Encinal Beach

and Boat Launch

TRAILHEAD INFORMATION

Highlights

The Encinal Beach and Boat Launch provides access to the San Francisco Bay from a sandy beach and an adjacent cement boat ramp. The site features a large, free parking lot, portable restrooms, walking paths, and a boat storage area utilized by several clubs  / outfitters. The boat launch facility is well-utilized by the community, despite its current deteriorated condition.

Three boating groups are located at Encinal: the Alameda Community Sailing Center, O’Kalani Outrigger Canoe Club and Stacked Adventures.  All three organizations collaborate with the Alameda Recreation and Parks Department to provide non-motorized watercraft programs to youth, adults, and families. The Encinal Boat Launch Facility is heavily utilized for fishing as well.

Boat Facilities

The Encinal Beach and Boat Launch provides access to the San Francisco Bay from a sandy beach and an adjacent cement boat ramp. The site features a large, free parking lot, and portable restrooms.

Directions

Encinal Beach and Boat Launch is located on the west end of Alameda Island, adjacent to Encinal High School on Central Avenue.

No public transit currently serves the site. The nearest bus stop is at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Central Avenue, approximately 0.5 miles from the site.

Directions

Parking

The site features a large, free parking lot with over 50 spaces. Parking is allowed two hours before sunrise to two hours after sunset. No overnight parking is allowed.

Restrooms

There are two portable unisex restrooms, one of which is ADA accessible.

Amenities

The site features a large, free parking lot, portable restrooms, walking paths, and a boat storage area utilized by several clubs  / outfitters.

Accessibility

The site is not currently designed for ADA accessibility; however, does offer ADA portable restrooms and parking. The path travel from the parking lot to the boat ramp is paved, but the surface is rough. The path to beach is paved from the parking lot to the top of the beach, but not across the beach.

Planned improvements will make the boat launch ADA accessible.

Clubs and Outfitters

Three boating groups are located at Encinal: the Alameda Community Sailing Center, O’Kalani Outrigger Canoe Club and Stacked Adventures.  All three organizations collaborate with the Alameda Recreation and Parks Department to provide non-motorized watercraft programs to youth, adults, and families.

Safety Tips

The beach opens into a large basin protected by a long breakwater. This area is quite shallow and provides a protected launch for novice paddlers to learn skills.

Once out on the Bay, winds and currents can quickly become strong. Always know what the tides, currents, and weather are doing prior to starting your trip.

Wildlife Tips

Encinal Beach and Boat Launch offers a great place to see a wide variety of birds and other Bay wildlife. A harbor seal haul-out is located a mere 1/3-mile from the beach, and boaters/kayakers should take special care not to disturb these sensitive animals: Please stay at least 300 feet from the platform away from hauled-out harbor seals and at least 500’ away from March to July when seals are pupping. If you see the seals raise their heads, you are too close! Enjoy them from a discreet distance to ensure seals continue to visit the haul-out.

The breakwater is also the largest night roosting site for California brown pelicans in San Francisco Bay. During the summer months, thousands of pelicans can be seen utilizing this resting site. Boaters should keep their distance from resting pelicans so as not to flush them. It’s a rare and awe-inspiring sight to behold thousands of pelicans, especially coming in for a landing at dusk on a summer evening. Just keep a respectful distance.

TRAILHEAD PHOTOS