San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities that includes watching wildlife, wildlife photography, hiking, boating, and hunting. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.
San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge is open year-round during daylight hours. Check with the refuge office for the latest update on trail closures, wildlife concerns, maintenance and management actvities.
At this time, San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers one hiking and bicycling trail - the Tolay Creek Trail. This 8.1 -mile roundtrip trail follows along the Tolay Creek for 2.75 miles before circling Lower Tubbs Island. Once on Lower Tubbs Island, the trail offers beautiful views of salt marsh habitat and San Pablo Bay. This is one of the few places in the San Francisco Bay Area where one can feel remote from the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan area. Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged. Please stay out of closed areas to minimize disturbance to plants and animals.
Boat access to the open water and navigable sloughs of San Pablo Bay provides opportunites for fishing, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography on the refuge. There are no boat ramps on the refuge. Ramps are available at the Vallejo public marina near Brinkmans marine and at Port Sonoma near the Petaluma River.
At this time, fishing is allowed by boat in the open bay and navigable sloughs of the refuge and subject to State regulations. Fishing from shore is not.
Waterfowl and pheasant hunting is permitted on designated areas on the refuge in accordance with all State and Federal regulations. Boat access to the open water and navigable sloughs of San Pablo Bay provides opportunities for waterfowl hunting on the refuge. There is limited pheasant hunting by foot for the month of December at the Tolay Creek Unit.
Firearms and other weapons are prohibited on the refuge. Firearms may only be discharged in accordance with refuge hunting regulations, i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.
Other prohibitions on the refuge are dogs; off-road vehicles; and collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts.
Currently, there are plans to expand the wildlife-oriented recreational activities listed. Refer to San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Comprehensive Conservation Plan for future plans.
For driving directions, please visit our "Directions" page.
For questions about recreation, please contact the refuge office.
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Easily identified when in flight by the white rump patch, the Northern Harrier often soars low over marshes and farmlands. Its facial feathers reflect sound, helping this raptor to locate its prey.