Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach – 5 miles, easy
This artificial beach is a great place to enjoy a sunny day with friends and family. The beach is 2.5 miles long with a bike path running the entire length. Kayaking, car-top boats, and SUPs are allowed but there is no official put-in so no boat trailers allowed.
East Bay Regional Park District operates the beach under an agreement with California State Parks and The City of Alameda. There are restrooms, picnic tables, and the Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium. Kids and adults will enjoy looking at the creatures on display at the aquarium. Be sure the check out Crab Cove, just West of the Visitor Center, which is a Marine Reserve designated in 1980.
Starting in the 1880s until World War II, the beach was officially known as Alameda Beach but nicknamed “Coney Island of the West”. Today, the park is more tranquil; birthday parties dominate the North end lawns while bird watchers enjoy the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary at the West end.
Beginning in 1982, the beach was restored. Without natural replacement, erosion was taking away the sand. In order to preserve the public beach, sand was pumped from the San Francisco Bay to the beach. The pumping continues annually as the beach looses approximately 1% of its sand every year; more if there is a major weather event. In 2006, the beach was restored to its 1987 level.
We biked the length of the beach along the bike path enjoying the views of the bay and San Francisco.
Hayward Regional Shoreline – 10 miles, easy
5 miles of gravel roads provide public access to the marshes and wildlife of the Hayward Regional Shoreline. The shoreline was originally a tidal salt marsh. Human greatly impacted the area for agriculture, salt production, and development. The park is currently in the midst of a long-term marsh restoration project. Aside from views of San Francisco Bay, Mt. Diablo, and Hayward, birds are also a draw as over 200 species migrate through the area.
The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center, operated by Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, is a great place to stop and learn about the wildlife; the staff is very well informed.