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A trip to longtime Navy shipyard Mare Island is for the birds

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Crossing the light blue span of the Mare Island Causeway bridge, you can’t help feeling like you’re heading to a place lost to time. The warehouses, ammunition depots and officers’ quarters of the former longtime Navy shipyard still dot this tongue of land off mainland Vallejo, but except for a few remaining troops, the 150-plus year military history of Mare Island – which is actually a peninsula – is mostly history now. In its place has sprouted a burgeoning community of nature lovers, artists and startup businesses that is making the most of the historic buildings and waterfront in the upper East Bay. The bird lovers out there probably already know about the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve, where egrets, hawks, scrub jays, ducks and all manner of other fowl luxuriate in the peninsula’s tranquil waters. The Mare Island San Pablo Bay Trail makes for an easy walk to the birds, forming a 4-mile loop out toward San Pablo Bay and back, starting from Azuar Drive not far from where the causeway bridge connects to the peninsula. The Shoreline Preserve Scenic Vista Trail starts farther southeast along Mare Island, past the genteel officers’ mansions and Touro University and branching off from an old ammunition depot. The trail takes walkers past old bunkers, bomb shelters and workers’ housing reclaimed by the grass and trees to places with great views of the East Bay Hills, the Carquinez Strait and Mount Tamalpais. Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/living/travel/article135861533.html#storylink=cpy
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