Eden Landing Ecological Reserve


The Eden Landing Ecological Reserve is approximately 6,400 acres of restored salt ponds, adjacent diked marshes, and transitional areas to uplands that are managed for resident and migratory waterbirds and tidal marsh habitats and species. The San Francisco Bay region provides varied habitat for many plant, invertebrate and fish species that support wintering and migrating waterfowl, as well as shorebirds and mammals. Waterfowl species commonly seen in the area include mallard, Northern shoveler and pintail, ruddy duck, canvasback, widgeon, gadwall, scaup and Canada goose, among many others. In marsh areas, egrets, herons, stilts, avocets and sandpipers rest and prey on invertebrates in the shallow water and exposed mud flats. Managed salt ponds and diked areas also support resident shorebirds such as stilts and avocets, as well as terns and willets. During the spring and fall migration periods, 1000's of shorebirds, such as sandpiper, dunlin, dowitcher, phalarope and various gull species. Tidal marsh habitat also acts as a significant nursery habitat for species of anadromous fish such as salmon and steelhead.

For more information, contact the Bay Delta Region Fairfield office at AskBDR@wildlife.ca.gov or (707) 428-2002.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Waterfowl Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, hiking, and waterfowl hunting

Hunting: See Hunting at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve

News Article: Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities Coming Up at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve

An approximately 3 mile portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail spine segment is accessible from the parking lot and staging area at the end of Eden Landing Road. The Eden Landing Bay Trail primarily follows the perimeter of the restored and managed wetlands and provides year-round public access for wildlife viewing.

Approximately 4 miles of new Bay Trail spur segments were opened in 2016. From the main staging area at the end of Eden Landing Road, the year-round spur trail crosses over Mount Eden Creek and continuing along managed ponds, the slough and marsh until terminating at a shoreline viewing area approximately 2 miles into the reserve. Along the trail, interpretive exhibits describe wetland restoration and management, wildlife species known to use the area, and provide cultural resource interpretation. A boardwalk is open within the historic salt production area known as the Oliver Salt Works.

A seasonal loop trail (typically closed from March through September to protect nesting birds) may be accessed from the main spur trail. The seasonal loop trail continues approximately 2 miles along managed ponds and a portion of the restored Mount Eden Creek marsh.

At Mount Eden Creek, a non-motorized boat (kayak) launch provides opportunities to explore portions of Eden Landing and San Francisco Bay by water.

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

no drones icon
You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Hunting Map

Waterfowl Hunting Map (PDF)

Adjacent Land: The property boundary of the ecological reserve is posted. The eastern-most marsh lands adjacent to the Alameda Creek Federal Flood Control Channel (“J” Ponds) and east of CDFW’s ponds are owned by Alameda County. The salt ponds south of Alameda Creek are owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and remain under Cargill’s management for salt making; these areas should be considered private property.

Closed Zones: Closed Zones are designated because of management activities, proximity to homes or trails, access difficulties, or they are not suitable habitat for waterfowl or hunting. You may retrieve downed birds provided guns are left in the legal hunting area.

The eastern levee of Ponds 5, 6, 6C, adjacent to Alameda County land is open to foot access but closed to hunting. The southern levee of Ponds 2 and 4 are also closed to access and hunting is prohibited (adjacent to the Alameda County diked ponding areas and marshes). Blinds and hunting within Ponds 2, 4, 5, 6 and 6C remain open, as well as other levees where CDFW property is on both sides of the levee, except as restricted as Closed Zone areas.

The bay front levee of Pond 10 is closed to access and no hunting is allowed along the levee. Hunting is prohibited along Highway 92, north of the PG&E Transmission Towers/Lines in Pond 10 and 11, along the main Bay Trail, eastern perimeter marshes and the east part of Pond 6A.

Area History

The area was formerly owned and managed by Cargill Salt Co. as solar salt production facilities. In 1996, 835 acres were acquired from Cargill and an additional 5,500 acres in 2003. In 1998, the area was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission.

The Eden Landing Ecological Reserve was originally part of a vast system of tidal salt marshes, sloughs, and mudflats which bordered San Francisco Bay and provided food and habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other wildlife. The project area lies within the region historically occupied by the Ohlone group of Native Americans in smaller village complexes or tribelets. The Lisyan triblet appears to have occupied the area in the vicinity of the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve.

Throughout the 1800's, the bulk of the tidal marshland throughout the Bay area, including the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, was diked off from the bay in order to provide pasture land for cattle. In 1850, an association of location farmers organized as the Mt. Eden Company established a landing on the north bank of Mount Eden Creek. The landing itself was one of at least two established in the vicinity, which became known collectively as Eden Landing. Agricultural products, such as bailed hay and grain, were shipped across the bay to the San Francisco waterfront from the Eden Landing site, as well as from other nearby landings. In the late 1800's, the Baumberg Tract was converted into ponds for salt harvesting and production, which continued until 1972.

In the 1980's, the reserve property was proposed for development by the Shorelands Corporation. The development proposal, involving construction of horse racing facilities and a business/commercial center, was abandoned in 1990 due, in part, to environmental concerns relating to impacts to wetlands, seasonal ponding habitat for migratory water birds, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse and California clapper rail, and the western snowy plover. In 1984 portions of the site, including Mt. Eden Creek and the adjacent salt ponds, were identified and designated by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) as critical habitat for the recovery of the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse.

Restoration Projects

The original 835-acre Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER), also known as the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project was completed in 2008. That project enhanced approximately 125-acres of managed ponds and restored 700 acres of salt marsh to tidal action.

In 2003, Cargill, Inc. sold 15,100 acres of South Bay salt ponds to CDFW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Both agencies are actively restoring their respective properties through the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (SBSPRP). CDFW acquired approximately 5,500 of these acres to expand the ELER boundary adjacent to the Baumberg Tract Restoration Project. The remaining 9,600 acres of the 2003 land purchase were acquired by USFWS and added to theDon Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Phase One of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project was successfully completed in 2016.

At ELER approximately 630-acres of former Ponds 8A, 9 and 8X were restored to full tidal action in November, 2011. In 2014, Ponds 12 and 13 were reconfigured with new culverts, levees, berms and islands to allow intensive, shallow water and salinity management for the benefit of resident and migratory shorebirds, with limited deep water areas that are used seasonally by foraging waterfowl and other waterbirds. Other ponds in ELER continue to be managed for the benefit of waterbirds, including seasonal deep water for diving ducks and shallow ponds for overwintering dabbling ducks and migratory shorebirds.

Phase Two of the SBSPRP planning is currently underway and proposes to restore and enhance approximately 2,200-acres of ELER south of Old Alameda Creek and north of Alameda Creek Flood Control Channel to tidal salt marsh and other managed wetlands.

map ofEden Landing ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Bay Delta Region (Region 3)

Alameda County

Along the east San Francisco Bay shoreline adjacent to Hayward and Union City. South of Hwy 92, west of I-880.


  • Eden Landing Bay Trail: A segment of the trail opened in 2008 which connects points north of HI-92 and west of Eden Shores development to the reserve. To access the trail, take the Clawiter Rd/Eden Landing Rd. exit from Highway 92, and go south of the highway on Eden Landing Rd. to the end, near the intersection of Arden Rd.
  • Hunting: Hunting access to the reserve on dates specified annually by DFW is allowed at the Hunter Check Station from Veasy Street, off of Horner St. in Union City next to Old Alameda Creek. Take I-880 to Alvarado Blvd. exit, go west on Alvarado from I-880 approximately 2 miles, then turn right onto Union City Blvd, then less than 0.5 mile turn left onto Bettencourt Road, then left on Whipple Road. Turn right on Horner Street and then right on Veasy Street to the yellow gate. Vehicle access from Veasy St. to ponds north and south of Old Alameda Creek is open only on graveled levees.

CDFW Lands Viewer