Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Don Edwards regional park is 30,000 acres of bay shoreline, marshes, and salt ponds. The Tidelands Trail takes you on a short and easy loop from the visitor center, toward the bay and Newark Slough, and back through upland terrain.
The South Bay is the focus of an ambitious restoration project -- converting salt ponds into marshes and habitat for migrating birds, endangered species like the Clapper Rail and other wildlife, including the endangered harvest mouse.
The LaRiviere Marsh, just a short distance from the visitor center, is a demonstration project of wetlands restoration. (Photo of LaRiviere on page 10 of this article.)
Location - Don Edwards Visitor Center
The visitor center is at the east end of 84/Dumbarton Bridge. Take the Thornton Avenue Exit and go south on Thornton until you reach Marshlands Road. You'll see a sign for Don Edwards Refuge. Turn on Marshlands Road and follow it past LaRiviere marsh (on the right) until you reach the visitor center. The parking lot will be on your left. The center has brochures, maps, and exhibits describing the local environment and wildlife. There are also public restrooms.
On Marshlands Road
Off Thornton Avenue
Newark, CA 94560
Don Edwards Refuge Website
Note: During waterfowl hunting season (mid-October to mid-January), you may hear gunshots in various parts of the refuge, and a few trails will be closed. I spend a lot of time in refuges and personally find this aspect of the winter months difficult -- from a non-hunter's perspective, that is. Adjust accordingly.