McLaughlin Eastshore State Park

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Picnic


  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking
  • Bicycling


1 Buchanan St, Albany, CA, 94706
San Francisco Bay Area
Info: (888) 327-2757
On leash
Last Reviewed:
August 2020
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The McLaughlin Eastshore State Park extends 8.5 miles along the East Bay shoreline from the Bay Bridge to Richmond. It includes 1,833 acres of uplands and tidelands along the waterfronts of Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond. Reviewed here is the southern portion of the park which travels 3 miles from Shorebird Park in Emeryville to the Albany Bulb.

Trails and Pathways

Bay Trail
Time to Complete:
Trailhead Location:
Shorebird Park-south end Albany Bulb-north end
Trail Length:
2-4 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview:

This 3- mile trail (one way) section of the Bay Trail within McLaughlin Eastshore State Park has several side trails where you can extend your trip. I started at the north end and travelled south because parking was easier there. The one downside is that the only two hills on the trail are at this end and come up pretty quickly. Just across from the Albany Bulb parking lot is a small beach with an accessible path onto part of it. It’s a great spot to watch all the beach activity which on my visit included wind surfers, dogs running, and kids building sand castles.

As you begin your journey along the shore there are expansive views of the Bay and Golden Gate fields is on your left. You quickly encounter the steepest part of the trail—the remainder is flat. When the dedicated trail ends at Gilman turn left and travel on the sidewalk about 50 feet to Frontage Rd., then turn right to reconnect to the Bay Trail that now parallels Frontage Rd. From here on you’ll hear traffic noise. After about a half-mile you can sidetrack into Berkeley Meadow and continue further towards the water to explore Cesar Chavez Park. If you don’t divert here, continue to University Ave. where, once you cross the road you can turn right towards the Bay to explore the Berkeley Marina, or a little further along Frontage Road looms the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 80 which will take you over to Aquatic Park. The remainder of the Bay Trail from University Ave. south to Emeryville, is a straight shot along the shoreline.

Accessibility Notes: Two steep inclines near Golden Gate Fields Racetrack


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

At the Albany Bulb at the foot of Buchanan St., one space at Pt. Emery, multiple spaces at the Tom Bates Sports Complex lot at the foot of Gilman St., and street parking along West Frontage Rd. in Emeryville

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Portable unit at the northwest corner of the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex and at the foot of Gilman St., Vault toilet at the Albany Bulb.

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance

Additional Information:

At Aquatic Park you can rent an adapted bicycle from the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program. Check their website for details.

No shade on the trail

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