San Francisco Bay
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps project has been a neighborhood effort to create a beautiful mosaic running up the risers of the 163 steps located at 16th and Moraga in San Francisco.
The only way to get to Alcatraz is by a ferry operated by Alcatraz Cruises, LLC. They are located on The Embarcadero near the intersection of Bay Street - just a bit south east of Fisherman's Wharf. There is no parking at Pier 33. On street parking in the area can be difficult to find, especially during peak summer visitation season, and nearly every street space has a parking meter with a time limit insufficient for an Alcatraz visit. An "Accessibility Drop Off Zone" is located at the entrance to Alcatraz Cruises - Pier 33 for visitors with special needs arriving by automobile. There are fifteen commercial lots within a five-block radius of the Alcatraz Cruises - Pier 33, with a total of more than 3,000 parking spaces. However we recommend public transportation if at all possible. Be aware that prices for parking in this area can vary greatly, as little as $8-10 for all day, to as high as $6 an hour. As a visit to Alcatraz can easily take 2 to 3 hours (or more) it can be worth while to shop around for parking. It is even better to take public transportation when possible.
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project
Unless you have a boat, Angel Island is only accessible by public transportation. If you start a journey to Angel Island from a location served by BART or Muni trains, it makes perfect sense to take public transportation to the ferry landing at San Francisco's Pier 41. Take BART or Muni to the Embarcadero station, come above ground and transfer to the F line (on the Embarcadero across from the Ferry Building), and proceed west to the Fisherman's Wharf stop. Ferries to Angel Island also depart from Tiburon and Alameda. If you want to drive to the ferry, the easiest and most direct route to Fisherman's Wharf from the Bay Bridge is via the Embarcadero. From the Golden Gate Bridge, take Lombard to Van Ness to North Point, then park in one of the parking garages at Fisherman's Wharf.
The trail starts just off of Lincoln Blvd above the beach (alternatively, you can start at the far end of the trail, where there is a parking lot off of Lincoln Blvd. You will have great views of the beach below, as well as of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands in the distance to the right across the bay. You can take a short sidetrip down to Marshall Bridge where you can watch the waves crash on the sand or just relax and take a break. The trail turns to the right here, where it will end at a parking lot. You can choose to continue along the Coastal Trail to the Golden Gate Bridge, or turn back the way you came. Just a heads up, this beach tends to attract old nude men so dont bring the kids if this is a concern.
Bernal Heights lies to the south of San Francisco's Mission District. Its most prominent feature is the open parkland and radio tower on its large rocky hill, Bernal Heights Summit. Bernal is bounded by Cesar Chavez Street to the north, Mission Street to the west, US 101 to the east, and I-280 to the south. Bernal Hill provides visitors with a breathtaking 360-degree panorama and clear views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown, San Bruno Mountain, and the hills of the East Bay. These windswept slopes are still sunny when Twin Peaks is shrouded in afternoon fog. Red-tailed hawks soar overhead, the breeze sends waves undulating through the native grassland community, and visitors hike around the hill’s peaceful summit to escape from the complexities of urban life. As one of the few remaining natural refuges in San Francisco, Bernal Hill is a special place for the city’s human and wildlife inhabitants. A paved limited-access road and a network of well-defined dirt trails wind around the hill’s flanks and provide access to the summit.
The California Coastal Trail (CCT) is a network of public trails for walkers, bikers, equestrians, wheelchair riders and others along the 1200-mile California coastline. It is currently more than half complete. Coastwalk California is a volunteer organization that advocates for completion of the Trail. Our members invite you to get out and enjoy the trail and to get involved in our cause!
From Interstate 280 in San Mateo County, take CA 92 west, then turn south onto Skyline Boulevard (CA 35). Drive about 25.5 miles, to the junction of 35 and 9 (Saratoga Gap). Continue about 2.5 miles further south on 35, to the park entrance on the right side of the road.
Angel Island State Park
5 Mile Loop
From CA 85 in Santa Clara County, exit Saratoga Avenue. Drive west into Saratoga, then continue uphill on CA 9. At Saratoga Gap (junction 9 and CA 35), turn left and drive south about 2.5 miles to the park entrance on the right side of the road. 5.49 mile partial loop near the highest point in the Santa Cruz Mountains. One of the best hikes in the Bay Area, it offers outstanding views west, pretty oaks, woods, and chaparral, and unique sandstone formations.
From Highway 101 in Marin County, take the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard West exit and turn west. Stay on Sir Francis Drake for about five miles till you reach the town of Fairfax. Turn left in the turn lane just past the Valero gas station, then take an immediate right turn onto Broadway. Go about a block and turn left on Bolinas Road. Stay on Bolinas Road for about eight miles; you'll cross a dam and a find a small parking area at a sharp hairpin turn. The trail starts here. Cataract Creek Trail offers a perfect excuse to play hooky from work or spend a vacation day in the woods. The creek's waterfalls provide a spectacular anchor for a 7-mile loop through the scenic lands of the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. You could just hike a mile and a quarter to the top of the Cataract Creek Trail and return, but I figure if you're going to drive this deep into the Marin County backcountry, you may as well get a few hours of hiking in. The loop includes scenic vistas stretching to the Pacific Ocean, narrow single-track into the wooded hillsides into forests of young redwood and Douglas fir. Marin County has over 500 miles of trails; these are among the best.
From San Francisco, drive west on Marina Boulevard. At the intersection with Lyon Street, where Doyle Drive diverges left to the Golden Gate Bridge, continue straight onto Mason. Look for the East Beach entrance on the right. From Marin, drive south across the Golden Gate Bridge. Immediately past the toll plaza, turn right onto Merchant. Drive 0.2 mile, then turn left onto Lincoln. Drive about 1 mile, then turn left onto McDowell. Drive 0.2 mile, then turn right onto Mason. Continue about 1 mile, then turn left into the East Beach entrance. Crissy Field had been abused for years. The dunes and marsh of Indian days were leveled and filled (with garbage) so San Francisco could host the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. In 1998 restoration began. Volunteers removed exotic vegetation and planted natives. Barren strips of pavement were removed and a lagoon and tidal marsh were constructed. Now water sparkles in the marsh, and shorebirds dig through the mud while pelicans fly over the waves.
Crissy Field Exploration
3.3 Miles RT
From northbound 19th Avenue in San Francisco (just as you enter Golden Gate Park), turn right onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. After 0.2 mile, turn left onto Stow Lake Drive. Follow the road around the lake, past the boathouse, and where the road splits, stay to the right. Park near the yellow gate on the right.
Golden Gate Park/Stow Lake/Strawberry Hill
From southbound 19th Avenue in San Francisco (in Golden Gate Park), turn right onto Crossover Drive. After 0.1 mile, turn left onto Transverse Drive, and left again onto John F. Kennedy Drive. After 0.4 mile, turn right onto Stow Lake Drive, and where the road splits, stay to the left. Park near the yellow gate on the right.
The park's paths range from wide and paved to narrow and dirt, but there is little actual hiking to be found. Many areas of the park offer lovely strolls, and if that's what you're after, consider the Arboretum and North Lake.
From Third Street in San Francisco, turn east onto Cargo Way. Follow Cargo Way to its terminus at Jennings Street, turn left, then turn right into the parking lot. The trail runs less than a mile before it dead-ends at the bay, and the grade is perfectly flat, making this a great choice for a family walk with the very young or very old.It's also an exceptional choice for beginning birdwatchers
From CA 1 in San Francisco, turn east onto Lake Street (if you're arriving from the north, you can't turn left onto Lake, so go one more block and turn right on California, then turn right on 15th Avenue, and right again on Lake). Drive about 0.75 mile, then turn north (left) onto Arguello Boulevard. Drive about 0.3 mile on Arguello, through the Arguello Gate and into the Presidio. Proceed on Arguello about 0.2 mile, to the Inspiration Point trailhead on the right side of the road. Start at Inspiration Point at the parking lot and interpretive area. You'll likely be drawn to the viewpoint, where on a clear day you can see the bay, Angel Island, and Alcatraz.
Lands End is in the northwest section of San Francisco. Drive west on Geary Boulevard (past 39th Avenue westbound Geary becomes Point Lobos Avenue). Continue west on Point Lobos Avenue, cross 48th Avenue, and turn right into the parking lot on the right side of the street. If you get to the Cliff House you've gone too far. Lands End and the Lands End trail offer some of the most spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
From CA 1 in Golden Gate Park (San Francisco), bear left onto 25th Avenue. Drive on 25th Avenue to the junction with El Camino del Mar (in the Seacliff neighborhood). Turn right onto Lincoln Boulevard and drive a short distance to side of road parking near the Presidio sign (just before a building complex on the right, and Bowley Street on the left). This boardwalk path winds through restored sand dunes near the Presidio's southwestern border, on an interpretative tour that captures the area's past, present, and future. Before the Presidio became a military installation, the land on the northwestern edge of San Francisco was a mix of coastal prairie, wetlands, oak forest, coastal scrub, riparian corridors, and sand dunes. The area of the park adjacent to Lobos Creek was historically sand dunes, but the ecosystem was destroyed by years of military use. Volunteers and GGNRA staff began a restoration in 1994, building new dunes and planting vegetation to return the area to a more natural setting.
The start is a half block up from the dead end of Green Street, in front of the "Princess Diaries" house. From the bottom you cannot see the top, so you have no idea what you are in for, which is a good thing. Just seeing the top of the first climb is daunting enough because it is a steep climb up two flights of 62 steps each. The Lyon Street Steps is a historical stairway street made up of 288 steps. Its four sets of steep stairs connect Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow. It is a hot trail for runners and known for its view of the Palace of Fine Arts
The Marin Headlands Visitor Center is located in the historic Fort Barry Chapel, at the intersection of Field and Bunker Roads. The Visitor Center is approximately 3 miles from either entrance to the Marin Headlands. The short walk out to this lighthouse at the tip of the continent is unforgettable. You cross an old suspension bridge, high above a rocky outcrop for a quick tour of an old brick tower and huge lamp that helped guide mariners into the San Francisco Bay and away from the rocks nearby. Tours here take you down into a launch bay where disarmed examples of huge Nike anti-aircraft missiles await. The biggest of these missiles were designed to thwart an attack by exploding a nuclear warhead near a fleet of enemy bombers. This 4 mile hike takes in the Coastal, Wolf Ridge and Miwok trails.
From US 101 in Marin County, exit CA 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach and drive on Shoreline Highway to the junction with Almonte, about 1 mile. Turn left, remaining on Shoreline, and drive about 2.5 miles to the junction with Panoramic Highway. Turn right on Panoramic and drive about 1 mile to the junction with Muir Woods Road; stay straight on Panoramic (right lane). Continue about 7.5 miles (past Pantoll) to the junction with CA 1, just before the town of Stinson Beach. Turn right, drive about 0.2 mile, then turn right (at the fire station) onto Belvedere Avenue. Look for parking on the left side of the road before the "do not enter/wrong way" signs.
Sharp Park State Beach trailhead: from southbound CA 1 in Pacifica, exit Paloma. Drive west on Paloma, then turn left onto Palmetto. Drive south about 0.2 mile, then turn right onto San Jose. Drive to the end of San Jose, then turn left onto Beach Boulevard. Continue south about 0.3 mile, to the parking area on the right side of the road, just before the street turns sharply left at the golf course.
Sharp Park State Beach trailhead: from northbound CA 1 in Pacifica, exit Clarendon. Drive west on Clarendon, then turn right onto Palmetto. Drive north on Palmetto, then turn left onto Montecito. Drive west to the end of the road, then turn left onto Beach Boulevard. Continue south to the parking area on the right side of the road, just before the street turns sharply left at the golf course.
Moose Lodge trailhead from southbound CA 1: exit Sharp Park Road. The exit dead ends at Sharp Park Golf Course; turn left (south) and then make a right (west) at Westport. From there, turn left (south) onto Bradford Way and drive to the red building (Moose Lodge). The trailhead is at fenced gate.
Moose Lodge trailhead from northbound CA 1: exit Sharp Park and take the next right after the exit (Westport). From there, turn left onto Bradford Way and drive to the red building (Moose Lodge) The trailhead is at fenced gate.
From northbound CA 1 (19th Avenue) in San Francisco, bear right onto Junipero Serra. Drive to the (confusing) junction with Portola, and bear right onto Portola. Drive about 0.7 mile, then turn right onto Marne (same junction as Miraloma). Drive one block on Marne, and turn right onto Lansdale. Drive one block and turn left onto Dalewood. Drive one block uphill on steep Dalewood to the park entrance at the junction of Lansdale and Dalewood.
Mount Davidson Park
Mount Davidson, at 927 feet, is the highest natural point in San Francisco. It is often overlooked as a hiking destination; most locals recognize MD as the hill with the cross on top; film buffs remember it from the Dirty Harry movie. But as those late-night infomercials say, "wait, there's more." The 40 acre mountain-top park is laced with trails which offer expansive views.
Mount Sutro is nearly in the center of San Francisco -- from Laguna Honda Boulevard turn east onto Clarendon and drive uphill to side of street parking near the intersection with Johnstone Drive. The trails of Mount Sutro are not well known, perhaps because its forest blocks views and the land is quietly managed by UCSF. The hill (which doesn't feel much like a mount) was part of a massive land grant owned by Adolph Sutro, who planted acres of cypress, pine, and eucalyptus, transforming grassland and coastal scrub (look today at Twin Peaks for a comparison) into a dense forest. The property eventually became part of UCSF and in the early 2000's volunteers restored some old trails and built new ones, creating a compact trail network great for quick jogs and short hikes.
The park is located North of San Francisco's Golden Gate. From Highway 101 take Highway 1 to the Stinson Beach exit and follow signs up the mountain. See Park Brochure Map for other entrances. Just north of San Francisco's Golden Gate is Mount Tamalpais. It has redwood groves and oak woodlands with a spectacular view from the 2,571-foot peak. On a clear day, visitors can see the Farallon Islands 25 miles out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco and the bay, hills and cities of the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. There are more than 50 miles of hiking trails within the park and connect to a larger, 200 mile long trail system.
Mount Tamalpais State Park
From San Francisco, Muir Woods is located 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take Highway 101 North-Take the Mill Valley/Highway 1/ Stinson Beach Exit. Follow the signs to Highway 1-Follow the signs to Muir Woods.
Muir Woods National Monument
From the East Bay-Take the Highway 580/Richmond/San Rafael Bridge West-Take Highway 101 South-Take the Stinson Beach/Mill Valley Ext-Follow the signs to Highway 1-Follow the signs to Muir Woods.
Muir Woods National Monument is surrounded by California State Park property. Many trails to and from Muir Woods connect with Mount Tamalpais State Park trails. These trails are long, narrow, unpaved, and often steep, requiring sturdy shoes with good treads. If you are planning to exit the monument via a state park trail, It is recommended that you purchase a Muir Woods NM Park Map which includes a Nature Self-Guide and Watershed Hiking Map. This map may be purchased for $1 at the Visitor Center or at the self-serve map box at Bridge 2. Located just North of San Francisco this is the ideal place for visitors from around the world to come and marvel at the giant redwoods (which in this park grow up to 250ft tall and 14 feet wide) but it also means the area frequently attracts large crowds, bus tours and overflowing parking lots. The hillside loop trail offers a great way to visit Muir Woods National Monument and avoid many of the crowds, before returning along a scenic route over Mt. Tamalpais State Park that most visitors don't get to see. One additional benefit along this trail is the chance to spend a little time at the Tourist Club. Enjoy your favorite tipple on the balcony overlooking the forest before continuing along the Redwood Trail back to the trailhead.
From US 101 in Marin County, exit CA 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach. Drive on Shoreline Highway to the junction with Almonte, about 1 mile. Turn left on CA 1 and drive about 2.5 miles to the junction with Panoramic. Continue straight on CA 1 about 13 miles to an unsigned junction with Olema-Bolinas Road (just past Bolinas Marsh). Turn left. Drive 0.1 mile to a T intersection with Olema-Bolinas Road, turn left, drive about 1 mile to the junction with Horseshoe Hill Road, and again, turn left. Drive to the next stop sign, then turn right onto Mesa Road. Drive about 4 miles, then continue the last 1 mile on the dirt road to the trailhead at the end of the road. If you have a high-clearance vehicle, take it. The road isn't terrible, but can be washed out and bumpy. This 7.5 mile out and back hike is moderate, with about 600 feet in elevation change. Trailhead elevation is about 250 feet, and the hike's highest point is only near 600 feet. Trails are for the most part, very gently graded. If you only go as far as Pelican Lake, I consider the hike easy, but if you continue to Alamere Falls, it's a bit tricky, with two scrambles, one easy and one rough.
The Pedro Point Headlands trails are a little tricky to find and to navigate, so a decent sense of direction is important. The benefit of this is that you’ll likely have the place to yourself. Driving south from Pacifica, you’ll come across a small pull off on the left side of the road just before the entrance to the new Tom Lantos tunnels. A little further south, across the street is a green gate, the entry point for Pedro Point trails. Parking is an adventure in itself since you may be risking a ticket, but in the hour or so I was exploring the headlands my car was fine. This loop is comprised of parts of the South Ridge, Bluff, Middle Ridge, and Arroyo trails, in that order.
Once you pass through the green gate keep left at the fork. You’ll come to a small clearing and if you stay to the right (on the South Ridge trail), you’ll find what appears to be a fire road that begins a quick, tough climbs through coastal scrub. As you climb, you’ll be treated to views of the coast and of Montara Mountain behind you. When you reach the top the trail levels out for a few hundred feet before a steep descent toward the coast. If you wander toward the edge you can peer down and see rocky, inaccessible beaches below. Look to the north on a clear day and you’ll see the two red towers of the Golden Gate.
On the bluff, the trails become more difficult to follow due to the lack of trail markers and the numerous areas roped off for restoration. If you stick to the proposed loop you’ll wind up hiking along a ridge parallel to that of the fire trail, back toward the road (Middle Ridge trail). Be sure to focus your attention on the stunning views to the left of you encompassing the coastal range from Pacifica to Marin. The trail winds down a narrow path toward the neighboring ridge before meeting up with the Arroyo trail. Going right will take you back up to the bluff where you came from. To continue the loop, take a left toward the grove of eucalyptus. Listen and see if you can identify the sources of musical chirping as you approach the grove. The temperature drops as the towering woods envelop you. At the fork, go right so that you can see the road through the trees below you on the left. Another quick uphill will take you back to the first fork by the green gate.
From San Francisco, go north on U.S. Highway 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow U.S. 101 about 9 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge to the Sir Francis Drake-San Anselmo exit, exit 450B. Make sure you are in the lane for San Anselmo (the second lane from the right) and exit onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard heading west. Follow Sir Francis Drake west approximately 21 miles—passing through San Anselmo, Fairfax and Samuel P. Taylor State Park—until it intersects with Highway 1 at Olema. Turn right on Highway 1 and proceed north about 100 yards. Take the first left turn at Bear Valley Road and head west about 1/2 mile (0.8 km). Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for "Visitor Center; Headquarters; Information" on the right. Turn left after passing by the red barn and proceed up the left-fork of the driveway to the Bear Valley Visitor Center, the park's primary contact station.
Point Reyes National Seashore was established to preserve and protect wilderness, natural ecosystems, and cultural resources along the diminishing undeveloped coastline of the western United States.
Located just an hour's drive from a densely populated metropolitan area, the Seashore is a sanctuary for myriad plant and animal species and for the human spirit—for discovery, inspiration, solitude, and recreation—and exists as a reminder of the human connection to the land.
From the North
Point Bonita Lighthouse Trail
-Take Hwy 101 southbound.
-Exit at second Sausalito exit, just before the Golden Gate Bridge.
-Bear right onto Alexander Avenue; proceed back under the freeway.
-Follow Alexander Avenue 0.2-miles; turn left onto Bunker Road.
From the South
-Take Hwy 101 northbound across the Golden Gate Bridge.
-Exit Alexander Avenue; bear right.
-Follow Alexander Avenue 0.2-miles; turn left onto Bunker Road.
Point Bonita today is part of the largest urban national park in the United States, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. A secret jewel of the Bay Area, Point Bonita is still an active lighthouse. The U.S. Coast Guard maintains the lighthouse and the National Park Service provides access to visitors.
Point Bonita Lighthouse is reached by a half mile trail that is very steep in parts. Discover Point Bonita's wild landscape, geology and fascinating history. The tunnel halfway to the lighthouse is open only during visiting hours.
The Presidio of San Francisco (originally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or The Royal Fortress of Saint Francis) is a park and former military base on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It had been a fortified location since September 17, 1776, when New Spain established it to gain a foothold on Alta California and the San Francisco Bay. It passed to Mexico, which in turn passed it to the United States in 1848. As part of a 1989 military reduction program under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, Congress voted to end the Presidio's status as an active military installation of the U.S. Army. On October 1, 1994, it was transferred to the National Park Service, ending 219 years of military use and beginning its next phase of mixed commercial and public use. In 1996, the United States Congress created the Presidio Trust to oversee and manage the interior 80% of the park's lands, with the National Park Service managing the coastal 20%. In a first-of-its-kind structure, Congress mandated that the Presidio Trust make the Presidio financially self-sufficient by 2013, which it achieved 8 years ahead of the scheduled deadline. The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
From Interstate 580 in Alameda County, exit CA 24 (exit 19b). Drive northeast and exit Claremont (exit 3). At the foot of the exit ramp, turn left, and drive about 1.5 miles on Claremont to the junction with Ashby. Continue straight on Claremont, to the junction with Grizzly Peak Boulevard, about 2 miles. Turn left and drive north about 1.4 miles to the junction with South Park Drive. Turn right and drive about 1.5 miles to the junction with Wildcat Canyon Road. Turn right and drive about 1.2 mile, to the Inspiration Point Trailhead on the left side of the road. Note: South Park Drive is closed during the salamander migration season, October-April. If it's closed, continue on Grizzly Peak, turn right on Shasta, then turn right on Wildcat Canyon Road.
From southbound US 101 in San Francisco County, exit #429B Cow Palace/Third Street. Drive south on Bayshore about 2 miles, turn right on Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and drive uphill about 2 miles to the park entrance on the right side of the road.
Presidio of San Francisco
From northbound US 101, take Exit 426A toward the Cow Palace and drive north on Bayshore Boulevard; then turn left onto Guadalupe Canyon Parkway.
From Interstate 280 in San Mateo County, exit #50 Mission Street, then take Market to Guadalupe Canyon Parkway and drive east to the park entrance on the left side of the road (it's about 3 miles from 280).
Summit Loop Trail climbs easily on a well-graded path to the ridge line, and then drops back to the trailhead, about a 3.5 -mile circuit. Along the way, the trail runs along a creek, ascends through chaparral, and provides excellent views of downtown San Francisco, the East Bay hills, and the Santa Cruz Mountains from the ridge.
The Bay Trail is a planned recreational corridor that, when complete, will encircle San Francisco and San Pablo Bays with a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails. It will connect the shoreline of all nine Bay Area counties, link 47 cities, and cross the major toll bridges in the region. The Bay Trail provides easily accessible recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hikers, joggers, bicyclists and skaters. It also offers a setting for wildlife viewing and environmental education, and it increases public respect and appreciation for the Bay. It also has important transportation benefits, providing a commute alternative for cyclists, and connecting to numerous public transportation facilities (including ferry terminals, light-rail lines, bus stops and Caltrain, Amtrak, and BART stations); also, the Bay Trail will eventually cross all the major toll bridges in the Bay Area. The Bay Trail offers access to commercial, industrial and residential neighborhoods; points of historic, natural and cultural interest; recreational areas like beaches, marinas, fishing piers, boat launches, and over 130 parks and wildlife preserves totaling 57,000 acres of open space. It passes through highly urbanized areas like downtown San Francisco as well as remote natural areas like the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. (The Bay Trail’s policies specifically seek to protect sensitive natural habitats.) Depending on the location of its segments, the Bay Trail consists of paved multi-use paths, dirt trails, bike lanes, sidewalks or city streets signed as bike routes. The Bay Trail also connects to trails that lead inland, and with the Ridge Trail, another regional trail network (which travels inland, mostly along the ridges of the Bay Area’s hills). In 1990, the San Francisco Bay Trail Project was created as a nonprofit organization dedicated to planning, promoting and advocating implementation of the Bay Trail. To carry out its mission, the Bay Trail Project makes available grant funds for trail construction and maintenance; participates in planning efforts and encourages consistency with the adopted Bay Trail Plan; educates the public and decision-makers about the merits and benefits of the Bay Trail; produces maps and other materials to publicize the existence of the Bay Trail; and disseminates information about progress on its development. (However, the Bay Trail Project does not own land or construct trail segments; instead segments are built, owned, managed and maintained by cities, counties, park districts and other agencies with land-management responsibilities, often in partnership with local nonprofit organizations, citizens’ groups or businesses.)
From Highway 24 take the Fish Ranch Road immediately east of the Caldecott Tunnel. Continue 0.8 miles to Grizzly Peak Boulevard. Turn left and go 2.4 miles on Grizzly Peak to Skyline Boulevard. Turn left and drive .1 mile to the preserve entrance on the left. Located on the border of Oakland via Skyline Boulevard, Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is actually in Contra Costa County proper and is managed as part of the East Bay Regional Park District. The park, similar to others in the East Bay hills, hosts a network of interconnected trails meandering over grassy hills, through woodland forests, and along vista-viewing ridgetops. Sibley is the site of a 10 million year old volcano complex, responsible for most of the lava rocks underlying our East Bay ridgeline from Berkeley down to Moraga.
From Interstate 280 in San Mateo County, exit Sneath Lane (exit 43b). Drive west about 2 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road. This trail has views of Montara Mountain, the Pacific Ocean, and the San Francisco Watershed, including San Andreas Lake. The Ridge Trail Council has finally extended the Bay Area Ridge Trail through the watershed all the way to CA 92.
From US 101 in Marin County, take the CA 1/Shoreline Highway exit. After about 0.5 mile, turn left onto Tennessee Valley Road. Go about 1.5 miles to the parking lot at the end of the road. Tennessee Valley Trail curves along the valley floor to the ocean. It's an easy 4 mile out-and-back hike, and a great place to head for a picnic with friends.
Tilden Regional Park is located in the Berkeley Hills just north of Highway 24. You can take the Fish Ranch Road exit from Highway 24 just east of the Caldecott Tunnel. Drive uphill and turn right on Grizzly Peak Blvd. From there you will pass 3 park entrances. You can also enter the park from the West side in Berkeley at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard. From Canon Drive, you can access the Environmental Education Center and Little Farm, the Carousel, and Lake Anza. The park is large enough that it makes sense to study a road map of the park before setting out on your journey. Tilden Regional Park has been called the jewel of the East Bay Regional Park system, and for good reason. If any single urban park has something for everyone, and a beautiful setting to boot, this is it. Tilden’s 2,079 acres offer a variety of attractions, including a lake with swimming facilities, botanic garden, miniature steam train, an old-fashioned merry-go-round, an 18 hole golf course, a nature preserve, a small farm, and a lovely setting for weddings and other events. The park also offers picnicking and camping at numerous sites, plus plentiful hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Note that each attraction has its own days and hours of operation.
Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve Exploration
From northbound Interstate 280 in San Francisco, exit San Jose. Stay in the right lane and make the first right on Rousseau (signed to Bosworth). Drive one block and take the first right onto Bosworth. Continue on Bosworth, crossing Diamond, and then Elk. Bosworth breaks off to the right and then ends, while O'Shaughnessy Boulevard takes its place heading uphill. Take O'Shaughnessy to the junction with Portola, at the top of the hill. Turn right, and immediately get into the left lane. Wait at the light, then turn left onto Twin Peaks. Drive uphill and park at the signed parking lot.
From southbound Interstate 280 in San Francisco, exit Monterey. At the end of the ramp, make a sharp right onto Monterey. At the next light, turn left on Diamond. Drive one block, then turn left onto Bosworth. Continue on Bosworth, past Elk. Bosworth breaks off to the right and then ends, while O'Shaughnessy Boulevard takes its place heading uphill. Take O'Shaughnessy to the junction with Portola, at the top of the hill. Turn right, and immediately get into the left lane. Wait at the light, then turn left onto Twin Peaks. Drive uphill and park at the signed parking lot.
From Market Street, drive southwest. Market turns into Portola; continue on Portola and at the second traffic light, turn right onto Twin Peaks. Drive uphill and park at the signed parking lot.