May 8, 2016
Kayak Put-In Info for: Palo Alto Baylands, Palo Alto
Overview: This launch site is popular with Wind Surfers more than paddlers. Nevertheless, there are a few fun paddling destinations that originate in this spot. With high water, you can head into the slough just South East of the dock and head around a small island. Alternatively, if you have open water experience, you can head out to the Dumbarton Train Bridge and back. On extreme high tides, you can get into all kinds of little channels that meander through the pickle weed. Great for bird watching in all seasons. Look for bat rays along the margins of the bay in less than a foot of water.
Parking: Parking is in a dirt lot and is free. Hours are posted at the gate (depends on time of year). They WILL lock you in if you are there after hours.
Facilities: There are picnic tables and benches. No shade but great South Bay and mountains views. There are reasonable plastic rest-rooms.
Amenities: A concrete pad with fresh water hose right by the parking lot is very handy for rinsing off you boat when done paddling.There is a small cafe nearby at the Palo Alto Airport/golf course on Embarcadero Rd.
Directions: From Hwy 101, exit on Embarcadero Road heading East. The road will come to a T-intersecion near the airport. Turn left at this intersection and head into the park. After several speed bumps, the road will curve to the right. Stay on this road until it turns into a dirt parking lot. You can park here for free.
Cautions: The dock is a floating dock and even at low tides, you can launch into a channel that will take you out to the main body of the bay, which is maybe only 100 yards away. During big tide changes, coming back up this channel against the outgoing water can be a struggle.
External Links: There are bathrooms in the parking lot (pit toilets). Just a little ways up the road (towards Embarcadero Rd. at the main park) there are bathrooms with flush toilets. Also, back towards Embarcadero Rd. is the Baylands Nature Center with displays about the local flora and fauna.