Along the trails to get to Little Yosemite, the nearby Calaveras Dam project is clearly visible. Slated to be completed in Spring 2019, Calaveras is the Hetch Hetchy’s largest reservoir in the Bay Area holding 96,850 acre-feet of water!
Up near the Eagle View trail, the winds picked up and we spotted a couple of American Kestrels fighting the wind while hunting for insects in the grass. American Kestrels, next to the Red Tailed Hawk, are one of the most common raptors. Much smaller than hawks, they’re related to falcons with cool looking eye strips and red-blue feather colorations.
And with the moisture brought by rains, mushrooms spontaneously erupt in the shady spots around fallen trees.
Protruding into San Pablo bay, Point Pinole offers a pleasant space to picnic, visit the ruins of old Dynamite production facilities, fish along a well maintained pier, and take in the calming views along the Pinole shoreline.
Ample hiking trails circumscribe and criss cross the area offering differing vantages and points of interest. The best introduction is a 4.9 mile loop hike from Cook’s Point Trail, to Owl Alley, to the Bay View trail. Diverse birds can be found throughout the surrounding marsh lands.