/trail that is fairly level as far as the cemetery. Beyond that, it gets steep as it leads to the 284-ft hilltop with panoramic vistas of San Pablo Bay, Mt. Diablo, the Carquinez Strait, Mt. Tamalpais, Sonoma and Napa Valley, and a great perspective of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard to the north. The incline should be manageable for motorized wheelchairs but a manual chair user would likely need help. Since this road/trail is open to cars with disabled parking placards one option would be to drive up to the vista. Continuing further will lead you through the preserve to its end where there are bunkers that are also used for lodging; these are not accessible. This section of road narrows and can be overgrown so check first with the camp host about road conditions.
On the other side of the island is a section of the San Pablo Bay Trail that is flat and accessible as long as it is dry. No dogs (except service dogs) are allowed on this trail.