Beauty, Trails, Wildflowers & Intriguing History Along The Carquinez Strait
Carquinez Strait Benicia-Vallejo
1. According to Wikipedia, the Carquinez Strait is a narrow tidal strait, part of the tidal estuary of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin rivers as they drain into the San Francisco Bay. Formed in prehistoric times, the strait is eight miles long connects Suisun Bay to the east and San Pablo Bay to the west.
2. The Strait is named after the Karkin (also spelled "Carquin"), a linguistic subgroup of the Ohlone Native Americans who live on both sides of the Strait along with several other Native American groups. Wikipedia, wikipedia.org/wiki/Carquinez_Strait#History.
3. While Benicians can boast that a section of the San Francisco Bay Trail runs along our waterfront, according to baytrail.org, the SFBT will eventually encircle the Carquinez Strait. Baytrail.org/get-on-the-trail/map-by-number/carquinez-strait/.
4. According to Solanoarticles.com, in the 1920s, a dam on the Carquinez Strait near the Benicia Bridge was considered, planned and finally approved over the course of the decade, but the project was scrapped in 1930. The reason for the dam, re-considered in 1959, was to increase the amount of water available to Delta farmers. (Jerry Bowen, published August 12, 2001.)
5. There were three lighthouses on the Strait: The Mare Island Lighthouse at the southern end of Mare Island, 1873-1917, the Carquinez Strait Light Station, 1910-1930, and the Lighthouse Harbor project in 1955, part of which is now the Vallejo Marina office. There were 12 Lighthouse Keepers and assistants from 1909-1957.
Carquinez Strait From First Street in Benicia, CA
6. The Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline is a regional park in the East Bay Regional Park District system. Ebparks.org/parks/Carquinez. The district encompasses a huge area of trails and parklands, including the Black Diamond Mines and Brown’s Island.
With over 2,000 species of plants in the Bay Area, many of which are native, the Carquinez Strait shoreline features a showy array of wildflowers including California Buckeye, Hillside Gooseberry and California Buttercup. The many colors and shapes of blossoms that blanket the hillsides in spring enhance the experience for hikers and bikers. See the downloadable guide at eastbayparks.org.