Wetland Reawakening

Bike or hike the Hamilton Wetlands in Novato

Once an army airfield and now a thriving wetland, the wingspan of Novato’s Hamilton Wetlands is a glimpse into both the past and the future. You’ll still see remnants of its military days with the air hangars (now converted to office space). But through years of planning and work, this land was transformed to its former wetland glory in 2014.

Woman riding her bike at Hamilton Wetlands in Novato

Walkers on the wide open dirt trail at Hamilton Wetlands in Novato North Bay

Take a mellow bike ride or walk on the flat Bay Trail to take in the sights. It’s only about 3 miles (round-trip) along the shoreline and tidal mudflats. If you love shorebirds, this is a fantastic place to see black-bellied plovers, avocets, sandpipers, curlews, and snowy egrets.

Woman stopped on her bike looking at information signs and the San Pablo Bay at Hamilton Wetlands in Novato

Woman looking through a telescope at the marsh at Hamilton Wetlands in Novato

We recommend starting from the trailhead by Hamilton Landing Hangars 5 – 6, where you can find ample parking. From here you can jump on the trail and head south, with distant views of Mount Diablo. This wide and flat section of the Bay Trail is also open to bikers and dogs. Paths here also are wheelchair accessible. You can continue on for about 1.5 miles before you come to another viewing platform and the end of the trail overlooking San Pablo Bay.

Woman pointing at the San Pablo Bay at the viewing platform at Hamilton Wetlands in Novato

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Camp and Kayak at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent with the lake in the background.

  2. Wapama Wows

    Hetch Hetchy can be overlooked in Yosemite National Park because of its more remote location and limited facilities. But this is where you’ll also find one of the best day hikes in the park: Wapama Falls.

  3. Sheep Tight!

    You’re not going to have to count sheep to get a good night’s sleep at Sheep Dung’s beautiful property in Anderson Valley near Boonville. Four modern cottages—tucked far apart from each other among 500 acres of rolling hills—are designed for blissful solitude. And it’s dog-friendly!

  4. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. All the Wright Stuff

    Avoiding drama? That’s a good thing. Unless you’re talking about campsites. In that case, the more dramatic the better! And Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma Coast is quite the drama queen—27 campsites sitting smack dab in the middle of the wild and raging Sonoma Coast State Beach.

  2. kirk creek campground big sur

    Sur Bet!

    You can spend $1,000 a night for an ocean-view room in Big Sur. Or you can spend $45 and wake up to the sound of crashing waves and incredible views of Big Sur’s coastline when staying at Kirk Creek Campground.

  3. Secret Redwoods + Camping by the River

    Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing camping!

  4. Three Falling

    Three waterfalls, and fewer people. McCloud Falls might be the best waterfall hike in Northern California. There are bigger waterfalls in the state, but it’s the whole package that makes this 4-mile (round-trip) hike truly memorable.