I arrived to San Francisco last week, and took three memorable hikes. The first of three:
Traveling solo, I took Muni bus 76x, Marin Headlands Express Bus, from San Francisco to Marin Headlands. For less than the cost of bridge fare, I shared a crowded bus - where languages from around the world swirled - as hikers and tourists headed to the Golden Gate Bridge and the magnificent Marin Headlands.
The preserved land is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and encompasses sprawling hiking trails, Bonita Cove and Bird Island, camping by permit, a youth hostel, Point Bonita Lighthouse, the Nike Missile site, secluded beaches and one of the most photographed views of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are mammals like coyotes, bobcats, deer and rabbits. And bird song abounds! The area is close to the Pacific Flyaway, and owls and song and shorebirds stop along their way. I got off at the Visitor Center and walked to Rodeo Beach and Lagoon, a short half mile or so stroll, where I photographed egrets.
I headed on toward the Coastal Trail from Rodeo Beach headed to Mill Valley's Tennessee Valley. I was alone and unfamiliar with the terrain, and my camera bag was heavy, so I didn't finish but the area I walked was an easy, though steep, trail with beautiful vistas overlooking the Pacific. Other hikers told me the terrain gets more uneven with steep steps. Usually, I have hiking poles for such terrain and no heavy camera gear. There was a cement road bikers enjoyed. Sun tried to break through misty fog with shifting light casting dancing shadows on the ocean. I met a fellow hiker, who told me about a helpful hiking web site and app to learn about trails prior to going: All Trails
When You Go
Muni Bus 76x Marin Headlands Express, part of San Francisco's bus and metro system
511 (Wherever you're going in Bay Area, start here)