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Bay Trail: Coyote Point to San Mateo Bridge

The Bay Trail is a recreational corridor that, when complete, will encircle San Francisco and San Pablo bays with a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails—much of it wheelchair accessible. As of 2014, 330 miles have been completed, including this 2.5-mile stretch from Coyote Point Recreation Area to the San Mateo Bridge. Along the route is Shoreline Park, which comprises two parts: Ryder Park and Seal Point Park. Amenities at the various parks include picnic areas, a playground, swimming pool, ball fields, and tennis courts.

Trail/Pathway Details

Bay Trail: Coyote Point Recreation Area to San Mateo Bridge

Trailhead: Entry points include the parking lot behind the yacht club at Coyote Point Recreation Area, and at Ryder, Seal Point, and Bayside/Joinville parks.

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Gentle

Continuous cross-slopes may be tiresome for some manual wheelchair riders.

Terrain: Hard

At Seal Point Park the side trail to lookout points are on firm terrain

Obstacles: At the entry to the Bay Trail from the parking lot behind the yacht club, an exceptionally large divot makes passage difficult.


Heading south along the Bay Trail from Coyote Point Recreation Area, you will see all sorts of sights, from jets gliding in over the Bay to land at San Francisco International Airport, to birds and sea lions diving for prey, to scores of sailboats and windsurfers skimming the waves. The Bay is just to your left nearly all the way, and to your right, or right beneath you, is one little park after another. A half-mile out from Coyote Point you will see a very steep path running inland to small Harbor View Park, which people use mainly for baseball games and picnics. A half-mile farther is Ryder Park, with an accessible playground, group picnic area, outdoor classrooms, and restored wetlands. A large, tiered, concrete “water art” piece, the Shell Mound Gurgle, demonstrates how tidal action works.

Just past the park, take the pedestrian bridge over San Mateo Creek and follow the levee trail as it enters 50-acre Seal Point Park, built on a former dump. Here you will find a dog park, restrooms, paved and dirt trails, a paved windsurfing launch (with a level platform that’s accessible at low tide), and an outdoor classroom facing the wetland on the park’s south side. From Seal Point Park, the trail runs along J. Hart Clinton Drive for approximately .5 miles to Mariners Point Golf Center. Just past Seal Point Park you come to Marina Lagoon. For a side trip to Bayside/Joinville Park, leave the Bay Trail at the parking lot at the south end of the pedestrian bridge over Marina Lagoon. Go through the lot to the intersection of J. Hart Clinton Drive and Anchor Road. Follow Anchor Road inland 10 feet, turn right at the sign for the park, and continue to another bridge that leads to the park’s back entrance.

Returning to the Bay Trail from Bayside/Joinville Park, cross Marina Lagoon on the pedestrian bridge. Where Clinton Drive turns into East Third Avenue, the trail turns slightly inland alongside Bay Marshes Open Space, also known as Seal Marsh, with mudflats, rocks, and an open field on the Bay side. An accessible pier suspends you over the wetlands for a closer look at the wildlife. The trail then turns sharply toward the Bay and travels behind Mariners Point Golf Links, where tall net fences protect passersby from stray golf balls. Next is a series of small, inaccessible sandy beaches.

Follow the trail another .5 miles along East Third Avenue, past a municipal maintenance yard and an office complex and under the San Mateo Bridge. Fishermen wait patiently on the windy shoreline, hoping to make a catch. Traveling beneath the bridge is an unusual experience; amid the whir of auto and truck traffic, you can hear it vibrate and creak. Nearby you can see a section of the old bridge that was turned into the 4,000-foot San Mateo County Fishing Pier, closed indefinitely as of 2006.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Accessible Parking: Yes

At Ryder, Seal Point, and Bayside/Joinville parks. A trailside lot is on East Third Ave. at Anchor Rd., and public shoreline spaces are in the office complex at the end of East Third Ave. See Coyote Point for parking at the trail's northern end.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

Ryder Park, Bayside/Joinville Park, and Seal Point Park

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

Ryder Park and Harbor View Park
View south: San Mateo Bridge
View south: San Mateo Bridge (Ashley Olson)

Features icon key

  • bicycling
  • boating
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: Bay Trail Project
Phone: (510) 464-7935
Hours: Open 24 hours
Fees: None
Dogs: On leash
Public Transportation: SamTrans
Reviewed by Ashley Olson, September 3, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing