Rush Creek Open Space Preserve

  • Partially Accessible Parking


  • Partially Accessible Parking


East end of Bahia Drive
San Francisco Bay Area
Info: (415) 473-2816
Open at all times
On leash
Last Visited:
March 2015
Rush Creek Preserve is 522-acres of wooded and grassy hills alongside two contiguous marshes (Rush Creek & Petaluma River Marsh) and turns out to be more extensive than they seem from the highway. The main fire roads and multi-use trails skirt the wetlands and offer great views as well as offer plenty of shade. You'll share the trails with hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, as well as birders checking out the countless shorebirds and waterfowl that make their homes in the wetlands. The Rush Creek Fire Road and Bahia Trail offer the best access but can’t be completed as loop trails by wheelchair. Except for one small stretch of the Pinheiro Fire Road, where the hike described below starts, Pinheoiro is not accessible due to rough terrain. 

Trails and Pathways

Bahia Trail
Time to Complete:
1 hour
Trailhead Location:
East end of Bahia Drive
Trail Length:
2-4 total miles
Typical Width:
30 in. to 4 ft.
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Typical Terrain:
Moderately Firm
Trail Overview: I found this trail a treat, and went most of the way to Cemetery Marsh. It is moderately challenging, but appears to be well maintained, and it is very pleasant to travel on a narrow path that wanders over little ridges and across shallow streambeds. Because it is little-used (mid-week on a sunny, winter day we saw 3 other hikers in two hours) the width is not uncomfortable.
More Info: There are a lot of moderately steep sections and some cross-slope. This trail will be a workout for an unassisted manual wheelchair user, but power chairs should be fine. There are no places narrower than 30 inches, although ruts and roots sometimes pose a challenge. Erosion, rocks and roots can be difficult to navigate especially after the first half-mile. Some areas would be muddy after any rain.
Rush Creek Fire Road
Time to Complete:
1 hour
Trailhead Location:
At the small undevolped parking lot on Bugeia Lane
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview: For a pleasant out and back hike follow the short stretch of Pinheiro Fire Rd. that leaves from the small undevolped parking lot on Bugeia Lane.  It starts out travelling behind a subdivision but homes are mostly obscured by tall bushes and trees; on the other side is Valley Memorial Park Cemetary, also partially screened by trees. Immediately past the first wooden bridge is a junction; to the left you continue on the inaccessicle section of Pinheiro Fire Road or to the right, where we followed, it becomes Rush Creek Fire Road. You are now following the south edge of the preserve and are treated to unimpeded views of Cemetary Marsh and a large expanse of tidal wetlands to the north. A dead tree whose stark exposed branches look like a scupture provides a sharp contrast to the marsh that can be teeming with birds during the winter especially.

When you reach the junction with three trail options take the middle one to continue on Rush Creek Fire Road. The trail to the left ends in about 100 feet and to the right, Bahia Ridge Fire Rd. climbs steeply and is used by fast-moving mountain bikers. Rusk Creek Trail climbs steeply at first, then turns south to follow along Petaluma River Marsh before becoming Bahia Trail. We turned back here but Bahia Trail is described below coming from its’ start at the foot of Bahia Avenue.

More Info: Thresholds at both bridges could be problematic if not properly maintained. Sections may be impassable in wet weather. Loose soil in places may be challenging for manual chairs riders.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Partial designated accessible parking, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

For the Pinheiro/Rush Creek Trail described here use the small undeveloped lot on Bugeia Lane just before Valley Memorial Park Cemetary. For Bahia Trail street parking is along Topaz Dr. at the foot of Bahia Dr. Vans with side ramps may need to park facing the wrong direction to lower the ramp into the very quiet street. 

Accessible Restroom:
There are no restrooms at this location

Good to Know:
No drinking water or restroom facilities are available.

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