Chimney Sweep

Which out of doors areas are open, closed across the Bay Space going into August

During the coronavirus pandemic, park visits in the Bay Area have spiked as residents look for easy escape routes to find shelter at home. This has led park officials to close select areas where people may congregate, but has also helped move large numbers to popular areas that remain open.

The best example of high usage is the Peninsula’s Crystal Springs Regional Trail, which recorded 122,089 visitors in May and June, according to Carla Schoof, communications specialist with the San Mateo County Parks Department. Crystal Springs, one of the Bay Area’s most popular recreational destinations, had 66,297 visitors over the same period last year.

“We’re very busy,” said Schoof. “We’re almost twice as high in Crystal Springs. This also applies to many of our parks. Parks are clearly the place to be. “

The East Bay is experiencing a similar rush of visitors. “Sometimes we seem like the only game in town,” said Bob Doyle, general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District.

Of the more than 350 recreational destinations in the Bay Area listed in The Chronicle’s Outdoor Guide, more than 300 are open. All or part of the remaining 50 or so could remain closed through the summer, park managers said.

Here’s a rundown of which popular outdoor areas are open and closed in the Bay Area, with tips on how to make a successful visit:

Marin County: At Point Reyes National Seashore, the road to the renovated lighthouse and the adjacent Chimney Rock Headlands is blocked at the Drakes Beach turnoff. North of Bolinas, where every resident has been tested for the coronavirus, a roadblock on Mesa Road will cut access to the Palomarin Trailhead and Coastal Trail for the hike to Bass Lake, Wildcat Camp and Alamere Falls.

The annual Point Reyes Coastal Cleanup Day scheduled for September has been canceled, said Christine Beekman, acting director of interpretation and resource education at Point Reyes National Seashore.

In the Marin Headlands, access to the Point Bonita Lighthouse remains closed according to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Key destinations that have reopened without major problems include the hiking camps at Point Reyes National Seashore, for which reservations are required at, and access to the Muir Woods National Monument, for pre-reservations for parking through .gomuirwoods are required. com.

Peninsula: “Bike Sundays” on Cañada Road between Interstate 280 and Woodside, one of the most popular weekly cycling events in California, will remain closed with no reopening date, Schoof said.

The most famous coastal destination is the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, where the San Mateo County Parks Department has gated parking, beach, and tide pools.

“With a few exceptions, our parks are open,” said Schoof. “We say, ‘Bring a mask, put it on if you don’t have social distance.’ We don’t want people to form groups. If a park is crowded and you are not comfortable, move to another place. There are a lot of places for people to choose and a lot of people do that to find out what is out there. “

East Bay: The main entrance to Del Valle Regional Park to access the lake, marina, campgrounds, picnic areas and the starting point for the 45km Ohlone Wilderness Trail is expected to remain until, according to Dave Mason, the East Bay Regional Parks information officer September closed circle. Other closed marquee destinations in the East Bay include Marciel Gate and the campsite in Anthony Chabot Regional Park, as well as the road to Lake Anza and its picnic areas in Tilden Regional Park.

Parks with limited parking that are only accessible include Crown Beach in Alameda, Lake Temescal in Oakland, the Diablo Foothills near Walnut Creek, Shadow Cliffs Lake in Pleasanton, and Contra Loma Reservoir in Antioch.

Outdoors by Tom Stienstra

Visitor traffic has increased on well-weather weekends in major regional parks like Tilden, Lake Chabot, Point Pinole and Mission Peak, Doyle said.

To encourage mask adherence and stop clustering, a problem early in the April pandemic, Doyle said nearly 200 park rangers and firefighters were monitoring visitors in the district’s 73 parks. Over time, he said, visitors adhere to “better than ever, masks and distancing”.

Fishing: Salmon fishing on recreational fishing vessels has been a hit in San Francisco, Sausalito, Emeryville, Berkeley, and Half Moon Bay, where captains had fewer loads to make more space on board boats and marked 6 feet of space between rod holders for trolling . To make it work, most ships have raised the price to $ 200, but most anglers seem happy to pay more to get more freedom of movement, especially with good fishing this summer.

Boats ventured to the Marin coast on Monday, where many captains reported that most people were reaching their two-fish limits. A typical score was on the New Rayann from Sausalito with 26 salmon weighing up to 22 pounds for 13 anglers on board.

Tom Stienstra is the outdoor writer for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: Twitter: @StienstraTom

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