Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bay Trail through Oakland Airport

An adventuresome ride south from Alameda through the Oakland Airport and San Leandro marina. There's interesting sights, several bridges, lots of airplanes, and it's mostly bike friendly for a 5th grader. We did 22 miles out and back and since this is the Bay Trail you can easily lengthen or shorten the trip.

Today we drive to the ride, taking 880-S to High St exit. Go straight down the ramp then take the second right onto High Street, the first right doubles back onto Alameda Avenue.
After crossing High Street bridge we go left on Fernside and park on the west side just past Lincoln Park. There's a wide bike lane along Fernside south of High Street. You can continue about 10 blocks, turn left and park on Madison or Washington if you don't want to cross Fernside on your bike.
Cross from the west side to the east side of Fernside Drive using the crosswalk at San Jose to join the 2-way class I/II separated bike lane.
Over the bridge we go left and hug the shoreline.
After crossing Doolittle Drive the bike path is on the sidewalk along Bay Harbor Parkway. It's bumpier than the road but not too bad.
At the end of Harbor Bay Parkway turn left onto Ron Cowan Parkway.
Ron Cowan Parkway has a super wide and clean shoulder and traffic is low early on a Saturday afternoon.
The separated class I bike path starts about halfway down the parkway.
The path is pretty dirty with gravel and there's a few grates to watch out for when it's wet but it's nice to be on a safe bike lane.
The bike trail is clean and smooth, and Linc loved looking at the airport.
The "Bill Lockyer" bridge south of the airport is new and wide.
We watched a Southwest plane landing.
After the bridge we went right, continuing on Oyster Point shoreline.
After exiting Oyster Point park we turn right on Neptune. I've always liked this neighborhood, quiet and close to the water.
The trail joins the road for a short stretch through the marina.
At the south end of the marina go through the gate and across the bridge to the paved hiking/biking trail.
Bay Trail scenery here is the more familiar rock-fill shoreline on one side with salt marshes on the other.
Looking east towards the hills.
Linc was really curious how this boat ended up here. I think he had half a mind to try and flip it over and take it home.

We turned around at the end of the paved section (about 2 miles from gate). We could have continued south on dirt trails all the way to San Mateo bridge and onto the BART station in Hayward but we left that for another day. We rode into the typical strong afternoon headwinds on the way back north.

Rails still to come for the train connecting Coliseum BART station to the airport.

Here's the well marked crosswalk under the busy main airport access road. There's an audible signal when the crosswalk is green.
Back over the last bridge to Alameda island.