Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pt. San Pedro Rd. - McNears Beach - April 16, '13

Walking Distance: 6.5 mi.
Walking Time: 3 hrs., 47 min. (3:51 - 7:38 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Residential street parking on Lagoon Road, San Rafael,  CA

Today was a beautiful spring afternoon for a walk by the Bay. After parking in a residential neighborhood, I walked northeast on Point San Pedro Road toward McNears Beach. I walked on a mix of sidewalks, paved asphalt path/shoulder and packed dirt today, primarily along Point San Pedro Road (shown as a broken, then solid green line on the 2012-2013 Bay Trail Map Set).

Along the way to McNears Beach, I passed Chapel Cove (and a Chapel), also the San Rafael Rock Quarry and Brickyard. The San Francisco Bay shore was home to several brickyards. I've enjoyed seeing tall brick chimneys that mark these historic sites as I've walked around the Bay. (Note: I did not walk (right) on the McNear Brickyard Road to Point San Pedro, depicted as a broken green line, but will investigate in the future.)

I walked the entrance road (green dotted line) into McNears Beach County Park. At the south end of the park, there was what looked like a dock re-construction project going on. I walked north through the middle of the park, along a paved path with Canada geese on the surrounding lawn. And, further north, I walked along a sandy beach, where there were a number of moon jellies (jellyfish) floating ashore, and crabs that had washed up -- signs of a healthy crab population in the area I'd like to think.

This beach with soft waves would be a great place for a family picnic. (There is also a nearby pool and snack bar; check website for hours of operation between Memorial Day and Labor Day.) Note: there is an admission fee.

After hiking up the road to Point San Pedro Road, I headed southwest, passing my starting point and continuing southwest. I walked past a new shoreline park and a school, on the bayshore side (with a tunnel underpass if you need to cross Point San Pedro Road).

I turned around at Summit Avenue, where I had ended my last walk a few days ago. I stopped for a few minutes to rest on a bench at Bayside Park, then continued until I reached Peacock Drive (Lagoon Road), as it was getting dark.

Wildlife Sightings: 
19 ducks (3 were Lesser Scaups); 10 crows; 5 Western/Clarks grebes; 20 little brown jobs (LBJs); 1 finch; 1 great egret; 4 red-winged blackbirds; 3 butterflies; 11 Canada geese; 4 sea gulls; 1 coot; 1 cloud of ankle-to-eyeball gnats; 5 plovers with dark throat patch/shorebirds; 2 doves