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East Palo Alto and Menlo Park residents will have improved access to the San Francisco Bay Trail as a new 0.6-mile section of the trail opens to the public Friday.

The section is located between University Avenue and the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

It includes a new boardwalk and a bridge across the wetlands in the north.

The project was first approved in 2016 and closes a 0.6-mile gap on the 80-mile peninsula stretch of the Bay Trail. The entire 500-mile Bay Trail runs through all nine Bay Area counties.

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District will host a virtual opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Aug. 7. Viewers will enjoy a virtual tour, see the planning behind the trail’s construction and learn about features that cater to local wildlife.

“The current health crisis has underscored how essential Midpen preserves are for providing free and safe public access to nature for mental, emotional and physical health,” Midpen General Manager Ana María Ruiz said on the nonprofit’s website. “This small trail will provide big benefits to the community.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors to the trail must stay at least six feet away from each other if not from the same household. Face coverings are required if staying six feet away is not possible, especially on narrow stretches of a trail.

To register for the virtual opening ceremony, visit the district’s website.