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Plan Your Visit

Hiker on FootbridgeThe Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers numerous recreation opportunities from wildlife viewing and  weekend interpretive programs to waterfowl hunting and fishing.

Visitor Center

Hours:  Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed on all national holidays.
Address:  2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont

The Visitor Center overlooks LaRiviere Marsh, a restored salt marsh which is home to two endangered species, the California Ridgway's Rail and Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. At the Visitor Center you will find exhibits, trail maps, and binoculars for loan. Outside, self-guided trails will introduce you to the San Francisco Bay environment and local wildlife. These trails are open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset.  Trails are closed on Thanksgiving, January 1, and December 25.  Please call 510-792-0222 ext. 363 for further information. 

Environmental Education Center

Hours:  Saturday and Sundays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Reserved for school field trips Monday-Friday; Closed on all national holidays.
Address:  1751 Grand Boulevard, Alviso

The Environmental Education Center  is at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. It is surrounded by uplands, marshes, salt ponds, and a freshwater tidal slough.   

The Environmental Education Center building, designed for education, contains two classrooms, an auditorium, and an enclosed observation tower.  Outside, the trails and a boardwalk through the seasonal wetland habitat make it easy to see and explore the natural wonders of the South Bay.  These trails and boardwalk are open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset.  During the week when the gate may be locked or the building is closed due to educational programs, you may park and walk in to enjoy the trails. Please call 408-262-5513 in advance to verify hours.  


The refuge is crisscrossed by miles of hiking trails. Trails are open 7 days from sunrise to sunset. Trails near the Visitor Center in Fremont are closed on Thanksgiving, January 1, and December 25.

Click here for a maps of our most popular trails at the Fremont and Alviso locations.

Please stay on trails and out of closed areas to minimize disturbance to plants and animals. All trails allow bicycles except for LaRiviere Marsh Trail near the Visitor Center. Dogs on a 6-foot leash are permitted only on the The Tidelands Trail, Harrier Spur Trail, Quarry Trail, and Marshlands Road near the Visitor Center in Fremont. Dogs are prohibited on all other trails and refuge lands throughout the refuge.     

Trails are periodically closed due to levee maintenance or restoration projects. Check the website/Alerts or the Visitor Center and Environmental Education Center for the latest trail information. All motor vehicles are prohibited on refuge trails to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

Scheduling Volunteer Work Groups and/or Special Group Tours

The refuge offers a variety of opportunities for organized groups. Click here for the types of activities and tours we offer, and for the guidelines on how to schedule your group for an outing on the refuge.

Recreational Activities

Click here for a list of fun, recreational activities we offer on the refuge.


Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on the refuge must comply with all provisions of state law. Firearms may only be discharged in accordance with refuge hunting regulations, i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons. Go to Rules and Regulations for more information on prohibited activities. 

For driving directions, please visit our "Directions" page.
For questions about recreation, please contact the refuge office.

Page Photo Credits — Hiker on Footbridge/Ambarish Goswami
Last Updated: Nov 08, 2015
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