Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park
- Visitor center
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Parking
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.
The visitor center is 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).
Trails and Pathways
- Bay Trail
- Time to Complete:
- 30 minutes
- Trailhead Location:
- Visitor center
- Trail Length:
- 1-2 total miles
- Typical Width:
- 4 ft. & above
- Typical Grade:
- Typical Terrain:
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.
- Accessible Parking:
- Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;
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
- Accessible Picnic Table:
- Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance
- Accessible Visitor Center:
- Other Things of Interest:
- You can also enjoy the park via a self-guided auto tour and a free self-guided audio for smartphones along the Bay Trail. You must download tha app Vizzit Places and look for the Bay Trail.