Despite being surrounded by industry and in close proximity to Oakland International Airport, this 741-acre waterfront park along San Leandro Bay is green and open. Of the several entry points, the main one off Swan Way offers the easiest access to most of the park’s features. Visitors can enjoy miles of paved trails and picnic in a variety...
Despite being surrounded by industry and in close proximity to Oakland International Airport, this 741-acre waterfront park along San Leandro Bay is green and open. Of the several entry points, the main one off Swan Way offers the easiest access to most of the park’s features. Visitors can enjoy miles of paved trails and picnic in a variety of settings, including on a large lawn with two fiberglass whale sculptures and Roger Berry’s “Duplex Cone” sculpture, which shows the sun’s high summer path and low winter path.
A ramped observation deck looks out over Arrowhead Marsh, a 50-acre salt marsh that's a
stopover for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway and part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network; birdwatching is a highlight here. You might see American avocets, black-necked stilts, pintail and cinnamon teal ducks, and perhaps even an endangered California clapper rail.
At the park's grassy southwestern end, off Doolittle Drive, is a fishing pier (with one step), group picnic areas, the accessible Shoreline Conference Center, and a boat launch. You will have to drive here from the main part of the park because Arrowhead Marsh Trail ends at Doolittle Drive and there is no sidewalk along Doolittle.
The Tidewater Boating Center at the park’s northern end has an ADA-accessible dock that is a popular launch area for kayakers; picnic grounds; and shoreline access for fishing.
All of the park’s lots and staging areas have accessible spaces.
In the main section of the park, accessible restrooms are below the viewing deck (no stall door) and off the entrance road between the King Fisher and Plover picnic areas. The restrooms at Garretson Point have grab bars only on the sides, the toilet height is 15 inches, and the women’s stall allows only a frontal transfer. The men’s has a lowered urinal and no stall door. A good accessible restroom is at Doolittle Drive between the Blue Heron and Rail picnic areas. The Tidewater staging area has accessible restrooms.
The most accessible and scenic spots are the waterside tables at Garrettson Point and at the fishing dock. Some tables scattered along the trail can be reached in a wheelchair, but may require travel on grass or firm dirt. Accessible group picnic areas are south of the viewing platform on expansive grassy areas. A few are at the Tidewater Boating Center.
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, January 26, 2015