Land’s End in San Francisco
This is a small piece of land with about 45 minutes worth of hiking on cliffs right along the Pacific Ocean. The hike is not difficult as the name may suggest, but it is one of the more scenic hikes in
arguably all of California. From the trail, visitors can see the Golden Gate Bridge and far into the depths of the ocean. On clear days, travelers can see many sail boats in the bay and the gigantic freighter ships coming into San Francisco and Oakland ports.
Lake Merced in San Francisco
For a more relaxing hike inside San Francisco, Lake Merced on the southern part of the city offers a nice and quiet walk around an lake right inside the city. It is nice for families or people who just want to take things easy.
S.F Downtown Walks
San Francisco downtown isn’t really a hiking destination for obvious reasons. Yet there are some pleasant walking opportunities along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a popular destination among San Francisco visitors. The walk is full of vistas of the bay, and the Bay Bridge (San Francisco’s other bridge) which connects Oakland and San Francisco.
Muir Woods in Marin
Unfortunately, the legendary gigantic redwoods do not grow inside the city of San Francisco. To see redwood forests, travelers must head outside the city. The redwoods grow in a number of parks and land preserves in the Bay Area, one of the most popular of which is the Muir Woods National Forest.
The historic forest was almost wiped out a hundred years ago after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Needing wood to rebuild the many homes that were lost during the earthquake, San Franciscans wanted to cut down the redwoods in order to use the wood to rebuild their homes. Fortunately, the government prevented the mass cutting down of the sometimes thousand year old trees and they remain in the forest to this day. Here is a more in depth view of some great Muir Woods Forest Hiking
Further north of Muir Woods is the famous Napa and Sonoma wine country. There are more redwoods hiking opportunities in land preserves around those areas. Plus a little wine to unwind after the hike is never a bad thing.
Hiking South of San Francisco
Travelers staying in San Francisco who want to experience the great Bay Area outdoors, but are not into wine or would like to avoid the $6 Golden Gate bridge toll, can find plenty to do just south of San Francisco in Pacifica or Half-Moon Bay. These are also popular among surfers, as the ocean winds can create pretty large waves. Pacifica and Half-Moon Bay have the best of both worlds. They are located right along the Pacific Ocean, have many great beaches, breathtaking views, and many popular hiking spots for all ages and abilities.
Alex Genadinik has lived in San Francisco for over 15 years and really enjoys the California outdoors. He is currently working on a project to create a more united Bay Area Hiking Community