Daniel McGlynn, a writer and kayaker, writes a quick piece on the Waterfront Trail in the works in Oakland.

While strolling past cement factories and scrap metal yards may not appeal to hard core nature lovers, some of the worlds most famous waterfront parks have embraced nearby industrial structures to create intriguing outdoor recreation areas. Oakland’s trail incorporates the existing city grid, boardwalks, overlooks, and piers into potential designs for the trail.

Potential is the key word. The trail is far from finished. All of the money required to build the path has not yet been secured. And then there is the matter of private property. Much of the trail’s proposed route crosses private property, and there are already more than land rights snags blocking progress. The Army Corps of Engineers is also involved because the trail needs special permits to pass by or near several bridges. In the next decade or so, all of these issues will be worked out. City managers are optimistic because the State and other regional governments are supportive since the Oakland Waterfront Trail represents a crucial link in the 400-mile Bay Area Trail.

Oakland is a working port with giant container ships and cranes that might be mistaken for implements of Darth Vader villainy, so the idea of installing a waterfront walkway offers some, well, aesthetic challenges, to say the least. More on the trail here.

McGlynn’s web site is here.