Urban Hikes – What started back in November 2014 as a team walk in the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area and up Bayview Hill, became a regular hiking program but focused primarily on well-known or less-known urban trails in San Francisco. Led by avid hiker, David, these hikes offer OPD paddlers, families, and friends with an opportunity to continue enjoying the outdoors in a group setting, while maintaining fitness levels. These hikes typically happen once or every other month on Sundays.
Some of the hikes and walks the team has enjoyed since 2014:
Visitacion Valley, McLaren Park, and the Excelsior District – Bordered by a section of Highway 280, Bayshore Blvd., and Genevea Ave., this unique southern part of San Francisco enjoys the San Bruno Mountain as backdrop and the Cow Palace as landmark. These neighborhoods are home to a culturally diverse population, including many students.
Duboce Triangle, Corona Heights, and Upper Market –These San Francisco neighborhoods north of Market Street and the Castro commercial strip offered hikers with an appreciation for tree-lined and steep streets, beautiful Victorian flats, along with contemporary apartments with views of the south east section of the City.
The Presidio –This hike took place during Fleet Week and was combined with the Blue Angels aerial shows. A stop at the abandoned gun batteries allowed the hikers to appreciate a special exhibit entitled "Home Land Security," presented by 18 international artists showing art works in various forms to explore the impact of living under the constant threats of today's world.
Dogpatch, Mission Bay, and the Embarcadero – This walk took hikers through a large industrial area being rapidly transformed; a historical district with the city's largest collection of 19th and early 20th century workers' cottages; and offered expansive views of the bay.
Eureka Valley and Dolores Heights – The highlights of this hike through this quiet and affluent neighborhood included: steep staircases with beautiful views; appreciation for the Victorian homes; and walks through micro neighborhoods like the Castro with its LGBT-pride rainbow flags.
Bay Bridge East Span – The group got to enjoy walking on this span, which opened back in September 2013. Gorgeous city views on one side and gigantic and impressive cranes lining up the Oakland port on the other side, were the treat of the day.
Golden Gate Heights and Forest Hill – Stairways, stairways, and more stairways leading to Grand View Park offered hikers with stunning views of the city: Golden Gate Park, the Sunset district, downtown San Francisco, and the ocean.
Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower – Away from the hustle and bustle of the North Beach Area, Telegraph Hill offered hikers with a quiet and primarily residential area, leading to Coit Tower. The gardens along Filbert Street up from Levi’s Plaza and the flock of parrots were an added treat.
Twin Peaks and Mount Sutro – This famous tourist attraction with spectacular views led hikers up stairways alongside century-old eucalyptus trees, some over 100 feet tall, to Mt. Sutro.
Bernal Heights – With its prominent radio tower atop an open parkland, Bernal Heights challenged hikers with steep streets and more stairs but offered in return wonderful views and a taste of community gardens.
Mount Davidson – Known as the highest natural point in San Francisco, Mt. Davidson surprised hikers with a park surrounded by city development as they soaked into city nature with eucalyptus and pine forests, grassland, and abundant fauna and flora.