This segment ends at the threshold of the San Francisco International Airport. There are as yet no off-road trails bypassing the airport, so this makes for a natural endpoint. SFO is the busiest airport in the Bay Area, and is one of the busiest in the world, handling some 35 million passengers a year, and with over 60 airlines using the airport. Large hotels, motels, restaurants, and auto rental yards surround the airport. Many of these businesses are located right along the Bay. However, the Bay Trail manages to squeeze by them on a paved path right next to the waters of the Bay.
To make a longer trip, start in Foster City. See the Foster
City Bay Trail page for more information.
Begin at the parking lot at the end of Anchor Road. The parking lot is
landscaped with iceplants and trees.
From the end of the parking lot across J. Hart Clinton Drive from Bayside/Joinville Park, take the Bay Trail over the wide bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the mouth of Marina Lagoon. This bridge, formerly used for automobile traffic, is so wide that there are separate lanes for bicycles and pedestrians with room to spare. The new automobile bridge, which runs next to the pedestrian/bike bridge on the inland side, blocks the view of Marina Lagoon, but the mouth of the lagoon where it enters San Francisco Bay can be clearly seen. Marina Lagoon was once Seal Creek, a tidal slough freely open to the Bay. Now a dam and pumps control the level of the lagoon, turning it into a 4-mile long controlled waterway used for flood control and recreation. The banks of the lagoon are mostly lined with residences and parks. On the Bay side, however, the mouth of the lagoon is undeveloped tidal flats, teeming with shorebirds. This is part of Bay Marshes Open Space.
At 0.2 miles, the path reaches the other end of the bridge at Detroit Drive and enters San Mateo's Shoreline Park. The large onion-shaped structure to the left down Detroit Drive is part of the city of San Mateo's Water Pollution Control Plant. The trail makes a right turn and passes along the edge of a retired landfill. The hills of the landfill are currently off-limits. It will eventually become Seal Point Shoreline Park.
At 0.5 miles, the trail turns left and follows the outside edge of the landfill hills. The bay waters run close to the trail below a rock wall. The trail turns left again and follows the north end of the landfill.
The trail passes alongside the mouth of San Mateo Creek. The creek, which originates at Crystal Springs Dam high up at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is controlled by flood gates here.
A pedestrian bridge leads over San Mateo to Ryder Court Park at 1.0 miles. This is a small, shady community park with lawns, playgrounds, and picnic tables.
A colorful wildflower garden decorates the bayside edge of Ryder Court Park. The trail picks up at the end of Ryder Court Park.
The Bay Trail segment here, dubbed the Gerry R. Mon Memorial Trail, is a straight path on a levee along the edge of the bay, running between parallel rows of towering power lines. One group of towers runs through the bay. The other runs through a dry marsh area that separates the trail from the backyards of homes. At 1.6 miles, it meets a path from the end of Monte Diablo Ave., which runs next to Harbor View Park, which has picnic areas and baseball diamonds. .
At 1.8 miles, the power lines end at a large power substation. Around the substation is a marsh area. A parallel path drops down to the marsh near a pumping station. Past it is the City of San Mateo Golf Course, currently undergoing remodelling.
On the bay side, the shoreline curves to the right as it approaches Coyote Point. Paths lead off to the right towards the Bay around the outside of the Coyote Point Marina. The Bay Trail continues straight into Coyote Point Recreation Area. At 2.1 miles, it crosses the road to the Coyote Point Yacht Club..
The trail turns left at the edge of the marina, crosses the park road, and enters the Eucalyptus Picnic Area. It then turns left and runs around the picnic area, which like most of the hilltop land on the point, is shaded by groves of eucalyptus trees. At 2.3 miles, it crosses the road leading to the Coyote Point Environmental Museum.
The trail here does something unusual for the Bay Trail: it runs uphill. Though not very high, it is the highest point on the Bay Trail on this part of the Bay. At 2.9 miles, the trail drops down again and follow along the main park road. It crosses the side roads to the beach and picnic areas. At 3.0 miles, it reaches the park's entry station. Turn right here and follow the path that runs alongside the road to the group picnic areas and playground.
At 3.3 miles, the path reaches the bay again at the windsurfing beach. This is one of the best places on the Bay for windsurfing, with the strong Bay breezes, the easily-accessible shoreline, and the convenient park facilities.
Just past here, the trail passes by the Peninsula Humane Society, located just off Airport Blvd. The trail is lined with iceplants.
Another sandy beach is here, Peninsula Beach, which is accessible to the public. The trail begins to turn to the right. It enters the Burlingame city limits. Most of the Bay Trail from here to SFO runs through Burlingame.
At 3.6 miles, the trail ends at Airport Blvd. A paved sidewalk continues along the top of the rock wall, while bicycles follow along on a bike lane on the road.
At 3.9 miles, the paths reach the parking lot of Fisherman's Park. This is a popular place for fishing along the rock wall. it provides good views of Coyote Point and its windsurfers. The shoreline path behind a fenced-off rental car storage yard is unsafe and off-limits, so to continue on, follow Airport Blvd. west. Airport Blvd. is a wide 4-lane divided road that runs between the rental car yard and a drive-in movie theater.
At 4.2 miles, the road crosses over a bridge over the channel of the Burlingame Recreation Lagoon, as it connects to the bay. A dock is here next to a public parking area. An old inactive Oakland ferry boat, the Frank M. Coxe, is docked here. At the end of the parking lot, the Bay Trail begins again. The fenced-off field to the west is state land. The trail runs between it and the bay, but is a rough dirt path. An alternate route is to continue on Airport Blvd. and turn in at the parking lot near the large restaurant.
At 4.5 miles, the trail reaches Anza Lagoon. A bridge crosses over the mouth of the lagoon leads to a park area.
The banks of the lagoon are landscaped. A number of buildings ring the lagoon. Trails encircle the lagoon.
The park at the end of Anza Lagoon is Robert E. Wooley Park, which has a parking lot, tree-shaded lawns, a restroom, fish-cleaning stations, and a U-shaped fishing pier.
At 5.1 miles, the trail passes by a luxury hotel. The hotel has a wall along the bayfront that gives the area a Mediterranean resort look.
Beyond the hotel, the trail briefly runs through the parking lot behind an office building, then re-emerges as a nicely-landscaped paved trail following a slightly meandering path between the Bay and Bayshore Highway.
At 5.6 miles is a parking lot with picnic tables, benches, and a fish-cleaning station. Across Bayshore Highway is a large earth landfill berm. A large construction project is currently going on on top of it. Next to it is the Burlingame Wastewater Treatment Facility. The trail curves to the right as it passes Bayside Park. The park is surrounded by eucalyptus trees and has baseball fields, a playground, and picnic tables.
At 5.8 miles, the paved trail ends at a shady rest spot with wooden benches. Just ahead is the Hwy 101 off-ramp onto Bayshore Highway. Continue on to the intersection and turn right on Bayshore Highway. A bike lane runs along the street, but only for a short distance. The road passes by businesses, hotels, and a movie theater. Turn into the movie theater parking lot and head towards the Bay. Bayshore Highway is very busy, and the inland side has a large freeway on-ramp and off-ramp, which makes southbound bicycling hazardous. There is an unofficial route that follows along the Bay, but it crosses 2 creeks on a makeshift bridge and a rickety footbridge and runs through private back parking lots.
The Bay washes up over mudflats and stands of cordgrass. Above that, the shore is sandy and rocky. Above that are the paved parking lots of the businesses along Bayshore Highway.
At the northeast end of the theater parking lot behind a large new office building, at 6.3 miles, the paved trail begins again next to a wall along the Bay. The inland side of the trail is landscaped. The trail runs behind restaurants, hotels, and auto rental yards. The restaurants tend to have large picture windows overlooking the bay, so trail users become part of the scenery. The trail is a narrow, busy sidewalk in places, so bicyclists need to watch out for pedestrians and vice versa.
At 6.6 miles, the trail travels around a blue-tiled roofed Japanese restaurant, which has a Japanese garden next to the Bay. There are hedges and benches along the Bayfront.
At 6.7 miles, the trail turns inland towards Bayshore Highway and crosses a bridge over Mills Creek. Mills Creek originates up in the Burlingame hills in Mills Canyon Park. The marshy area near the mouth of the creek is part of the City of Burlingame Shorebird Sanctuary. The trail nears the main road, then turns right towards the Bay.
The trail squeezes behind more restaurants, a motel, a rental car yard, and a large hotel.
At 7.4 miles, it crosses a creek that drains into the Bay. Here the trail enters the City of Millbrae and Bayfront Park.
Landscaped trails lead through the park. The park has lawns and benches.
At 7.6 miles, the trail circles around the end of the park, but goes no further.
To the north is a marsh and the runways of San Francisco International Airport. This is one of the best spots on the Peninsula to view the planes at SFO.
Currently, there is no off-road Bay Trail segment around the airport. Turn around and head back down the trail.
On the way back, take a side trip around the Burlingame Recreation Lagoon. To get here, turn right down Anza Blvd. just before Anza Lagoon. Anza Blvd. crosses Airport Blvd. Just before the Hwy 101 on-ramp, at 11.1 miles, a pedestrian ramp leads down to the right. It turns left and goes under the bridge along the shore of Burlingame Lagoon. A straight path follows along the east shore of the lagoon, next to a fence. A large airport parking lot is hidden behind bushes along the fence. The lagoon is a long, straight body of water with power line towers running down its length. Despite its name, it is not used for water recreation. Signs refer to it as Sanchez Lagoon and warn that access to the lagoon banks and all water sports are prohibited. The path is paved and ruler-straight. There are some benches and trash cans along the way, but the sides of the lagoon are not landscaped for most of the route. A path can be seen on the opposite bank of the lagoon near Hwy 101, but it is currently off-limits.
At 11.9 miles, near some new office buildings at the southern end of the lagoon, is a tree-shaded rest stop with lawns and benches. The trail here is landscaped.
At 12.0 miles, a pedestrian bridge crosses over the channel that feeds Burlingame Lagoon. Heading over the bridge, the trail runs into a parking lot at the end of Beach Road. Take Beach Road to Airport Blvd. and catch the trail again to reach Coyote Point Park. See the Coyote Point page for more details on this park. After leaving the park, backtrack along the Bay Trail to the starting point near Bayside Joinville Park. The Bay Trail continues on to Foster City. See the Foster City trail segment for more on this route.
Across J. Hart Clinton Drive is the end of Marina Lagoon. Undeveloped Tidelands Park is on the east side of the lagoon, accessible from Anchor Road. A tall concrete pumping station sits on a dam that controls the level of the lagoon. Construction near the pumping station may prevent access to both sides of the lagoon via the dam. A detour along Detroit Drive off J. Hart Clinton Drive leads to the west side of the lagoon.
Bayside/Joinville Park is on the west side of Marina Lagoon. The latter park extends south to Kehoe Avenue.
The Gordon R. Joinville Swim Center and a playground are at this end at the intersection of Kehoe Avenue and Roberta Drive. Roberta Drive runs through a suburban neighborhood and can be taken south to Seal Street.
At the end of Seal Street, along Marina Lagoon, is Parkside Aquatic Park. This picturesque and popular park has picnic areas, lawns, a sandy swimming beach, and a playground. It has ramps and docks for boating on Marina Lagoon.
See the Foster City Bay Trail page
for more routes around Foster City and Marina Lagoon.