AFTER NEARLY A DECADE of planning, Oakland’s new Doolittle Bay Trail is now open to the public, bridging a half-mile gap on the San Francisco Bay Trail and improving safety for trail users.

The Doolittle Bay Trail, located on the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, provides 2,300 feet of new paved trail for pedestrians and bicyclists. Before the project’s completion, visitors traveled on the shoulder of busy Doolittle Drive.

Complete with an upgraded boat launch staging area, including a repaved staging area parking lot, and a renovated ADA-accessible boat, kayak and paddleboard launch area, the trail provides neighboring communities with increased recreational opportunities and access to the shoreline.

The project, which opened Aug. 18, has also restored one acre of marsh habitat.

Attendees celebrated the completion of the new Doolittle Bay Trail on Oakland’s Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline on Aug. 18, 2023. (East Bay Regional Park District via Bay City News)

“Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline is a beautiful space in the middle of our urban landscape,” East Bay Regional Park District Board Member Ellen Corbett said. “It’s a place where people can take a hike, walk their dog, have a picnic, go birdwatching, and can now enjoy enhanced access to the SF Bay Trail and Bay Water Trail.”

The San Francisco Bay Trail is a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path along the entire San Francisco Bay.

The Doolittle Bay Trail project, which was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, is a partnership between the East Bay Regional Park District, Caltrans and the Port of Oakland.

Helena Getahun-Hawkins is an intern at Bay City News through Stanford’s Rebele Fellowship. She’s a rising junior at Stanford majoring in International Relations and minoring in Spanish. She writes for The Stanford Daily under the campus life desk and was most recently managing editor of the Daily’s podcast section. She enjoys covering stories that center around education policy, immigration policy, and identity. Outside of journalism she enjoys drawing, yoga, listening to music, and watching TV.