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Martinez Regional Shoreline

For an all-day excursion in northern Contra Costa County, combine a visit to the 344-acre Martinez Regional Shoreline with a stop in historic downtown Martinez. In 1974, a joint effort of East Bay Regional Parks and the city of Martinez transformed unused waterfront property into this bustling shoreline park and protected marshland. Three miles of dirt and paved trails...
For an all-day excursion in northern Contra Costa County, combine
a visit to the 344-acre Martinez Regional Shoreline with a stop in historic downtown Martinez. In 1974, a joint effort of East Bay Regional Parks and the city of Martinez transformed unused waterfront property into this bustling shoreline park and protected marshland.

Three miles of dirt and paved trails wind through the park, past a large meadow with accessible picnic tables and a pond that offers excellent birdwatching, and connect to paths leading out to the public fishing pier and the Martinez marina. The pier’s 44-inch-high railing prevents easy fishing from a wheelchair. Adjacent Waterfront Park is a popular spot that offers soccer and softball fields, bocce ball courts, a skateboard park, picnic areas, and a playground.

Trail/Pathway Details

Pickleweed Trail

Trailhead: Foot of Berrellesa St.

Length: Under one mile total

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Moderately Firm

Description

To explore the shoreline’s western section, park at the Berrellesa Street staging area, also known as Grangers’ Wharf, which offers the best access. If you start from other locations in the park you will have to climb a very steep, wooden arched bridge over Alhambra Creek and cross a narrow boardwalk. The trail leading out of the lot joins the Pickleweed Trail in .1 miles. Turn left to follow along an enhanced marsh and the shoreline. Even though the view of industrial facilities across Carquinez Strait is unappealing, there is a quiet calm here as the water laps at the shore.

After less than a quarter mile you reach some interpretive signs with information about the remains of the hull of the schooner Forester, visible offshore. I had to turn around here because sandbags on narrow planks over an outlet blocked access. My companion crossed to the other side and reported that the trail was wide but muddy. It might be possible to continue during dry months.

Duck Pond Loop

Trailhead: Parking lot at the foot of N. Court St.

Length: Under one mile total

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Moderately Firm

The sloped approach to the wooden footbridge is gravel, which may make it difficult for some wheelchair users to gain traction.

Description

This easy loop trail offers close-up views of a variety of birds and waterfowl; on an early winter day we saw American coots, egrets, and ducks. Their sounds can compete with the occasional train in the background. At the start of the trail, a riprapped shoreline lined with benches invites you to stop and look out across the water or south toward the Benicia Bridge before turning inland to circle the pond counterclockwise. About halfway around, a spur trail crosses the marsh on an elevated wooden footbridge, then connects to the Pickleweed Trail after a very steep climb over an arched bridge. Continuing along the loop trail, you soon reach the Killdeer Trail, which travels inland around a large grassy area with picnic tables.

Accessibility Details

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

The main entrance lot at North Court St. has accessible spaces near the restrooms, and several are at the roadway's end, by the pier. One is in the small Berrellesa St. staging area, and several are in Waterfront Park off Joe DiMaggio Dr.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

Accessible restrooms at the North Court St. entrance are in the northwest corner of the parking lot. An accessible vault toilet is at the Berrellesa St. parking lot. In Waterfront Park, an accessible restroom is in the lot off Joe DiMaggio Dr.
You must travel across grass to reach all tables. This should not be problematic for most wheelchair users.

Other Things of Interest

You can easily reach Martinez Regional Shoreline from the Martinez Amtrak station, but you'll have to cross train tracks.

Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, January 3, 2015

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Section of Pickleweed Trail
Section of Pickleweed Trail (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

Features icon key

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

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.ebparks.org
Managing Agency: East Bay Regional Parks
Address: 7 N. Court St.
Nearest City: Martinez
Phone: (925) 228-0112
Hours: 5 am-10 pm
Fees: None
Dogs: In restricted areas
Not allowed in the duck pond and marsh areas, or other interior areas. Where they are allowed, they must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length.
Public Transportation: Western Contra Costa Transit Authority (WESTCAT)

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