Ann Sieck wants to make sure people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, can find parks and trails they can enjoy.
In this area, planes descending to the Oakland airport pass overhead every few minutes. The trail, paved at the outset, starts between the cyclone fences of a salvage yard and an electrical substation, with transmission towers hissing overhead. There's a slight rise to the levee along San Lorenzo Creek, where tangled shrubbery shelters phoebes and song sparrows, while egrets fish and ducks dabble in the steep-banked channel. Less than half a mile brings you to the Bay Trail footbridge, where in early fall we were surrounded by a cloud of cliff swallows, gathering mud as if an impending shortage had been announced. At an unnamed pond there by the sewage treatment plant we always find many varieties of shorebird, and once saw American Avocets engaged in dabbling for food. Look west on a clear morning to see the clustered towers of downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge shimmering in the distance.
There's a picnic table and an accessible vault toilet at this point, where the trail, now surfaced with fairly smooth gravel, turns south along the Bay's edge, skirting a pickleweed marsh. After 1.5 miles, passing Oro Marsh, it reaches "Frank's Tract," another pond unnamed on the map, but well known to birdwatchers as important habitat because its shallow nonvegetated water provides a place for shorebirds to rest at high tide. Several benches are provided along the way. Another 1.3 pleasant miles brings you to West Winton Avenue; continue south about 3 more miles to reach Breakwater Avenue and Highway 92.
Details: No fee is charged. The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center at Hwy 92 is wheelchair accessible, but open only 10 to 5 on weekends. That trailhead, near the San Mateo Bridge, is reached via, the frontage road north of Highway 92. AC Transit bus lines go to Clawiter and Breakwater, about 1 mile away. Only one bench is available between there and West Winton Ave, and there's not much to sit on out there. Pet dogs are not allowed in the south part of the park due to habitat restoration concerns.