Coastal Trail in Presidio

Coastal Trail Presidio

This week’s Saturday hike took us to a portion of the Coastal Trail in the Presidio in San Francisco. Though not nearly as strenuous as last week’s steep ravine, the hike was longer: Just over 3 hours. And the views were postcard perfect.

Though it hailed (yes that frozen ice!) last night in San Francisco, and rain was in the prediction for this morning, we got lucky. It turned out to by a sunny day, though a tad chilly. And the stormy weather of the last week (and again tonight) meant the tides were high and waves were big. We saw the Golden Gate bridge from countless angles as the sun rose, creating beautiful shadows of the bridge outline on the Marin Headlands across the bay. And the crashing waves could be heard throughout the hike (they were coming so much higher ashore than normal that our hike had to take a few detours to avoid the beaches which were unsafe to walk on with the powerful water crashing in and, the more dangerous part, sucking back out.)

The Presidio, for those not familiar with San Francisco, is a large oasis of green within the city of San Francisco. It was a former military base, and many of the historic barracks and buildings remain but have been repurposed into housing and retail. The YMCA that I go to is in the Presidio and is the old military gym. It includes a pool that was used for soldier rehab in days past. LucasFilms now also has its studios in the Presidio. Despite the shift from a military base to residential/commercial use of the existing buildings, it remains mostly a national park. And so new construction is not allowed in the green spaces. It’s pretty darn cool really that it’s possible to live in a national park — and by doing so maintain its historic structures without destroying the green space.

You can read more about the history of the Presidio on the National Park’s Web site at or on the Presidio Trust’s site at

Unfortunately because rain was in the forecast this week, I didn’t want to risk bringing my digital camera on the hike. So I didn’t take any photos. However, one of my fellow hikers did, and I hope to have at least a couple shots to share from her later this week. Otherwise, the photos on the Presidio sites above give a good picture of the backdrop: Historic buildings, water, the Golden Gate Bridge, and expansive tree-covered hills.

Help the cause: If you haven’t already donated for the hike and would like to pitch in to help me reach my $3,500 minimum goal (and in turn help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in their fight against blood cancers), log on to for more information and an online donation form. Rather donate via check? E-mail me for details.