Trail Information


A beautiful paddle that¬†along one of San Francisco’s most exciting shorelines. Starting from scenic Pier 40, you can venture through the protected waters of South Beach Harbor and make your way into McCovey Cove. McCovey Cove is just outside the world-famous AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. From here, you can paddle up Mission Creek to the Mission Creek Boat Launch for a picnic or to stroll the park and surrounding shoreline.


Total Round Trip – 4 miles

Pier 40 to Mission Creek Boat Launch – 2 miles

Pier 40 to McCovey Cove – 1/2 mile

McCovey Cove to Mission Creek Boat Launch –¬†1/2 mile

(All distances are approximate)

Safety Tips

Always know what the tides, winds and weather are doing! Winds often pick up in the afternoon and can make returning to your launch much more difficult.

Recreational and commercial vessels move throughout South Beach Harbor and McCovey Cove. Stay along the sides of the channels and always be observant of surrounding vessels. Take all actions necessary to avoid collision – small boats do not have the right of way!

Commercial ferries and many recreational boats come to McCovey Cove during Giants games. While this is an exciting place to watch a game and for a chance to catch a “splash-hit home run”, you always need to be aware of your surroundings and make sure to avoid other vessels.

Wildlife Tips

Despite the urban shoreline, this paddle provides opportunities to see harbor seals, sea lions, and a variety of birds in the water and on the docks of Pier 40. Always give wildlife plenty of space and watch for signs of disturbance. If wildlife changes behavior or acts nervous, you are too close and should slowly back away.

Logistical Notes

Parking at Pier 40 can be difficult. There is a boat drop off area located near the launch that can be utilized to drop equipment, then find parking in surrounding lots or nearby streets.

City Kayak offers boat and equipment rentals from Pier 40.

UC San Francisco offers kayaking programs from Mission Creek.

Trail Photos