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Enjoy The Views On A Crystal Clear Day at Fort Baker

Short easy hike to explore Fort Baker. Longer hike up Coastal Trail to SCA Trail to take in the view. Dogs on leash at Fort Baker, no dogs on Coastal Trail.

All we can say is WOW! Get outside and see the sights right now. The wind has swept away all the moisture and particulates and has left crystal-clear visibility. You can see for miles.

Fort Baker, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge makes a great destination for seeing the bridge and San Francisco Bay with Angel Island, Alcatraz Island and the city skyline. The fort lies just next to the magnificent bridge, in a small wind-protected cove.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) offers two wonderful guided walks, each taking about 45 minutes. The first, Fort Baker History Walk: Horseshoe Cove, A Water Haven in San Francisco Bay, takes you around the small and delightful Horseshoe Cove with its small breakwater sheltering the boats of the Presidio Yacht Club. The tour guide tells the fascinating history of the army's use of the cove as a underwater mine depot that protected the Golden Gate, and later as a military hospital that supported San Francisco's Letterman General Hospital. The Presidio Yacht Club is open to civilians, but remains connected strongly to its military roots.

A second tour, Fort Baker History Walk: Innovations in Army Post Life guides you deeper in the cove along the Fort Baker Parade Ground Walk. This tour tells of the living spaces and lives of the soldiers that resided here in the early 1900s through World War II. Many of the barracks are beautifully restored in the original style of Colonial Revival. The main parade ground that was once a space dedicated to drills and marches, is now a beautiful sweep of lawn that begs for a small game of frisbee or soccer. In the background, the former artillery barracks now house the renowned Murray Circle Restaurant and Cavallo Point Lodge. The resort is tastefully understated and its services seem to enhance the area. It is certainly worth a visit to partake of a little appetizer and a drink at the Farley Bar in the former barracks after your exploration.

We also wanted to get up higher for more of a birds-eye view, so we climbed the Coast Trail pedestrian path up under the Golden Gate Bridge and across Conzelman Road to get some stellar views of the city and bay. Coastal Trail has miles of potential trail stretching to the Rodeo Beach and the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, but we wanted to stay close to the Bridge and Fort Baker, so we turned around after a short ways up. Fort Baker remains a testament to the amazing fortitude of early Americans, dedicated to protecting our golden shores.

If you are adventuring with kids, there is plenty to do after the walk at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

See the book "Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County" for more details. Click here to go the Marin Trails website, where you can find more information about the book.

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