We’re lucky to live beside one of the most beautiful natural bays in the world. Yet finding a place to have it all to yourself? That can be a challenge. Unless you take a sunset and moonlight stroll at the newly opened Sears Point in Sonoma County. The Sonoma Land Trust spearheaded a ten-year effort to purchase and protect the land on the northern end of San Pablo Bay. And they’ve recently created a few very tranquil, and level, hiking trails that are a welcome addition to the San Francisco Bay Trail, the ambitious walking and biking path that will one day encompass the entire San Francisco Bay. Sears Point is now managed by the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Long story short: it’s a gem! Arrive about an hour or so before sunset and walk along the Dickson or Eliot Trail.
As the sun slips behind Mount Burdell and Big Rock Ridge, the tidal marsh buzzes with activity. Sandpipers, godwits, curlews, and an occasional osprey call these waters home. You might even see a great egret. As the rush of Highway 37 traffic fades, the sounds of the new wetland come to life. Watch the sun sink and the moon rise to a symphony of sounds from nature, including owls. Head back the way you came as the sun sinks lower. The rising full moon will help light your way back, but we recommend bringing a flashlight in case it gets dark faster than expected.
BONUS: On Saturdays, docents are on-site at the Sears Point Tidal Marsh from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Walk the newest section of the Bay Trail and get to know the tidal marsh wetlands. No registration needed, just show up!
NOTE: Be sure to arrive at least an hour before sunset. At the time this story was researched (on August 18, 2016) there was no signage indicating that Sears Point closed at sunset, and no indication of a sunset closure time was provided when a phone call was made verifying information about going on a sunset stroll here. After this story went to publication we received information that the area closes at sunset. A sunset stroll here is magnificent and please respect the rules of closure. The parking area is not gated. Sears Point is also worth a visit for its docent led walk on Saturdays.
You can make this walk an out-and-back. The Dickson Trail is 0.3 mile (one-way) and the Eliot Trail is 2.5 miles (one-way). Here’s a map to the parking area at the end of Reclamation Road near the intersection of Lakeville Hwy. and Hwy. 37. No dogs.