Benicia State Recreation Area
This 720-acre park lies along the narrowest stretch of Carquinez Strait, and nearly 70 percent of the park is tidal marsh wetlands. Several miles of Bay Trail, some of it on a ridgetop, overlook grassy hills and marshes. In 3.5-acre Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden, set on a hillside, you can meander on hard-packed dirt paths around...
This 720-acre park lies along the narrowest stretch of Carquinez Strait, and nearly 70 percent of the park is tidal marsh wetlands. Several miles of Bay Trail, some of it on a ridgetop, overlook grassy hills and marshes. In 3.5-acre Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden, set on a hillside, you can meander on hard-packed dirt paths around displays of native trees, perennials, shrubs, and grasses.
At the eastern end of the park, a level, paved .75-mile section of the Bay Trail travels alongside Military West Road past marshes with stands of willows and cattails. From the park’s entrance you can hike or drive 1.5 miles down the road, which skirts a salt marsh in a sheltered cove of Southampton Bay, passing wooded picnic sites on the way to the road’s end at Dillon Point. For more of an off-road experience and great views of Southampton Cove, Benicia Bridge, and Mount Diablo, you can follow a two-mile, gravel and decomposed-granite section of Bay Trail.
Trailhead: About a mile from the park’s entrance, take the right-hand fork in the road uphill to the first parking lot.
Length: 2-4 total miles
Typical Width: 30 in. to 4 ft.Overgrown grasses narrow the trail to less than 30” at its start.
The trail is badly eroded in places and can be quite bumpy.
This 2.2-mile section of the Bay Trail was designed to be accessible, but erosion and overgrown grasses, which have narrowed the trail to less than 28 inches in places, now make it a challenging hike, especially for manual wheelchair riders. In spite of its challenges I found the views worth the effort, but suggest visiting with someone who...
view full description
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Immediately past the entry station is an area where you can parallel park off the sides of the road; spaces are unmarked and the surface is gravel. The upper and lower lots at the trailhead (1.5 miles from the entrance) and the lots clustered near Dillon Point have accessible spaces. Outside the park, there are accessible spaces in the lot off Military West Rd. and street parking is at the trail entrance on South Regatta Dr.
Partially accessible restrooms are in the parking lot that serves the trail and the one at the park road’s end, at Dillon Point. At both, the stall is too small to close the door, there's only room for a front transfer, and only the sides have grab bars. An accessible portable toilet is in the lot off Military West Road.
There are several small picnic areas throughout the park. The most accessible is by the trailhead restroom; others require travel across rough terrain to reach them.