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An Urban Park on the S.F. Bay.

Candlestick Point: A study in recovery, and urban retreat.
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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.5 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  At the easily accessible Candlestick Point SRA, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, the East Bay Hills, San... more »

Tips:  Location
Take the Candlestick Park exit off U.S. 101 in San Francisco.

Operating Hours:
8am to 5pm daily, closing later in summer... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trail Entry Point and Parking

Trail entry point and parking. There are a number of entry points along the parking area. Simply follow the trails through the trees to the paved trail on the other side.

Many of the trails at Candlestick are classed for mixed use, however some do have bike restrictions.

Getting to Candlestick SRA:

Driving:
The park is easily reached from... More

2. Junction

Junction and alternate entry point. This is a paved path. Trees are primarily live oak and pine on open grasslands.

3. Junction

Paved pathways meet at a "T" junction. Follow the Bay Trail northeasterly along the rip rap lined shoreline through grasslands. While walking these trails keep an eye out for squirrels and rabbits. Birdwatchers can sight hawks, brown pelicans, cormorants, surf scooters, western grebes, terns, and both snowy and common egrets, along with ... More

4. Viewpoint

A scenic viewpoint with an expansive outlook of much of the park, Candlestick Park, Hunter's Point, and south down the Bay.

Northward and stretching inland appears to be the remains of a pair of shipbuilding slipways slowly eroding back into the landscape.

From here head westward down the concrete path toward Candlestick Park.

5. Junction

Junction between east/west trail and park boundary trail. Paved.

Just north you will see gateway walls allowing access to additional parking and the ballpark. Walk towards that and continue through to the next junction. The terrain is flat and grassy with scattered shrubs which will provide ample viewing opportunities.

We're going to loop... More

6. Junction

Junction. Heading into the northern portion of the park. This next broad curving segment of trail heads toward the northern shore is a walking/hiking-only trail.

We will return here later (Point 14). A paved road turns to graveled dirt track. The trail heads northerly and into a broad loop heading east along the edge of the park. It provides a... More

7. Junction

Junction. Heading north is a short trail that ends in the northern parking area and area set aside for park expansion to Yosemite Canal and South Basin.

Take the southeasterly fork that heads toward the wetlands area.

8. Junction- Wetlands Area

This dirt and gravel junction allows for access to a wetlands area surrounded by the Bay and grass/low hills.

Take the fork heading northerly toward Hunter's Point. A nice little segment, especially in the early spring when the wild flowers start blooming!

9. Junction-South Basin

Junction. A dirt and gravel roads near the East Basin shoreline.

The road heading northwest parallels the basin shoreline which is primarily rip rap. This basin has been set aside for future restoration work. The path leads into the parking area.

The two paths heading southeast along the shore effectively end at the same extreme northeast... More

10. Junction

Here's the connector path back up to the main trail. Take the footpath up to the main trail.

From this northern corner of the park follow the shoreline path (referred to as “Bay Trail” on the park map). The shoreline is reinforced with rip rap for protection from rough winter bay weather.

The Bay can get fairly rough in the afternoons a few... More

11. Junction

A well established shortcut trail down to a concrete pier/vista point.

12. Vista Point

This is the concrete pier at the northeastern corner of the former slipways that we visited earlier. It's got a great view across the waters to the east and south. The concrete steps on the north side down on the rip rap will give the kids a break from the walk. Up shore toward Hunters Point were a few groups of people shore fishing this day.

A... More

13. Junction-Connector Trail

Junction. The side trail to the north will lead back to the wetlands area we passed earlier (WP 8).

The walk leading here was along a concrete path.

Continue west toward Candlestick.

14. Junction

We've returned to WP 6.

The northern portion of the park has been toured - time to visit the heart of Candlestick Point! The next segment will take us back to WP 3 when we first came to the shoreline.

Head south to WP 5.

15. Junction

Follow the path heading to the southeast and the Bay.

The path heading west leads to parking and the park entrance building.

The path heading south returns to the parking area this walk began at.

16. Junction

Junction. This path has returned to a point just west of WP 3 and the original path we entered on. Continue east to the Bay Trail junction, it's just around the bend.

17. Jackrabbit Picnic Area

The trail passes a long, low hill inland with the Bay offering views of Candlestick Point. Opening up ahead is a large meadow area well outfitted with picnic benches, a restroom building, and BBQ pits. The Jackrabbit picnic area is well outfitted for family and group picnics with one of the best views in the park.

Jackrabbit Picnic area has an... More

18. Plover Picnic Area

Plover is just a few minutes’ walk southeast of Jackrabbit Picnic Area at a trail junction. It too has ready access to parking which is out of sight, behind a low hill to the west.

A restroom is also nearby. The area is outfitted with BBQ's, tables, and a nice lawn for games, sports, and other activities. Its view provides a great overview of... More

19. Windharp Hill Picnic Area

Windharp is set at the neck connecting Candlestick Point to the land. The picnic area is set between a low hill and trees providing a nicely protected area to enjoy the day.

Access to parking and restrooms is but a few minutes down the trail. This picnic area also had BBQ's, ADA useable tables, and BBQ's. There is also a narrow grass patch for... More

20. Junction

This junction is at the neck attaching Candlestick Point to land and joins all the shoreline paths on the Point to the rest of the park.

Continue the graded dirt and gravel loop on the inner Bay shore facing the landward side of the park.

This "inside" path is fairly well-sheltered from wind.

21. Junction- Sunrise Point

We've arrived at the junction servicing the Candlestick Point Fishing Pier and Sunrise Point.

Two trails and one road service this spot at the end of the point which is clearly a popular location. At this junction there is a substantial restroom building which also has a roofed area for weather protection. Along the southern windward shore are a ... More

22. End of Pier

Views are extensive and include essentially the entire Bay south of Hunter's Point. If looking west along the shoreline, keep an eye open for wind and kite surfers,

Be sure to have something warm and wind-blocking to wear if you plan on spending a significant amount of time out here. A hat and sun block will really come in handy too.

23. Junction

Return to WP 20.

Continue along the southern shoreline.

This path has lighting for folks leaving the park at the end of the day.

Scattered picnic benches with windbreaks along the shoreline.

At the intersection, the path broadens to a paved road, rounds a bend, and a broad field opens up on the north side. Across the field is access to Plover... More

24. Pelican Picnic Area

Pelican Picnic Area is very close to parking; has a restroom, additional picnic benches scattered about in a well-sheltered environment isolated by hill mounds, and plenty of trees.

The road through is paved, making this possibly the most accessible picnic spot in the park.

It's also strategically located to allow easy access to the point, the ... More

25. Junction-Park Access

This point marks a crossing from parking to park trails. This particular one is at the main access road to Plover and Windharp picnic areas.

26. Junction-Park Access

This point marks a crossing from parking to park trails.

27. Junction-Park Access

This point marks a crossing from parking to park trails. This particular one is at the main access road to the Jackrabbit Picnic Area.

28. Junction-Park Access

This point marks a crossing from parking to park trails. This particular one is at the main access road to the Jackrabbit Picnic Area.

29. Trail Head

End of walk.

30. Park Entrance

Entrance to Candlestick Point SRA.