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Denice’s Favorite Half Day Inside the Presidio

Posted By Denice Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, FOPS, Saturday, March 09, 2013
Updated: Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Presidio has served as a military reservation from its establishment in 1776 as Spain's northern-most outpost of colonial power in the New World. It was one of the longest-garrisoned posts in the country and the oldest installation in the American West. It played a key role in Spain's exploration and settlement of the borderlands, Mexico's subsequent control of the region from Texas to Alta California, and the United States' involvement not only in frontier expansion, but also in all major conflicts since the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. (From the National Historic Landmark Designation, June 13, 1962)

In 1972, the Presidio was included within the boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and became part of the National Park Service in 1994. Imagine such a jewel plopped down into the interior of a major cosmopolitan city of over 3 million people!

Visiting the Presidio may be the cheapest best day you'll ever spend in San Francisco.Those who live and work in San Francisco consider the Presidio Park as our own backyard playground. There are literally hundreds of trails and hikes inside this national treasure. Just 15-20 minutes from the Hotel Kabuki. You can catch the #22 Fillmore line to Lombard Street. Catch the #43 on Lombard to the Lombard entrance, then hike to the various spectacular views and old growth forests (yes, even redwoods) throughout the Park. The famous Lucus Digital Institute (think Star Wars post production!) complex will be on your right. Take some wine, some food and be prepared to stop frequently. A picnic on the Coastal Trail on top off one of the WW1 bunkers was a great way to savor every delicious minute.

One of my favorite hikes is 1.4 miles- from the Arguello Gate connect to Tennessee Hollow and Inspiration Point to the Historic Main Post. A spur trail connects to El Polin Spring, where Spanish Soldiers used to stop and drink on a dusty day. The Presidio was originally founded on this source of fresh water! It's a moderate trail and is multiuse- you will have to look out for cyclists on the lower trail.

After your hike, head to Crissy Field and the Warming Hut for a casual bite or drink or even a lovely afternoon spent sitting in the sun and watching the lively activity on Union Street in the Marina District.

Denice Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, FOPS

General Chair, Mid-Year Program

Tags:  Hike  Presidio 

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