One of the San Francisco Bay’s true coastal gems, Hayward Regional Shoreline makes for a grrreat day out for athletic animals and nature-loving pups alike! The park boasts five miles of pawesome public trails along the shore, but be careful -- in order to protect birds and other small critters, doggos aren’t allowed south of the West Winston Avenue flood control channel, and the loop around the marshes is off-limits. Never mind, though -- there are still some lovely routes for you and your buddy to sniff and explore! You’ll find free parking at the entrance on Depot Rd., though it’s best to get there early on the weekends, as spaces fill up fast!
Hayward Regional Shoreline is something of a Mecca for bird-watchers. Though pups aren’t allowed around their favorite feeding and nesting habitats, you and your pooch are still likely to spot egrets, swifts, and other feathered friends! The trail leading from the parking lot runs for just a half-mile or so to Haywards Landing, where you two can expect to see a panoramic view of the San Francisco skyline. In the same area, there’s also an undeveloped trail leading up a slight hill to a meadow -- you’ll be rewarded with vistas of the bay and some seriously special wildflowers, but the ground is a little uneven, so watch your step! If an uphill trek (however slight) isn’t quite your speed, you can turn left and walk a stretch of the San Francisco Bay Trail, passing by a creek on your way to the San Leandro Marina.
The available trails in Hayward Regional Shoreline vary slightly in terms of accessibility, but the Bay Trail Route is relatively flat, so a walk here should suit everyone from fitter furry friends to laid-back lapdogs! There are also plenty of benches along the shoreline -- ideal for taking in the scenery, or taking a load off if it feels like your pooch has been walking you! In terms of facilities, the only restrooms are located just after West Winston, where your pooch isn’t welcome. Your pup has better luck -- there are doggy waste bag dispensers dotted along the shoreline trail. Remember to bring plenty of water, and enjoy your bayside walk!