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Driving 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 trailhead.
Hiking Directions: 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. You can follow the flat, exposed trail for 1.7 miles to the Middle Bair Island observation deck. Then retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
Overview: 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.
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 seen in the sloughs at the farther reaches of the island.