San Francisco Photo Tour

The Trail to Fort Mason

From Hyde Street Pier it is about a fifteen minute walk along a portion of the Golden Gate Promenade to Fort Mason. I am sure you will enjoy your walk along the bay.
Wheelchair accessible Note: If you are in a wheelchair you will have one very steep hill to go over, and you may need some help along the way.
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Start of trail

The trail to Fort Mason starts at Hyde and Jefferson Street. Facing the Hyde Street Pier you make a left and pass the San Francisco Swimming Club. The real name for this trail is the Golden Gate Promenade, which starts at Aquatic Park passes Fort Mason and the Marina Green and ends at Fort Point near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Promenade is a scenic three mile walk or bike ride, if you decide to take it, intead of riding the bus.

The area above is called Aquatic Park, if anyone wants to swim in the water around San Francisco then this is the safest place to do it. The beach out by the ocean is really unsafe. You also must know there are no lifeguards at any of the beaches around the city. Several people have swam between here and Alcatraz Island in the past. Now continue to follow the shore line around the bay.

Looking back toward the Wharf.

The white building off to the left is where we started, and just below them you can see a small beach. The grandstand area is a good place to sit and view the Blue Angels Air Show (see Fleet Week on Home Page), or watch the fireworks on the 4th of July. The building on the right is the San Francisco Maritime Museum.

The Marine Museun

The Museum is a part of the National Historic Park Service, it is located at the foot of Polk and Beach Street. The museum is open daily from 10a.m. - 5p.m. and the admission is Free. The exhibit includes the following plus much more. See large painted figureheads, one-of-a-kind artifacts and historic photographs about the California Gold Rush of 1849, and a Steamship Room which has displays of steam engines small and large.

Looking toward the Municipal Pier.

As we move on, off to our right is the Municipal Pier, and on the left is where the San Francisco Sea Scouts have their meetings and boats they work on.

Looking out on the Municipal Pier.

In the middle of this picture is the Municipal Pier, and behind it and at the very end, and to the right, is Alcatraz Island. Out at the very end of the pier is a good place to take photos or just fish.

Photo from end of pier.

If you take time to walk out to the end of the pier you may be able to get a good photo of the city, like the one above.

Sign at entrance to Fort Mason.

We are now at one of the entrances to Fort Mason, and it is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas. As you can see it has a long steep hill to climb, but you can take your time and enjoy the sights along the way to Fort Mason's Main Entrance.

One of the Hostels in San Francisco.

Along the trail is one of the hostels in San Francisco, I do know you can stay there very cheaply, and this one is close to a lot of very interesting sights and attractions. The only drawback is the view, see below.

View of Golden Gate Bridge.

If you don't know, that is the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, and the buildings down below is where we are headed. This view is from the trail, but from the Hostel they have all those trees blocking the view. (See photo below). I wish I had a view like this from my apartment..

Walking down trail toward park.

We are finally starting to walk downhill, and the row of trees that are shading the trail are now coming to an end. We can see daylight and a beautiful open area ahead.

Looking at skyline from trail.

This park, with a view of San Francisco's skyline, is where several buildings were demolished several years back. Sometimes different organizations hold special events here. They usually fence in the entire area and charge admission to enter. Now head off on the trail to the right, it turns into a gravel trail from here to Fort Mason's Main Entrance.

Park Ranger on a horse.

We are now at the end of the trail to Fort Mason and you may have seen a park ranger on a horse along the way. These rangers can give you a ticket if you break the law, and they will give out parking tickets if you park in the wrong place in the National Parks.

The next stop on my Photo Tour is "Fort Mason", to go there Click Continue Tour below.

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Photographed and created by David T. Smith

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