The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail (Water Trail) is a growing network of designated launching and landing sites, or “trailheads,” around San Francisco Bay. Each trailhead enables non-motorized small boat users to enjoy the historic, scenic, cultural, and environmental richness of San Francisco Bay and its nearby tributary waters. The Water Trail promotes safe and responsible use of the Bay while protecting and increasing appreciation of its environmental resources through education and strategic planning. The Water Trail’s network of sites encourages people to explore the Bay in different boat types (such as kayaks, sailboards, dragon boats, and stand up paddleboards) and in a variety of settings through single- and multi-day trips. Potentially, more than 100 existing marinas, waterfront parks, and other publicly accessible sites will become part of the Water Trail.

The vision of the Water Trail Program began with Bay Access, a non-profit group working to ensure future access for non-motorized small boat users on the Bay. This vision became law in 2005 with the passage of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Act by the California Legislature. Today, this regional, nine-county program is being implemented under the leadership of the State Coastal Conservancy in close collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), and the California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways, plus an advisory committee representing a broad range of interests and expertise.

With the help of our partners at each site, we are building on the Water Trail’s comprehensive plans, programs, and partnerships to achieve a world-class recreational resource for the benefit of local residents and visitors to the Bay Area for decades to come.