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Plan Your Own
The Mountain View entrance to Shoreline Park is at the end of Shoreline Blvd. You will pass through the gates and kiosk but there are no fees to enter or park. Within this park, there is a golf course, two restaurants, the historic Rengstorff House and gardens and a small lake where there are many boating activities. The area is home to many migrating and local birds so if you are a birdwatcher, please bring your binoculars to use while you are along the shore and at the lookouts. This is also a great place to bring your camera for nature photos. The trails are shared by people walking, bicycling, rollerblading and running. No dogs are allowed on the trails.
Follow the one lane road past the kite flying area and dog park for about half a mile until you reach a sign that says Michaels (one of the restaurants) to the left. There is a parking lot for the golf course and Michaels restaurant where you can park for free and there is always a space open when you arrive. This review covers a walk that starts out from this parking lot. Another option is to follow directions to the Lakeside Cafe/Sailing where there is another parking lot. This lot is more popular and is full more often. Cross the street where you entered the parking lot to start on the trail. This trail will connect to the San Francisco Bay Trail within about 100 feet.
Park entrance Sign to Michaels
Large parking lot Street crossing to Bay Trail
The trail is paved for the first mile. You will cross a bridge that takes you over Permanente Creek where you can look for birds. If you bear right at the intersection, this keeps you on the Bay Trail and close to the shoreline and the views of the bay and wildlife. The trail is very popular so you can feel safe going alone.
Bay Trail Stork's bill filaree
Families on bicycles Permanente Creek
Bear right at intersection People along trail
In the spring, there are fields of California poppies along the first part of the trail. There is signage along the way that gives information about the bay tides and what controls their flow and levels. Permanente Creek and the tidal marsh will be on your left for about one half of a mile. There are plenty of benches for taking a rest, birdwatching or viewing the landscape.
California poppies Permanente Creek
Bench for birdwatching Calystegia macrostegia California Morning Glory
Terns and skimmers Capeweed
More flowers Salsify, Tragopogon porrifolia (edible roots)
Trail along salt ponds Wild mustard
The views of the bay on your right are of the salt evaporation pond and when you hit the intersection, stay on your right to continue on the Bay Trail. At the next intersection, there will be a dirt trail on your right, and at pier on the corner at Charleston Slough where there are even more birds.
Bench and view of the bay
Charleston Slough Common Goldeneyes
Egret and American Avocet Sandpiper
Sandpiper tracks Slough birds in flight
Share the trail
We followed the same trail that we took to get to the pier, passing the Coast Casey Forebay on our right.
Trail back to the lake
At the next intersection, bear right and then left to reach the northwest end of Shoreline Lake and the path that runs around its perimeter. There are more birds to see around the lake including herons and grebes. If it is a windy day, you may see sailboats, as well as canoes, rowboats, windsurfers, kayaks, pedalboats and people playing canoe polo (combination of kayaking, basketball and water polo).
Northwest end of Shoreline Lake
Grebe Heron and friends
Boats on the lake
Follow the trail past the Lakeside Cafe and past Rengstorff House. There are restrooms at the cafe. You can stop for a walk in the garden. The trail takes you back to the parking lot by Michaels restaurant where there are also restrooms.