Sweet Home Alameda

Easy biking on Bay Farm Island in Alameda

Maybe you’ve never heard of Bay Farm Island (also known as Harbor Bay) in Alameda, but you’ll want to know it if solitude is your style for an easygoing bike ride or walk. Though the stunning views of the skyline make San Francisco seem close, long stretches of time can pass without seeing more than one or two other people on the Bay Farm Island Shoreline Trail.

A pedestrian and bicycle bridge connects the main island of Alameda to Bay Farm Island (or you can take the Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry from San Francisco). Regardless of how you arrive, the flat 6-mile loop will take you all the way around the island, treating you to sprawling wildflowers, barley-lined trails, birdlife from egrets and black oystercatchers to black-necked stilts, and endless seas of blue—complete with that fresh ocean scent courtesy of the bay breeze. The trail itself is uncrowded and uncomplicated.

Gallery image 1 of 6
Gallery image 2 of 6
Gallery image 3 of 6
Gallery image 4 of 6
Gallery image 5 of 6
Gallery image 6 of 6

With a few stretches that don’t allow vehicles at all and designated bike lanes almost the entire way, the island has a remote feel that’s delightful. You’ll encounter a few crosswalks along the way near the Oakland Raiders and Peets Coffee headquarters, but you’ll find your way back to the cycling trail with ease.

BEER BONUS: If you’re heading back to the main island of Alameda, take an extra 10 minutes to reach Park Street (take Fernside Boulevard to Central Avenue, then hang a right on Park), where you can stop and enjoy the craft beers at Alameda Island Brewing Company. Try their signature Alameda IPA—a delightfully floral and hoppy take on the classic pale ale, or the equally popular Uncommon Common, a fresh creamy ale from Kentucky—perfect for a summer day.

Extra Mileage & Beer: If 6 miles around Bay Farm Island isn’t quite enough for you or you haven’t had your fill of the shoreline, catch the views from the other side along the Alameda Shoreline Trail. Cross the bridge from Bay Farm Island to Alameda, take a left, and bike along the trail with views of Bay Farm Island until you reach Robert W. Memorial State Beach. Here, park your bike and dip your toes in the sand. It’s only another 3.5 miles from Memorial State Beach to the famous Faction Brewing Company, if you really want to work for your beer.

If you’re driving, park either on the Alameda main island side to enjoy the bridge across to Bay Farm or drive over and park in any of the designated spots on the island. On public transit, take BART to Fruitvale Station, cross the Fruitvale Railroad Bridge to Alameda, and take Fernside Blvd. for about 10 minutes until you reach the bridge to Bay Farm Island. From San Francisco, take the Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry. Be sure to check the ferry schedule, as they run only weekday mornings and late afternoons. It does not run on weekends. 

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Easiest Best Hike in the World

    Choose the easiest and most view-rewarding hike in Yosemite. Okay, we’ll go first: the combination of hiking to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both of these lookouts are within a couple miles of each other on Glacier Point Road

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Nice Ring to It

    This tiny but mighty open space preserve on the Tiburon Peninsula can often exhibit a wide range of wildflowers late into the season, not to mention one of the most jaw-dropping views of the bay.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Bouquet of Waterfalls

    Like a good love letter, some of the best hiking trails are short and sweet. Cue the hike to Bouquet Falls in Santa Clarita Valley’s Bouquet Canyon.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Dripping History

    Historical hideout, hidden hollow, rustlers’ retreat. Whatever you want to call Dripping Cave in Laguna Nigel, it is truly a cool, compelling cavern. To reach the grandiose grotto, take a 5-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, a 4,50…

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    New Rules of the Trail

    As some parks around California begin to re-open, we came up with tips for being responsible on your outdoor adventures. Let’s do our part so we can all keep enjoying the parks.

    View