Friday, October 24, 2008

Point Isabel

Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
(2 miles?)

Well, this is not technically a "trail" per se, and it's not the place to get your long run on, but it's been a long time since I reviewed any trail in here, and Point Isabel is such an old favorite, it deserves mention here.

Point Isabel is, to put it bluntly, dog mecca. If you don't like dogs, this is definitely not the place for you-- but if you are a dog owner and you have not yet visited Point Isabel-- throw Fido in the car and head over posthaste!

My first suggestion with Point Isabel is to head there early in the morning on weekends. By 10:00 a.m., the parking lot is packed. I went this morning, so it was fairly quiet. After picking up a coffee and pastry at the Sit and Stay Café (I kid you not-- this is the name, and you can get soup or sandwiches as well as your morning latté), Neko and I wandered along the path that borders the bay and has this absolutely stunning view of the city and the Golden Gate bridge. 

From there, we walked a little way up the path that follows the slough-- a major favorite for all the water dogs when the tide is in. (And a major favorite for Neko when the tide is out and she
 can get covered in mud...)

I didn't go much further than the paved path (trying not to overdo the foot!), but there is another section just on the other side of the slough where dogs and their owners have worn paths in the dirt--this is a great section to walk along as well, but be forewarned: in the winter, when it's muddy, this is a guaranteed dirty-dog area!

Fortunately, Point Isabel has a hose available for cleaning off your dog, AND they have a store/dog grooming facility on the other side of the café called "Mudpuppy's"-- you can pay a small amount to use their basins and soap to clean your own pup, or you can pay a little more to have them wash your dog.

If you are hankering to create a run from Point Isabel, the Bay Trail passes along the edge of Point Isabel, and leads all the way to the Richmond Marina. This is a beautiful stretch of trail as well-- and not super-well known. The trail follows the edge of the Bay, so every step has a sweeping, postcard-worthy, three-bridge view of San Francisco and the Bay. I don't run this trail too much simply because it's asphalt and I would have to put Neko back on a leash, but it's possible to create an 8 miler from Point Isabel to the Richmond Marina and back.

This is one of my favorite "Bay Area local" spots, and an absolute MUST for dog-lovers!

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