|Hidden History Hikes
Learn about more SF neighborhoods and their parks and open spaces during these five 2.5 hour hikes (not covered in prior 4 classes.)
We will HIKE (not walk) 2 to 4 miles on trails/stairs/streets & and climb up to 600 feet. Hiking boots strongly recommended.
Park/area history will be explained & guest speakers featured where possible.
Transit directions/parking advice provided. All are one-way hikes. Optional post hike no-host lunch.
Session 1 - The Castro to Cole Valley via Interior Greenbelt: The longest single block in SF, Vulcan and Pemberton Stairs, Mt. Olympus – the Geographic Center of SF & site of former Triumph of Light Statue, 1911 Auxiliary Water Supply System Ashbury Water Tank & valve control house, & Tank Hill.
Session 2 – Glen Pk. BART to Balboa Pk. BART via Erskine Park, Sunnyside Conservatory, & City College: secluded hilltop Erskine Park Natural Area, 1898 octagonal redwood Sunnyside Conservatory with hundred-year-old succulent and palm garden, SF City College with Diego Rivera Pan American Unity Mural, Giant Olmec Head, & Bufano’s St. Francis Made of Melted Guns.
Session 3 – Golden Gate Park: Stowe Lake, Strawberry Hill, remains of 1891-1906 Sweeny Observatory, Huntington & Rainbow Falls, Chinese Pavilion, hidden site of 1881-1896 Casino, Conservatory of Flowers, remains of Arizona Garden, New Deal-era horseshoe court, 1896 McLaren Lodge (home of John McLaren until 1943).
Session 4 – Presidio from Palace of Fine Arts to Golden Gate Bridge: 1938 Richard Neutra modernist house, Lawrence Halprin’s Letterman Digital Arts Center Campus with Yoda Fountain, Main parade grounds, Main Post Chapel with 1935 Victor Arnautoff fresco, new Korean War Memorial, San Francisco National Cemetery, 1914 Cavalry Stables, Pet Cemetery, Presidio Nursery, Dragonfly Creek, historic Fort Scott Log Cabin, & Golden Gate Overlook.
Session 5 - Pine Lake to West Portal Station via St. Francis Wood: One of few remaining natural lakes in SF, 1892 Victorian-style roadhouse, Lawrence Halprin’s redesigned Sigmund Stern Grove, Willis Polk’s 1936 Merced Manor Reservoir Pump Station, & 1912 St. Francis Wood Residence Park with fountains & original sales office.
Students will become familiar with and gain a greater appreciation of “off-the-beaten-path” parks in San Francisco that they have probably never visited and may be unaware of; learn about the history of each park, from the Native American period to the present day, including any current issues concerning park usage; learn about the basic geology of each park and it has influenced how humans have used the land; and be able to return on their own for further exploration and enjoyment and to share their knowledge with others.
A San Francisco resident for 35 years, Peter Tannen is a retired transportation planner and engineer, with a M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He has hiked and bicycled extensively in San Francisco, exploring out-of-the-way places. Peter has led hikes and bicycle rides for the Sierra Club and the Friends of Recreation and Parks (now SF Parks Alliance.)