Point Pinole juts north like a thumb into San Pablo Bay, and the more than 10 miles of easy trails through its marshlands, grassy fields, and groves of eucalyptus offer a sanctuary from the almost continuous industrial and residential development stretching along the East Bay shoreline from San Leandro to the Carquinez Bridge. This loop trip follows The Bay View Trail to the tip of the point, then returns via the Marsh and Cook’s Point trails. History buffs will especially enjoy this hike, because Point Pinole was the location of a large explosives manufacturing industry, which, from 1880 to 1960, turned out 2 billion pounds of dynamite. A few remnants, in the form of sunken bunkers and half-buried railroad ties, of this dangerous yet prosperous enterprise are still visible. Before starting out, you might take a moment to visit a commemorative plaque, just west of the entrance kiosk and beyond the parking-area fence, which designates Point Pinole a California Historical Landmark and tells more about the area’s unique history.
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