Description & Views


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Guided Photo Tours

   My Bay Trail Pages

   Alviso (1999)

   San Tomas Aquino
   Creek Trail (2010)

   Sunnyvale Baylands

   Sunnyvale Baylands

   Moffett Bay Trail (2010)

   Stevens Creek Trail

   Stevens Creek Trail

   Stevens Creek Trail to
   Cooley Landing (2012)

   Shoreline Park (2002)

   Shoreline Park (2009)
   Palo Alto Baylands

   Palo Alto Baylands

   Ravenswood (2010)

   Dumbarton Bridge

   Menlo Park (2000)

   Don Edwards SFBNWR

   Redwood City (2007)

   Redwood Shores (2000)

   Foster City (1999)

   San Mateo-to-Milbrae

   Coyote Point (1999)

Redwood Shores

The Redwood Shores Branch Library and Belmont Slough, as seen from the Bay Trail around Oracle Parkway.


Note: This is an update to my Bay Trail guided photo tour of Redwood Shores, which I originally created in 2000. That page, like others from that time period, is outdated, so is archived on the Bay Trail's website. Since then, there have been numerous changes along the trail due to extensive development projects.

Redwood Shores, which is a community of Redwood City, is a 1500-acre peninsula that juts into San Francisco Bay east of Hwy 101, between Foster City and the Bair Islands. On its northwest flank is Belmont Slough. To the southeast is Steinberger Slough. Along its northeast point on San Francisco Bay are marshlands that are part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Like Foster City, Redwood Shores is a planned, developed community. This peninsula was originally covered with marshlands, whose rich shellfish beds provided food for the Native Americans in the area. Later, it became cattle grazing land. In the 1920's the land was diked off from the Bay by the Leslie Salt Company and used as salt evaporation ponds. Redwood Shores was annexed by Redwood City in 1959. Development of the area began in the 1960's. Marine World was built here in 1968 and moved to Vallejo in 1986. After it left, its site eventually developed into the headquarters of Oracle Corporation, whose tall office towers can be seen from miles away. Now Redwood Shores is the home of planned residential communities with a population of about 15,000, shopping centers, and a growing number of high-tech companies in large office complexes. Artificial lagoons and channels run through the center of the peninsula, while sloughs and marshes surround it. Private and public parks are scattered throughout the peninsula. Nearby is the Hiller Aviation Museum. Residential and industrial development is frequently going on in the area, so trail conditions and routings are subject to change. Businesses and their practices relating to the trail may also change. Click here for a history of Redwood Shores.

The Bay Trail through Redwood Shores leads over a wide variety of surfaces, from paved bike paths to gravel and dirt paths. The trail can be taken as a loop trip around the Redwood Shores peninsula. From the northwest end of the trail, by Oracle's corporate headquarters, the Bay Trail can be taken further north into Foster City. From there, it runs nearly uninterrupted along the Bay all the way from San Mateo to Millbrae, at the edge of San Francisco Airport. The next completed Bay Trail segment to the south of Redwood Shores is at the end of Skyway Road at the south end of the San Carlos Airport. There's a paved trail that begins there and runs next to Hwy 101 to Whipple Road. However, in the works is an unpaved trail around the perimeter of Inner Bair Island. The trail will be built in phases as part of the Bair Island Restoration Project, which began in 2007 and is scheduled to be completed in 2015. The trail will run along the levee on the west side of Bair Island to Bair Island Road. There is a bridge currently open from Bair Island Road to Inner Bair Island. The next completed section of the Bay Trail is a paved segment along Seaport Blvd. to the Port of Redwood City and Pacific Shores Center.

The pictures on the original photo tour page in 2000 were taken with a compact film camera, and the prints were scanned at a low resolution to put them on the webpage. The pictures on this page were all taken on 6/30/13 with a 12-MP 20X zoom Canon SX260HS. This new page doesn't have mileage readings. Use the original page for mileage.

Other Trail Webpages

Alviso Marina County Park 11/27/10

Guadalupe River Trail, Hwy 101 to Alviso

San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail

High Tide at the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve and Byxbee Park, 11/26/11

Alviso King Tide Pictures, 2/9/13

Access Information

To get to the southwest corner of the Redwood Shores Bay Trail, get off Hwy 101 at the Holly Street/Redwood Shores Parkway off-ramp, near the San Carlos County Airport, and head to the right towards the bay. Take Redwood Shores Parkway, turn right on Twin Dolphin Drive, and go through the parking lot next to the large Pacific Sports Resorts complex, formerly the Pacific Athletic Club. Cross over the bridge to the hotel, currently the Marriott Towne Place Suites. The trail begins at the southwest corner of the parking lot next to the San Carlos Airport.  There is ample parking here, but it is for hotel guests. There is also a childcare center nearby. Other nearby parking is similarly for the users of the businesses and athletic club. There is parking at the shopping center north of the athletic club.

To get to the next access point, take Redwood Shores Parkway farther up, turn right on Bridge Parkway, which ends at Tiller Lane at Mariner Park. Head across the lawns of Mariner Park to the edge of Steinberger Slough. The trail begins at the edge of the park. To catch the Bay Trail a couple blocks farther south, turn right on Tiller Lane, then turn left onto Spar Drive. At the end of Spar Drive is a path leading to the gravel-surfaced Bay Trail.

You can also reach the Bay Trail by taking Caltrain. Get off at the San Carlos Caltrain Station, which is south of Holly Street on El Camino Real. Cross Hwy 101 on Holly Street. Turn right on Twin Dolphin Drive.

Face book Photo Albums:

Stevens Creek Trail 1/29/12

Guadalupe River Trail, Downtown San Jose to Alviso, 2/5/12

Permanente Creek Trail, Stevens Creek, Shoreline Park, 7/1/12

Along the Bay Trail, San Mateo, Foster City, 8/19/12

San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail to 49'ers Stadium, 8/25/12

San Francisco Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge, 9/15/12

Description and Views

This is effectively the start of the continuous Bay Trail in Redwood Shores. It's between the parking lot of the hotel at the end of Twin Dolphin Drive and the San Carlos Airport. This part of the trail is paved and relatively new. It wasn't there when I did the original guided photo tour.

Where the paved path turns to follow along Steinberger Slough, there is a short path leading to this lookout point at the edge of the slough. The fence marks the boundary of the San Carlos Airport.

The Bay Trail ends here, but the Bay Trail map shows a planned route running along the edge of the San Carlos Airport. If and when that happens, it may run on top of the levee next to the slough. However, safety, security, and environmental concerns may be roadblocks to implementing an off-road trail past the airport.

The paved trail runs between the landscaped grounds of the hotel on the left and the banks of the slough on the right.

Near the child care center is a viewing area along the trail.

This is another viewing area on the trail next to the child care center.

The paved trail runs on this straight section between the slough on the right and a stormwater pond on the left.

Looking across Steinberger Slough here, you can see Middle Bair Island, the bulk material processing facilities at the Port of Redwood City, and the office buildings at Pacific Shores Center.

A flock of pelicans flies over Steinberger Slough headed for the stormwater pond. The childcare center and hotel are in the background.

This stormwater pond is behind the athletic center and the adjacent shopping center. There are informal dirt paths around the pond.

This is a closeup of the flocks of birds in the stormwater pond.

Ahead, the paved trail gives way to a gravel trail. This part of the trail hasn't changed since the original guided photo tour. One of the entrances to the trail at the end of Spar Drive is just ahead.

This is grassy 6.25-acre Mariner Park. It's entrance is on Tiller Lane and provides another access point to the Bay Trail.

On the slough side of the trail, opposite Mariner Park is a broad pickleweed-covered marsh. The marshes that surround Redwood Shores, except at the end of the peninsula, are part of the Redwood Shores Ecological Preserve, administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Ahead on the left is a pocket park on the left. On the right, the trail follows a wide graded gravel path below the high bank of the levee. Trail users are advised to stay on the wide trail instead of the levee top.

This is the pocket park, with a path that leads to the intersection of Cringle Drive and Barkentine Lane.

This is a landscaped section of the trail behind homes on Cadiz Circle and Riviera Circle.

The trail passes by a private park and tennis court on Martinique Drive.

Across Steinberger Slough is a breach in the levee around Outer Bair Island.

There is a large lawn area with a small park behind residences. This is a private park for residents only.

This is another part of the private park area.

A short distance from the trail is the end of one of the arms of the Redwood Shores lagoon system, between Waterside Circle and Bay Harbour Drive.

There is a small private park and playground off of Sea Chase Drive.

The trail runs behind a line of houses on Governors Bay Drive. There is a short path next to a small playground near here that provides access to the trail from Redwood Shores Parkway.

There's a broad pickleweed marsh next to the trail.

When the houses end, there's a huge flat, open area, which becomes a wetland in the rainy season.

On the slough side, there are power towers. A rickety catwalk leads to the towers.

The line of power towers continues on the other side of the trail. The powerline right-of-way creates a long, wide swatch of undeveloped open space and developed parkland, but no buildings.

This ramp leads down to Shore Dogs Park. The ramp is a relatively recent addition, and it routes the Bay Trail to Radio Road. There is parking here at the dog park. On the other side of the road is a pond that's part of the South Bayside Systems Authority's wastewater treatment plant.

The ponds at the water treatment plant attract huge numbers of birds. The ponds are filled with the same kind of recycled water that's distributed to customers for landscape irrigation. The plant serves about 200,000 people in the cities of Belmont, Redwood City, San Carlos, and Menlo Park. Treated wastewater is discharged in the middle of San Francisco Bay about a mile offshore.

The trail passes the water treatment plant but ends at a fence. (Hold your nose as you pass by the plant.) There is a viewing platform here at the mouth of Steinberger Slough. Ahead are the open waters of San Francisco Bay. The interpretive sign talks about herons, egrets, and waterfowl.

This is a view looking through the fence at Redwood Point, the farthest tip of the Redwood Shores peninsula. The old dirt path runs along the edge of the peninsula next to the Bay. This area is closed to the public to protect sensitive habitats for endangered species. The land at the point is part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

This view across the mouth of Steinberger Slough shows the Coyote Hills Regional Park on the other side of the Bay.

This is the water treatment plant's pond. The plant is in the background on the right. The San Mateo Bridge is on the left. The pond was created in 1998 as a way of reusing some of the recycled water from the plant instead of discharging it all into the Bay. It also eliminated dust from the empty dirt field in front of the plant. It soon became a haven for wildlife.

This is a closeup of the birds on the water treatment plant's pond.

As seen from Radio Road, this is Shore Dogs Park, an off-leash dog park. It sits next to a lagoon.

A short distance down Radio Road is the end of a lagoon and the start of the Bay Trail. This area is highly-developed, and there are numerous roads and pathways throughout the area, some private. This tour follows a public route closest to the Bay. There is an alternate route for the Bay Trail that continues down Radio Road to Redwood Shores Parkway. It crosses the road and continues on the paths along the lagoons under the powerlines. That route has one other street crossing at Canvasback Way.

This small park is off Rockport Avenue. Nearby is public parking off Radio Road.

Radio Road gets its name from the radio stations. This is one of the two historic radio buildings. Built in the 1930's, this housed the transmitter for radio station KPO, which later became KNBC, then KNBR. Next door is another building, built in 1941, that once housed the transmitter for radio station KGEI. It was shutdown in 1994. It now holds the offices of the Fully Alive Community Church.

Ahead, the trail crosses a lagoon arm on a bridge. There's a short spur on the right to a viewing platform.

While the old trail route at the edge of the peninsula is off-limits, there are several viewing platforms that provide views of the protected areas. This is the easternmost platform, nearest to the radio antennas.

Crossing the bridge, there is a park on other side of the lagoon. The Bay Trail route goes to the right.

This is a view from one viewing platform along the lagoon channel towards the first viewing platform to the east. The trail is on the south side of the lagoon. The dirt road below and all lands to the left are off-limits.

Looking to the northeast from the end of the viewing platform, you can see the old levee trail, Bay Slough, Bird Island, the East Bay hills, and Mt. Diablo in the distance.

Looking to the north from the viewing platform, you can see more of the old levee trail, Bird Island, and the San Mateo Bridge.

This is the viewing platform, looking west along the lagoon towards another viewing platform.

This section of the Bay Trail along Seabrook Court is paved and landscaped. The ramp leads over the lagoon to the viewing platform.

This is the last viewing platform at the northwest corner of the peninsula.

Looking back to the east from the viewing platform, the Bay Trail route goes over the bridge to the paved path on the right.

Looking south from the viewing platform, the paved Bay Trail runs next to a small park.

Looking across the lawn of the park, behind it is the viewing platform and the Bay Trail sign. Canada geese and a jackrabbit find the lawn appetizing.

The trail intersects this paved pathway along a lagoon and landscaped greenbelt under the powerlines. A similar path runs along the south side of the lagoon and is an alternate route for the Bay Trail.

The area here is part of a new project called The Preserve at Redwood Shores, by Keech Properties. A trail spur leads out to the levee along Belmont Slough.

This interpretive sign is at the end of the spur trail on the levee. It talks about the history of the area.

This part of the sign talks about the origin of Redwood Shores Lagoon.

Ahead a gate blocks further travel on the levee. Belmont Slough is on the left.

Back to the main trail, this is a new paved section. The housing development on the right is the developed residential part of The Preserve. Along the left side of the lagoon is an older paved and gravel path that leads to Shearwater Parkway.

The paved trail runs between the new housing development and Belmont Slough.

This interpretive sign, placed by Keech Properties, explains the restoration process for the 80 acres of privately-held wetlands that were restored to tidal marsh, starting in 2008 and completed in March 2011.

The interpretive sign is at a rest area and wetlands overlook on the trail Ahead is a new school on the right.

Next to the trail is a new elementary school, Redwood Shores Elementary School, on 7 acres off Shearwater Parkway. It was opened in 2010.

The trail goes around the playing fields at the end of the school.

Next to the school is the parking lot for Preserve Park, a new public park built as part of The Preserve development.

This is 3-acre Preserve Park, completed in 2011.

The trail leads to another overlook with signs.

This interpretive sign talks about life in the tidal marsh, including the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse and California clapper rail.

This is a spur trail leading out to an overlook on the levee.

This is the wetland overlook platform.

The levee beyond the overlook is closed. Belmont Slough is on the left of the levee. Foster City is in the distance.

The trail passes over a forebay. Large pipes under the trail bring Bay water from Belmont Slough into the Redwood Shores Lagoon system. It also brings in fish, which is why this is a popular feeding spot for birds.

An older section of the trail begins here. The trail surface is gravel. The houses on the left are new.

The trail runs above a string of apartments off Marine Parkway. There are benches along the trail for viewing Belmont Slough.

The gravel trail ends at the end of the row of apartments. There are 2 possible routes from there. One is to take the sidewalk and bike lane along Bridge Parkway. The other is to take a dirt levee path along Belmont Slough.

This is the start of the dirt levee path. A marsh separates it from Bridge Parkway on the left.

This is a view looking across the marsh towards Bridge Parkway, which runs around a large industrial park.

The dirt levee trail has been around for a long time. It used to be narrow and rough. It's now wider and smoother.

This is a view looking back along the levee trail.

The dirt trail ends where it joins the paved trail. Ahead on the right across Belmont Slough are the towers of Oracle Corporation.

Oracle Corporation's World Headquarters campus sits on a peninsula at the end of Belmont Slough, where it splits into 2 arms.

The new Redwood Shores Library, a branch of the Redwood City Public Library System, sits right on the Bay Trail at 399 Marine Parkway. The library opened in 2009.

This is a view looking back along the Bay Trail at the Redwood Shores Library. The library has a cafe, nature exhibits,

The Bay Trail route splits at Oracle. One leg follows Marine Parkway. The other runs on publicly-accessible private property around Oracle Corporation. The paved path runs between Oracle Parkway and Belmont Slough. There are parcourse stations, benches, trees, picnic tables, and restrooms on this leg.

The trail branches off to a large tree-lined lawn at the end of the peninsula.

This is the large lawn area at the end of the peninsula is called Marine View Park.

This is a view from the end of the peninsula. The Foster City Bay Trail is on the left. The Bay Trail along Bridge Parkway is on the right.

The trail curves and follows the west arm of Belmont Slough.

Near the end of the west arm of Belmont Slough is the Oracle Bridge, which leads to Oracle facilities on the Foster City side of the slough.

This is the Oracle Bridge leading to Foster City. It is open to the public and provides the shortest and easiest way to reach the Foster City Bay Trail. Other routes require taking surface streets.

This is the end of the Redwood Shores tour. The options are to continue on the Bay Trail to Foster City and beyond or return. There are many possibilities for a return trip. The longest option is to backtrack along the trail. Redwood Shores has lots of streets, sidewalks, and bike paths that invite exploration, but take a street map. The easiest and shortest way back is to turn left onto Marine Parkway, then turn right on Twin Dolphin Drive. There is a wide sidewalk and asphalt bike path on the east side of the road. It goes by landscaped industrial parks, a large hotel, and an end of the Redwood Shores Lagoon. It runs past the large Electronics Arts corporate campus, which has its own trails and park areas. Cross Holly Street to reach the start of the trail.

Reaching the next segment of the Bay Trail to the south requires taking surface streets. Take Redwood Shores Parkway and Holly Street to Airport Way, and then to Skyway Road. At the end of Skyway Road is the start of the Bay Trail eventually leading to Bair Island. At the end of Skyway Road, you can also take a gravel-surfaced spur trail that leads to the edge of the San Carlos Airport, with views of Inner Bair Island. This may become the access route to Bair Island after the north bridge to the island is built.


Web page developed: 7/5/13 by Ronald Horii
Information and opinions expressed here are the responsibility of the author. Note that this page is modeled after the pages that were originally on the Bay Trail website, but this page is not yet hosted on their website and it not an official Bay Trail Project page.