Saturday, April 7, 2012

Golden Gate Recreation Areas: Adventure Challenge

It's a beautiful day today in San Francisco, and we've already taken advantage of it with several hours spent outside.  One website we visit often for ideas of local adventures is the CA State Parks site.
It surprises me how you can been in the middle of big city one minute, but a ten minute drive might take you into the middle of a National Forest or Park.

This is a map of the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas, many of which we have visited in the past six months since we moved.
via
Michael Schwab portfolio

A local artist from Marin, Michael Schwab, has a portfolio of posters for each of the parks, and the National Parks Service sells a number of different trinkets with the Schwab sketches on them.  Like this mug below:



We decided to challenge ourselves to mark off each of the locations as we get to know our city more.  
So I decided to document our progress so far and see which additional ones we can visit in the next several months.  (Portfolio images from here.)



We walked through the Presidio on the first morning after moving into our new apartment.  And we ran here this morning.  The views are gorgeous, and it smells so good between the eucalyptus and pine trees.


We hiked to the top of Mt. Tam on one of our first weekends after moving here.  Here are the views:



We visited Alcatraz Island when our friends Collin and Meredith visited us earlier this year:



Our favorite part of Muir Woods was the walk through Cathedral Grove with the majestic redwood trees:




Fort Point is at the foot of the Golden Gate bridge, and it also happens to be a great surf spot.  We have biked and trolleyed around here:

One lone bodysurfer out this day

I have my heart set on a picnic here later in the year, but we have also run through Crissy Field, near Fort Point:



The Cliff House and Lands End are some of our favorite spots to enjoy a sunset or take a hike.





Between the Cliff House and the beginning of the hike to Lands End, the Sutro Baths ruins are a surprising discovery.


Our visit to Stinson Beach in January was chilly.  Still pretty, though!


We rode our bikes through Fort Baker on the way to Sausalito last December: 
View of the Golden Gate from Fort Baker

Fort Mason has a farmers' market every Sunday that is walking distance from our 
Historic signs at Fort Mason talk about the 1915 World's Fair held in this spot.  The grassy area is a great spot for lazy weekend picnics and sunbathing.


Olema Valley is a strip of park between Stinson beach and Point Reyes.  We passed through this area in January but should plan to revisit.

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We have definitely put a large dent into the list of Parks.  The two we'd like to visit soon are the Marin Headlands and Point Bonita.  I backpacked in the Headlands for a week years and years ago, but I am really looking forward to a return visit.  Point Bonita is marked by a lighthouse on the tip of the cliff, but the suspension bridge out to the lighthouse has been under construction since we moved here.  I am anxiously awaiting its completion (originally projected for April 2012, but no signs of it being open yet), so that we can visit this park.  The pictures are beautiful!
It's a good thing they are ensuring that suspension bridge is safe...

Marin Headlands, my photo

I'll be back to update our list the next time we visit another one of the parks!

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