A Window in Time
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a huge area consisting mostly of wetlands lining the south eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay. These and other restored wetlands (like Rush Ranch) harken back to pre-euro settlement days when the bulk of the bay was surrounded by similar areas.
There’s an education center at the southern end of the bay at Alviso, and a visitor’s center in Fremont. For this trip, we visited the Fremont side. The Fremont location also sits adjacent to the Coyote Hills Regional Park which can be used to extend a day hike.
At this time, marsh road is undergoing restoration of one of its land bridges along Marshland road. Expect 20 min delays.
The visitor’s center is located just beyond the construction. It’s a good place to start if you arrive mid morning, as it opens at 10 am on weekends and 9 am on weekdays.
Just beyond on the left hand side are the administrative offices with a large parking. Just beyond the office turnoff is a smaller parking lot, also on the left hand side, with less hilly access to the learning center and trails.
The levees along the sloughs are flat and are an easy hike.
Unfortunately, the day didn’t bring the expected onslaught of migratory birds; down at the southern end of the refuge at this time of year last year we experienced a deluge of pelicans, egrets, and various other waterfowl. However, we did manage to spot this American kestrel by the Tidelands trail.