Public access points at, near San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge


Part I: East to West (on Hwy 37)

1. Vista Point/Public Shore, Guadalcanal Village – Heading east from Vallejo on Highway 37, find this site on the north side of the west end of the bridge over the Napa River. Small parking lot, benches and interpretive signs. Trailhead access. Four-hour parking time limit. No other facilities.

2. Cullinan Ranch, temporary access – This is 1 mile west of the Napa River bridge. With a small dirt parking area. Beyond pipe-gate, it has a .75-mile hike on a levee-top road. No other facilities.

3. Cullinan Ranch, main access – Continuing west on Highway 37, the developed access to the new preserve is about 3.5 miles west of the Napa River bridge. Small paved parking lot, small boat launch dock (kayaks, canoes), interpretive signs, porta-potty, fishing dock, and a hike/bike trail on a levee-top road that goes north for 1.4 miles.

Part II: West to East

4. Black Point Boat Launch – Heading east from Highway 101 on Highway 37, take the Atherton Ave./Black Point exit. Continue east to the Petaluma River estuary and launch site. Ample parking, launch ramp, dock, fish-cleaning station, restrooms. $5 day-use fee. Managed by Marin County Parks.

5. Baylands Trail – 0.5 mile past the Petaluma River bridge, turn right on the access road to the Port Sonoma Marina, and park on the dirt shoulder where road forks. Go south past pipe gate, .025 mile to trailhead; continue 1.3 mile to the east. The trail is due to extend another 2.5 miles and will be part of the S.F. Bay Trail.

6. Napa – Sonoma Marshes State Wildlife Area – Tokay Creek Unit – Heading east past Highway 121/12 junction on Highway 37, exit right to a small parking lot and trailhead. The trail heads south on old farm road berm to the edge of the bay. No other facilities.

7. Vista Point San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge – Heading east on Highway 37, exit to the right just before the Janson Bridge over Sonoma Creek. Provides access to two viewing decks, one on each side of the channel, with interpretive signs, small parking lot. No other facilities. Similar pullout exists on north side of Highway 37.

Part II: North and South

8. 100 Riverside Ramp – On west side of Napa River in downtown Napa. From Highway 29, take Imola Avenue exit, go east on Imola to Coombs, turn north on Coombs to Elm, go east on Elm to Riverside, south on Riverside to dead end. Limited parking, launch ramp. No other facilities. Open sunrise-sunset.

9. Main Street Boat Dock – In downtown Napa. Exit Highway 29 as above, continue north on Coombs to Fourth Street, turn right, look for curbside parking. The dock is found on the walkway through riverfront buildings, south of the Third Street bridge. Open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Dock is low, has flexible hand-launch ramp. No fee. (This dock is about .9 river mile upstream from Riverside Ramp, and about 5.4 miles from Cutting’s Wharf. If your craft is not light enough to hand-carry several blocks, best bet is to launch at Riverside and paddle north.)

10. Cuttings Wharf – Located on the west side of Napa River, between Vallejo and Napa. From Highway 29/Highway 121 junction, go west on Highway 121 just over a mile to Cuttings Wharf Road, turn south and follow the road about three miles south to the site. Has ample parking, picnic tables, launch ramp, low docks, pit privies. No fee. Open from 4 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Wharf is about 6 river miles upstream of South Slough.)

11. Vallejo Launching Facility – On Napa River estuary, south side of Vallejo, where Mare Island Way bends east to become the Curtola Parkway. Ample parking, launch ramp, low public docks. No fee. Open from 4 a.m. to dusk.

Paul McHugh