National Parks / Natural World
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center Hayward
Where is it at?
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center
4901 Breakwater Ave
Where are we going today?
If you want a fun day out in nature, and learn something new then why not head on over to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center! It's perched right over the salt marshes in San Franscisco Bay and is the perfect introduction to ecology for those inquisitive little ones.
The Interpretive Center is filled with programs, exhibits and activities that are all designed to educate all the families that visiit, as well as inspire and offer a sense of respect and appreciation for how perfect nature is!
Let's not forget about all the exploring you will do! The Hayward shoreline itself is a myriad of different landscapes, which extend across nearly a whopping seven miles of dykes trails!
The trails will take you past mud flats, as well as grasslands, and even salt marshes themselves. The area is often used for nesting and feeding, so keep an eye out for the wildlife and enjoy them without disturbing them!
For families with little ones, the Discovery Packs are a perfect way for kids to enjoy an interactive and self-guided experience across the marsh. The packs include water testing kids, art supplies, and even nets for "fishing!" Don't miss the trail map that shows a number of stations along the way where you can enjoy that hands-on trail experience. Super fun!
With a number of programs for kids and families that cover a range of topics, from art, nature, fitness, sports and even after school programs, there will certainly be something for everyone at this San Francisco nature experience!
So head on over to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center and let's get learning!
How much does it cost?
When can we go?
10am - 5pm Fri, Sat & Sun
All year round
They offer school field trips throughout the school year, led by their staff naturalists. The programs are designed for K-7 grades, and they can tailor a program to fit your students. Most programs consist of a 1-2 hour hike through the marsh; a dipnetting session, where students use small nets to search for the small aquatic animals that thrive in the marsh; and the Mud Lab, where students use microscopes to look for plankton in their mud samples. Fun!.
They have a limited selection of snacks in the small store, as well as a water fountain. Exploring nature is thirsty work!.
They sell healthier snacks including trail mix, granola bars and Annie's crackers. .
Any Top Tips?
Bring a hat and a water bottle, and be aware that it is often windier in the afternoon. The best birdwatching time is right after the high tide, when all the birds follow the receding tide out to the marsh as it reveals tasty sections of mud. .
Need a little extra help?
The building is wheelchair accessible. The trail is completely flat and made of gravel, which is suitable for shock-absorbent wheelchairs and strollers. .
Both bathrooms are equipped with diaper-changing facilities..
Can I get one of those?
They have a great selection of books to buy, including guide books and bird guides, as well as items such as hats, tide charts and book marks!.