SWEAT SF: 5 Trails For Every Type of San Franciscan
2017 is all about new trails to explore — so get out with these five and let us know how the sweat goes.
For the Casual Alpinist: Twin Peaks to Mt Sutro
Nothing says “I’ve got my shit together” like summiting Twin Peaks before sunrise, even if your proudest accomplishment of late is qualifying for traffic school. Nobody will be the wiser after you've traipsed 922 vertical feet before everyone else has tackled their first Nespresso.
Don’t be afraid of Mount Sutro forest, behind Sutro Tower. Though the trails aren’t well-marked, Sutro Forest is worth wading into. Even if you get lost you’ll end up in schwanky Cole Valley, Ashbury Heights or the Parnassus side of the UC medical campus - so have fun choosing your own adventure. And be sure to pat yourself on the back for getting that point off your driving record.
For the Friend who Shows Up Wearing Fancy Boots: Stow Lake - Strawberry Hill Loop
We all have that friend. No need to nix the adventure. Just make a beeline for Stow Lake instead. You’ll find a mile-long, multi-use path circling a quasi-wild, turtle-filled stopover for migratory birds. It's also home to mallards, geese, and owls — and occasionally a creature who resembles all three species at once (don’t ask).
Strawberry Hill's a man-made marvel easily accessible from Stow Lake, even in kitten heels. If you feel like getting high -- without forgetting the way back to your parking spot -- follow the stone staircase to the top of the hill for a 360-degree view of the City. On a clear day you can see forever (or at least to the Farallons).
For the Instagrammer: Cavallo to Golden Gate Bridge to Battery Spencer to Kirby Cove
Remember how you moved here for NatGeo-worthy destinations within a stone’s throw of City Target? Now’s the time to check a few off the bucket list. Cross the bridge to Fort Barry, and follow the trail along the bay. Eventually it becomes Conzelman Road, which takes you to Battery Spencer. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Kirby Cove's just around the bend. Camping here is one of life’s pinch-me-is-this-real experiences. Epic pano photo opp? Check. Rope swing? Check. FOMO-inducing Insta fodder? Check. Just don’t blame us if your significant other gets upset you didn't take a knee and pop the question -- this is the place for it, IOHO.
Do a search for "Kirby Cove Camping Reservations" and book a spot in the fall during a full moon. Then cross your fingers Karl the Fog's too busy enjoying Outside Lands to crash your party.
For those in Search of the Sublime: Matt Davis Trail, Stinson Beach
You know the old chestnut, “the mountains are calling and I must go?” Well, even nature-craving newbies can bask in Muirtopian glory on the Matt Davis Trail. Feed your soul as you watch the sun melt into the Pacific Ocean. See? It’s almost as if 2016 never even happened.
Don’t head out without a flashlight. Even cheery Mt Tam can feel a little Blair-Witchy, upside-down-worldy once the sun sets.
For the Ninja: “Ninja Loop” Marin Headlands
This adventure starts with a trip to the App store, for Strava’s key to unlocking these stealthy slopes. You’ll encounter not one, but two, mile-long ascents — one up Miwok, the other up Marincello. Ultra runners from all fifty states flock here once a year to test their mettle at the North Face Endurance Challenge Championship. But plucky San Franciscans can pop over any time they wish. Talk about “Type 4 fun.”
For you bobcat-loving Bob Cut readers: wake up early, and you just might grab (a glimpse of) these nocturnal pussies. Locals often spot them right before sunrise.