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Plan Your Visit


San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities that includes wildlife viewing, wildlife photography, hiking, boating, fishing, and hunting.  Regulation of these 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 activities.

San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers multiple hiking and bicycling trails (see Trail Map): 

Tolay Creek/Lower Tubbs Trail:  The parking lot is located 0.65 mile east of Highway 37/121 intersection. From the parking lot, this trail follows along the Tolay Creek for 2.5 miles before reaching Lower Tubbs Island. The trail once circled Lower Tubbs Island, however, during the 2014 South Napa Quake, breeches were formed in the levee making two sections of Lower Tubbs impassable. Once you reach 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.

Cullinan Ranch Trail:  The parking lot is located 3.4 miles west of Marre Island on Highway 37. From the parking lot, the trail goes north for 1.3 miles until you reach South Slough. The trail offers views of Cullinan Ranch to the east and CDFW Pond 1 to the west. Both areas may have numerous waterfowl and shorebirds foraging and resting. 

Sears Point: The parking lot is located at 7699 Reclamation Road in Sonoma. This parking lot allows for access to four trails:


  1. Sears point trail: This is a 1.3-mile trail that leads to the headquarters for the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The trail has views of oat hay fields that create seasonal wetlands in the wet months. 
  2. Eliot Trail: The Eliot Trail is the newest section of the Bay Trail. It is 2.5 miles long and it has views of the new Sears Point Wetland and Watershed Restoration Project. Currently the area contains open water and waterfowl and shorebirds can be seen resting and foraging in this area. 
  3. Dickson Trail:  This trail travels south on the levee for 0.3 mile. The trail offers views of Sonoma Baylands toward the west and Sears Point Restoration Project to the east. 
  4. Sonoma Baylands Trail: This trail travels west on the levee for 1.4 miles. It offers views of newly forming tidal marsh vegetation in the Sonoma Baylands, which was restored in 1996. You may also access the Sonoma Baylands Trail at Port Sonoma Marina Boulevard, which is 1.5 miles west of Reclamation Road. 


Boat access to the open water and navigable sloughs of San Pablo Bay provides opportunities for fishing, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography on the refuge. There are no motorized boat ramps on the refuge.  Ramps are available at the Vallejo public marina near Brinkmans marine and at Port Sonoma near the Petaluma River.

Please see Visitor Activities for more information. 



For questions about recreation, please contact the refuge office.

Page Photo Credits — Sandpipers/Aric Crabb, Pheasant Hunters/Aric Crabb
Last Updated: Jul 13, 2016
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