Views of Alcatraz and Bridge
National Park marsh, beaches
Easy to moderate
Flexible: 1 hour to half day
This walk starts at Fort Mason, proceeding
along the Marina Green past kite flyers and yachts, then into the Presidio
past a marsh and sandy beaches. You can walk all the way to historic Fort
Point, beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and watch surfers catch the waves.
Great views of the Bridge, Angel Island, Alcatraz, and Marin.
This walk can be altered depending on your ability
and time, and is broken down into 3 segments.
Segment 1: Marina Green
Start at Fort Mason at the corner of Beach
and Laguna Streets.
Facing the bay, turn to your left and walk past the small harbor
of boats adjacent to Fort Mason.
Continue along Marina Boulevard and the Marina Green.
This greenbelt fronts the yacht harbor and is a frequent spot for kite
flyers and volleyball games. Across the street are the Art Deco homes
of the Marina district. Alcatraz and Angel Island can be seen in the bay
looking across toward Marin County.
---optional side trip to Wave
At the end of the Marina Green, walk onto the grounds of the S.F.
and St. Francis Yacht Clubs.
Continue past the buildings and boats to the end of the breakwater.
Looking like the ruins from an archaic Atlantis, the Wave Organ was constructed
from concrete debris from destroyed buildings. Strange sounds emanate
from the bay if you place your ear next to the tubes that snake down into
the water. Great place for kids. Best at high tide (call (707) 642-4337
or check out tides for tide information).
Segment 2: Presidio Marsh and
At the end of the Marina Green, walk along
the line of eucalyptus trees to the water's edge.
Take the beachside trail that begins here to your left.
You've now entered the grounds of the Presidio, which is a national park.
The large path accommodates joggers, walkers and cyclers, and windsurfers
launch from the beach. In the distance you'll see the Golden Gate Bridge.
On your left you'll notice the large rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts,
a remnant from the 1915 World's Fair.
After awhile, you'll come to a small bridge, which
is a good place to choose to continue or turn back.
On the other side of the small bridge, the area on your left is being
restored as a marsh.
At the end of the marsh there is a park Visitor
Center (Wed-Sun 10am-4pm) with displays
on the bay.
Segment 3: Fort Point
If you have a lot of time, it's worthwhile to walk
all the way along the water to Fort Point. This historic 1800-era fort
sits beneath the span of the Golden Gate Bridge. For a small fee, you
can wander around the brick fort and learn about army life on the frontier.
Or for free you can sit and watch surfers catch the waves beneath the
bridge. You also might recognize on the roadway leading to the fort the
famous scene from Hitchcock's "Vertigo," with the Bridge and
dramatically crashing waves, where Kim Novack swooned in James Stewart's
Of course, if you make it this far, you'll have to eventually
turn around and walk all the way back, but it would make an excellent
half-day urban hike for those in great physical shape.