No. 6: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Damon Slough to Tidewater Boating Center

Ecology Stone art installation at 66th Ave. and Oakport

One of the “Ecology Stones” in the “Fluid Dynamics” art installation near the Damon Slough staging area depicts life beneath the muddy surface of San Leandro Bay.

Perhaps the mild, sunny weather biases my report, but I think this may be the prettiest stretch of trail in this park. Hardly out of the staging area, you pass the whimsical “Fluid Dynamics” installation by Portland, Ore., artists Fernanda D’Agostino and Valerie Otani. A soaring metal canopy represents the Pacific Flow, while carved granite “Ecology Stones” depict various inhabitants of San Leandro Bay.

From there, a paved bicycle path follows the shoreline past a shallow tidal flat teeming with sandpipers and their cousins. The air has a wild tang, part herbal, part brackish water. Farther out on the flats, three derelict boats are esthetically decomposing. On the east is a typical mix of California natives and interlopers — ceanothus, French broom, vetch, pampas grass and eucalyptus. You pass Curt Flood Fields, named for the McClymonds High School graduate who brought free agency to baseball.

As the trail crosses East Creek, it skirts a PG&E yard and a scrap yard full of big rig parts — row upon row of axles and cargo trailers, some pieces looking completely roadworthy were it not for the weeds overgrowing them. There is a gritty beauty in the neat repetition of parts, like Ginsberg’s “boxcars boxcars boxcars.” The contrast between this and the comfortable-looking homes on the Alameda side of the channel is almost comical.

Finally, you reach the neat blue Tidewater Aquatic Center, with its accessible dock and picnic areas.

Getting there: Take 66th Avenue west to Oakport and the Damon Slough staging area, or go to the very end of Edgewater Drive and start at Garretson Point.

Cool stuff in the area: Cool mostly for being unexpected is the shopping center at Hegenberger and Edgewater, which has a Starbucks and a Jamba Juice.

More information: East Bay Regional Parks website.

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One thought on “No. 6: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Damon Slough to Tidewater Boating Center

  1. […] asked if I had a favorite route. Ones that I wound up showing to friends included Arrowhead Marsh, Damon Slough, Middle Harbor Park and the Stream Trail. One I’d like to revisit very soon is Leona Canyon. […]

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