Friends of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge


Visitor Information

San Pablo Bay and Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuges, located approximately 45 miles northeast of San Francisco, are tucked away in the northern reaches of the San Francisco Bay estuary and span the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano.

More than 13,000 acres of wildlife habitat include uplands, open bay, salt marshes and mud flats, freshwater wetlands, and agricultural lands that are being restored to wetlands, comprise the San Pablo Bay Refuge. The 340 acre Marin Islands Refuge consists of two small islands off the Marin County shoreline and hosts one of the largest heron and egret rookeries in northern California.

The San Pablo Bay Refuge is accessible by motor vehicle and foot mostly over gentle terrain. At Tolay Creek, several miles of foot trails meander through brackish marsh, open water, pickleweed marsh and adjacent hay fields and other Refuge habitats near Sonoma Creek and the Petaluma River.

Boating is another excellent way to view wildlife, although canoeists and kayakers should be aware of tidal conditions and rapidly changing weather. The Tolay trail can be accessed from the east bound lane of Highway 37 about 1/2 of a mile from Sears Point intersection. Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but sorry, no pets. The entire trail, return trip, is approximately 8 miles.

Get directions to the refuge here.


Friends of SPBNWR