Marina Green and Presidio Marsh Walk Urban Explorations Marina Home

• Views of Alcatraz and Bridge
• Wave Organ
• National Park marsh, beaches
• Historic fort

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.

Printable Map (pdf file)

Updated 11/7/01


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 Organ
• 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). Free.

Segment 2: Presidio Marsh and Beach Trail
• 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 arms.

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.