Cullinan Ranch Boat Launch

San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

TRAILHEAD INFORMATION

Highlights

The Cullinan Ranch Boat Launch provides access for paddlers to explore the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The boat launch was constructed as part of the Cullinan Ranch Tidal Marsh Restoration Project, which converted 1,548-acres of a hay farm back into tidal marsh habitat. The launch provides access for kayakers, canoers, and SUPs to explore the shallow waters within the restoration area, adjacent sloughs, and to access the Napa River. The Napa River is located approximately 3.5 miles west along Dutchman Slough from the boat launch.

The boat launch ramp provides one of the boat launch facilities in the San Pablo Baylands, through the salt marshes to the Napa River. Cullinan Ranch offers a great variety of recreational opportunities for bird watching, fishing, and hiking along the pathways.

Cullinan Ranch offers sweeping views of the mountains surrounding the Bay and of the wildlife that use these restored ponds as their home. There are endangered species that live in and around the Refuge, so please keep a respectful distance from wildlife and respect the sensitive nature of this unique ecosystem.

Boat Facilities

Boat launch facilities include an ADA gangway that leads to a low-freeboard dock with two kayak berths. The Cullinan Ranch boat launch facilities are located approximately 250 feet from the small parking area.

Directions

Cullinan Ranch is located north of Highway 37 approximately 5 miles west of Vallejo. The parking lot can only be accessed from the west-bound direction on Highway 37.

Parking

There are eight paved parking spaces, including one ADA van accessible site located closest to the launch.

Restrooms

There is one portable ADA restroom located near the parking lot.

Amenities

Amenities at Cullinan Ranch include trails to an observation point, benches, and safety and informational signs.

Accessibility

The Cullinan Ranch site provides an accessible gangway with transfer bars in place to assist kayakers getting onto and off the dock.The gangway and path of travel are designed to be ADA accessible. An accessible portable restroom is located near the parking lot.

Safety Tips

Boaters are advised to consult local tide charts before launching and should be aware that extensive mud flats may be exposed and even shallow draft vessels can be subject to hidden underwater hazards during low tides. Although Cullinan Ranch boat launch remains navigable at all tides, mudflats can become unnavigable at lower tides in certain areas within the Cullinan Ranch restoration area. As the marsh continues to accrete sediment, as intended, mudflats could become more of an issue in future years. Boaters should be aware of the breaches along Dutchmen Slough where currents can be dangerous.

Hunting is allowed in the Cullinan Ranch restoration area seasonally. Nearby navigable sloughs and open waters are also open for hunting seasonally.

Wildlife Tips

The San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 19,965-acres, including the 1,549- acre Cullinan Ranch restoration project. The refuge provides critical migratory and wintering habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl, particularly diving ducks, and provides year-round habitat for endangered, threatened, and sensitive species like the Ridgeway’s rail, salt marsh harvest mouse, California black rail, San Pablo song sparrow, and Suisun shrew.

Numerous other threatened, endangered, and sensitive species require tidal marsh habitat for their survival, including 11 fish species that swim through San Pablo Bay to reach their fresh water spawning grounds.

Please maintain a buffer distance of 50 feet from Ridgway’s rail habitat, 820 feet from large groups of birds, 330 feet from a harbor seal haul-out August – February, and 500 feet from a harbor seal haul-out March – July (pupping season).

Trailhead Photos