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Hidden History Hikes  

Peter Tannen Hidden History Hikes Hits 20 Hikes! - Learn about 5 more SF neighborhoods and their parks and open spaces (not covered in prior 3 classes.) These five 2-1/2 hour hikes will explore The Presidio: Tennessee Hollow & El Polin Spring, East Fort Miley to the Legion of Honor, & Baker Beach to Mountain Lake; The Castro & surrounding hills, & Potrero Hill. 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. Transit directions/parking advice provided. All are one-way hikes. Optional post hike no-host lunch. Session 1 - Potrero Hill: SF’s other Crookedest Street, community gardens, stairs, downtown views, Julia Morgan’s 1922 Potrero Hill Neighborhood House interior, fascinating churches. Potential guest lecturer: Member of Potrero Hill Neighborhood Boosters. Session 2 – Presidio’s Tennessee Hollow Watershed/El Polin Spring: Presidio's largest watershed, ongoing & completed creek restoration, archaeological evidence of SF’s first suburb, a long-time Ohlone legend, forests. Session 3 – The Castro & Surrounding Hills: Pink Triangle Park, Kite Hill, Golden Fire Hydrant, site of old Jewish Cemeteries, exterior of Mission St. Francis de Asis & cemetery, murals. Potential guest lecturer: SF-based mural artist Mona Caron, who created 3 murals on this hike. Session 4 - East Fort Miley to the Legion of Honor: 1902 gun batteries, Veterans Administration Hospital, Octagon House or "Merchant's Exchange Lookout," Battery Chester, Holocaust Memorial, Lincoln Highway, Monuments to 1st world organizer of women and arrival of the first Japanese naval ship. Confirmed guest lecturer: John Martini: historian, lecturer, retired national park ranger (25 years – mostly in SF) Session 5 - Baker Beach to Mountain Lake: 1900 Battery Chamberlain, Lobos Creek (last SF free-flowing stream), Lobos Valley Nature Trail, old Public Health Service Hospital & cemetery; Arion Press gallery, recently restored Mountain Lake, & site of sinkhole that swallowed a Seacliff mansion in 1995. 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.)


  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University
    835 Market Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Phone: (415) 817-4243 Website: