Access Northern California - Gateway to Accessible Tourism and Recreation Information

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park

This national park was created to tell the diverse story of the home-front efforts during World War II by highlighting the city of Richmond, which played a critical part in building ships, jeeps, and tanks. The park encompasses historic structures, museum collections, and interpretive exhibits scattered throughout the Richmond waterfront and Bay Trail. None of the land the...
This national park was created to tell the diverse story of the home-front efforts during World War II by highlighting the city of Richmond, which played a critical part in building ships, jeeps, and tanks. The park encompasses historic structures, museum collections, and interpretive exhibits scattered throughout the Richmond waterfront and Bay Trail. None of the land the park occupies is owned by the National Park Service, which manages the site via a partnership with several entities, including the City of Richmond and East Bay Regional Parks.

The education center is the best place to start your visit and to pick up a map of all the sites in this park complex, some of which include the Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Bay Front Park, the Ford Assembly Plant and Craneway, and Maritime Childcare Centers. Richmond's four Kaiser shipyards produced 747 ships, more than any other shipyard complex in the country. Kaiser Shipyard 3 on Point Potrero is home to the S.S. Red Oak Victory, an ammunition ship that supplied various ships in the South Pacific during WWII. The Red Oak Victory is open to the public but you must be able to climb stairs. On an adjacent deck you can view a whirley crane, so named because it could turn a full 360 degrees.

One can easily spend a day exploring this park complex, especially if you combine it with a stroll on the Bay Trail, which stretches south from the visitor center for several miles, and a meal at a trailside restaurant (by the visitor center) or a picnic at one of several parks along the trail.

Education center: Housed in the restored Ford building you’ll find colorful permanent and temporary exhibits about the history of Richmond's wartime industries and workers, and a collection of over 2,000 items that includes magazines, propaganda posters, and household items meant to offer insights into how the war affected life on the the U.S. home front. A film illustrates the home-front battle. Rangers are available to answer questions and to lead guided tours (by prior arrangement).

Trail/Pathway Details

Bay Trail

Trailhead: Visitor center

Length: 1-2 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

Several sections of boardwalk by the harbormaster's office boat launch are very bumpy. Seams in the concrete sections around the harbor can also be bumpy.

Description

Heading south from the visitor center, in less than a half-mile you come to two-acre Lucretia Edwards Park, a tribute to the woman who fought for the protection of this shoreline for many years. Bootprints throughout the park point visitors toward former Bay Area shipyards. On the floor of a plaza near the water, shadowy human figures representing liberty and victory are set in concrete, surrounding a granite map of the Bay Area. Nearby, tiered concrete steps lead down to the water.

For the next half-mile you’ll sweep around the harbor past the harbormaster's office and boat launch toward Marina Bay Park, where the Rosie the Riveter Memorial celebrates the women who built liberty ships in the Kaiser shipyards during World War II. Women constituted up to 27 percent of the workforce at the Richmond yard, and the walkway from the memorial toward the water is inscribed with testimonials from some of them. The wide, level trail continues another half-mile past the marina harbor (watch for bird droppings) and Bay Yacht Club, where you may want to stop and gaze at the gently rocking boats. Look for an interpretive panel with information about the former Kaiser shipyards and the area’s importance as a shipbuilding center during World War II.

The next park you come to is Barbara & Jay Vincent Park, where accessibility was a design priority. Here you’ll find an accessible playground encircled by a firm rubberized surface, a picnic area, and a large lawn. You can extend your trip several miles farther along the Bay Trail to Point Isabel.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

To reach the spaces closest to the visitor center, turn left at the security gate/guard booth on Harbor Way South just before the large Ford assembly building. Inform the guard that you are going to the visitor center. Continue behind the Ford building to the end. More spaces are along Harbor Way South and at its foot. Other locations that serve the Bay Trail and city parks are at Marina Bay, Lucretia Edwards, and Barbara & Jay Vincent Parks.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

In the basement of the visitor center and at Marina Bay, Lucretia Edwards, and Barbara & Jay Vincent Parks
At Lucretia Edwards, Barbara & Jay Vincent, and Marina Bay Parks. Several picnic areas surround the Rosie the Riveter Memorial; numbers 1, 2, and 8 are accessible. Call for reservations: (510) 620-6793.

Other Things of Interest

You can also enjoy the park via a self-guided auto tour and a free self-guided walking tour along the Bay Trail that is available for smartphones.

Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, December 15, 2014

Advanced Search >> print format  

Exhibit at Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center
Exhibit at Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

Features icon key

  • bicycling
  • boating
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.nps.gov/rori/index.htm
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Address: 1414 Harbor Way South
Nearest City: Richmond
Phone: (510) 232-3108
Hours: Visitor center: Daily, 10 am-5 pm; closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Trail: Always open.
Fees: None
Dogs: On leash
Allowed on Bay Trail
Public Transportation: AC Transit
Useful Links: Bay Trail markers, Trails for Richmond Action Committee

Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Copyright © Access Northern California 1998 - 2011
Access Northern California is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization

close
Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
close