May 23, 2014

San Francisco Bay Trail turns walking/bicycling into cultural experiences

After 25 years, 500-mile project boasts 355 miles of trekking track; celebrates milestone Saturday

San Francisco Bay Trail, Richmond

Walking is good for just about everything that ails you, whether you’re young, old, or in between. Tomorrow (May 24) the San Francisco Bay Trail celebrates 25 years of encouraging residents and visitors to get out and use their feet to see the bay and all its natural treasures up close.

One of the new exhibits in the Rosie the Riveter visitors center: Rosie takes a break for lunch. Photo by Ginny McPartland

The Bay Trail celebration coincides with the unveiling of new exhibits at the Rosie the Riveter National Park's Visitor Education Center. The joint party will be on the waterfront in Richmond, Calif., beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Fittingly, the Bay Trail organization is releasing its new smartphone application, Point, simultaneously, The mobile app will allow visitors to log in and get a narrated tour of 17 points of interest along the 2.5 miles of the trail adjacent to the Rosie park.

The Richmond Bay Trail smartphone audio tour, first in a series to be released for Point this summer, starts at the Visitor Education Center at 1414 South Harbour Way, Richmond, and ends at the Shimada Friendship Park.

Mobile interpretive tours will be released for trails along the Napa River near American Canyon and for Alviso and Novato sites.

The San Francisco Bay Trail Project, begun in 1989, is a planned 500-mile walking and bicycling trail. When completed, the trail will encircle the entire San Francisco Bay and will link the shorelines of all nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities and all seven major toll bridges in the region.

So far, 355 miles have been completed and provide access to points of historic, natural and cultural interest, as well as 130 parks and wildlife preserves totaling 57,000 acres of open space.

After the ceremonies, beginning at 11 a.m., visitors can enjoy a tour of the new Visitor Center exhibits, and participate in a scavenger hunt with great prizes and a WWII-era costume contest. Food will be available for sale and there will be live music.