Shimada Friendship Park is popular for kayakers and stand-up paddlers due to its convenient location, parking with no hourly time limit, and the short walk from the parking area to the water. The site is also popular with windsurfers on windy days.
Launch facilities at Shimada Frienship Park consist of a short set of stairs that lead through the riprap from the park to the water. The stairs are approximately 50 feet from the parking lot.
From I-580, take the Marina Bay Parkway exit and turn onto Marina Bay Parkway. Follow this route for approximately 1.5 miles. Vincent Park is located on the left where Marina Bay Parkway turns into Peninsula drive.
Free unlimited parking is offered from sunrise to sunset. There are eight spaces located adjacent to the launch. A larger parking lot with 22 spaces is located approximately 300 feet to the north of the launch, within the park.
There are ADA accessible restrooms within the park, which are generally open sunrise to sunset.
The park also offers four picnic tables with BBQ pits, a large grass lawn, and benches that offer stunning views of Brooks Island and the San Francisco Bay.
Access to the water is from stairs through the riprap and is not accessible. Shimada Friendship Park provides two ADA parking spaces, ADA restrooms, a paved path of travel, and picnic tables.
The Santa Fe Channel is a busy shipping channel and the Richmond Marina is popular with recreational sail and motor boaters, so small boaters must be aware of larger ships and avoid collisions.
The riprap that comprises the shoreline can be hazardous for winsurfers that get stuck too far inshore and are unable to tack back to the launch. As such, this launch should be used by experienced boardsailors only.
The Albany Mudflats Ecological Reserve / State Marine Park, an important feeding ground for a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl, is located approximately 1.5 miles to the southeast. Due to the potential to get stranded and for sensitive habitat considerations, paddlers are not allowed to enter this area.
In addition, Brooks Island is approximately one mile south of the site. Brooks Island contains 18 species of nesting birds, including herons, gulls, and terns. Brooks Island is also home to a secondary harbor seal haul-out site. Access to Brooks Island is only allowed seasonally on the western sandspit of the Island or as part of a scheduled East Bay Regional Park District naturalist tour. Trips to Brooks Island can be scheduled through EBRPD Reservations Department.