WHAT IS THE CARQUINEZ STRAIT SCENIC LOOP TRAIL?
The Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail is a 50-mile loop travelling both the scenic shores and sweeping ridgelines of the Carquinez Strait, where the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta meet. The Trail connects to over 10,000 acres of parks and open spaces and five bustling, historic communities. With 70% of the trail complete today and a vision plan to complete the last few gaps, there are endless ways that you can explore the Carquinez Strait.
EXPLORE THE TRAIL
DESTINATIONS AND MAPS
1. Benicia - Vallejo Waterfront
7.1 Miles | Easy | Trail Map
Enjoy cooling breezes and fantastic shoreline views as you travel the Benicia waterfront. Start your trip at one of the many parking locations near Glen Cove Waterfront Park and explore the trail leading to the Benicia Marina. Leave time to stop for lunch while you pass through historic downtown Benicia.
2. George Miller Trail
3.6 Miles | Easy | Trail Map
This paved trail is located between Port Costa and Martinez and is a favorite for its views of the working waterfront and the scenic shoreline of the Carquinez Strait. Park at the Port Costa Staging Area and access the out-and-back trail via a short walk along the shoulder of Carquinez Scenic Drive.
3. Franklin Ridge Ranches
5.4 Miles | Moderate | Trail Map
Climb through oak woodlands and open grasslands to experience the expansive views of Mt Diablo, the Carquinez Strait, and beyond. This trail takes you from Mt Wanda through several John Muir Land Trust preserves—Sky Ranch, Dutra Ranch and Almond Ranch— before looping back to the Mt Wanda Staging Area.
4. Alvarez Ninth Street Park
Water Trail Map | Bay Area Sea Kayakers Trip Planner
Discover the Carquinez Strait from the water at this San Francisco Bay Water Trail launch point. This park features a boat ramp, dock, and sandy beach for launching or a scenic destination for a picnic lunch on the park’s lawns and picnic tables. The Carquinez Strait is not typically suitable for beginner boaters -- plan your trip accordingly.
5. Bridge-to-Bridge Loop
Difficult | 24 Miles | Trail Map
Experience both sides of the Carquinez Strait on this mix of roads and pathways that connect both the Benicia-Martinez and Carquinez-Zampa bridges and shorelines. This route includes rolling terrain and climbs with rewarding views of the strait. Start this loop at any of the parking areas and end your adventure at one of several cafes in the quaint downtowns along the route.
NOTE: This route is for experienced cyclists and includes sections with no bike lanes, roadways with narrow or no shoulders and some busy streets. Be sure to download the map from our website before your next adventure.
VISIT THE DOWNTOWNS
Visit one or all of the historic waterfront communities along the Carquinez Strait waterfront on your adventure, all founded in the mid to late 1800s.
- Benicia: Visit California’s oldest standing State Capitol, enjoy excellent food and drink, and take in the stunning waterfront views in this thriving arts community
- Martinez: Stroll the streets of the historic downtown and visit antique shops, boutiques, cafes and microbreweries as well as the home of John Muir.
- Port Costa: Explore this former railroad ferry and wheat-shipping port town. Located in the center of the Strait, the main street leads right to the waterfront and offers special dining and shopping experiences
- Crockett: Overlooking the Carquinez Bridge and the C&H Sugar Factory, visit the historic downtown of Crockett and Eckley Pier for a unique view of the Carquinez Strait
- Vallejo: Experience the naval history of Mare Island and enjoy the heritage architecture and art gallery districts of Vallejo
BIRD THE STRAIT
The Carquinez Strait is an excellent destination for wildlife viewing and birding!
Check out our birding brochure for destinations to see flocks of waterfowl and soaring raptors.
The Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail is a partnership between 5 regional trails and several government agencies. Thank you to Visit Benicia, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the State Coastal Conservancy for your sponsorship of our brochure!