Best Walk by the Bay 

Point Pinole Regional Shoreline

This underused 2,000-acre park is almost surrounded by San Pablo Bay, with Mt. Tamalpais looming to the west. When it's windy, it's windy indeed here, but on a sunny day the weather is closer to Vallejo's than Berkeley's. The land was once the site of dynamite manufacturing plants; you might stumble across the ruined foundations of some of its buildings and the odd machine part. A paved walk begins at a grassy picnic area and extends north to the tip of the point. Dirt trails running along the water and through meadows and eucalyptus groves are open to hikers, bikers, horses, and dogs. Besides windswept trails, sweeping bay views, and abundant birds, there are man-made amenities including a fishing pier with sink, a children's playground, and a pedestrian walkway over the track from which, if your timing is right, you can watch -- and feel -- a fast freight train pass beneath. Someday the trails of Point Pinole will be part of the Bay Trail; for now, it offers that quintessential East Bay experience of post-industrial wilderness.

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