Bair Island

Please Note: Bair Island is undergoing extensive environmental restoration, and is currently closed to the public. You can read more about Bair Island's restoration here, at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's website.

Managed by: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Location: East of Highway 101 in Redwood City

Hours: Sunrise to sunset; parking lot open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fees: None

Trail Difficulty: Easy, flat 3-mile loop

Things to See and Do: Bair Island comprises three islands separated by sloughs. A vast array of waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as harbor seals and other fascinating wildlife, make their home here.

Conservationists had tried to save Bair Island from development for more than 30 years when POST succeeded in acquiring 1,623 acres here in 1997. Though portions of the island are owned by the State of California, the entire area has been managed by the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge since 1998. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is restoring 1,400 acres of Bair Island to tidal marsh as it revitalizes the Bay's critical wetlands ecosystem with the help of restoration funds held by POST.

Keep Your Eyes Open For: Endangered California clapper rails and salt marsh harvest mice. Also cottontail rabbits, peregrine falcons, pelicans, egrets, terns, and stilts. Large rays and small leopard sharks can be see in the sloughs at the farther reaches of the island.

Directions: From Highway 101, take the Whipple Ave. exit heading east. Follow the road as it curves sharply to the right and becomes East Bayshore Rd. Continue straight, then make a sharp left as the road becomes Bair Island Rd. Just before The Villas apartment complex, turn right at the sign for the wildlife refuge and park in the lot. Backtrack on foot across Bair Island Rd. to reach the trail.


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