The Baylands Nature Preserve is 1,940 acres of undisturbed marshland, with miles of multi-use trails woven in and around it. It is one of the best areas for bird watching on the West Coast.
There are three main ways to enter the Preserve. First is from the Embarcadero Road, which will lead you to the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center. This dirt trail offers a close up view of various bird species. It’s one of my favorite places for bird watching and for bird photography. There is also the Duck Pond, but I have only been there a couple of times, mainly because of all the duck poop on the ground.
If you take a right turn at the stop sign, right before entering the Preserve, the road will lead you to Byxbee Park. There is one handicap parking space, and an accessible bathroom. If you enjoy a long hike, this is a great place to start from. You’ll hike past the Mayfield Slough and then eventually see the Charleston Slough.
The third way to enter Baylands Nature Preserve is by taking San Antonio Road. There are a couple handicap parking spots available, and an accessible bathroom. What I like about this entrance is that, not only can you hike along the miles of trails, but you have Adobe Creek on the left of the trail, which is a great place to see the American White Pelican. To the right of the trail you have a viewing platform that gives you a view of the Charleston Slough. The bonus of parking here is that to the right of the parking area is one of the entrances to Shoreline Lake. Another wonderful place for bird watching.
Most of the trails are flat and are made up of hard-packed dirt. The only drawback is that you’ll accumulate a lot of trail dust.
Overall, this is a wonderful place to hike and to enjoy seeing many various types of bird species.