"All good things are wild and free." --Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 5, 2012


Looking south from Sign Hill
Credit: Friends of Sign Hill
For some odd reason it seems Sign Hill is a place many Bay Area people have never explored. How often have you looked at those letters on the flank of a hill, reading SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO THE INDUSTRIAL CITY, as you zoom up 101 towards San Francisco? 

If you'd like to explore this large and somewhat wild city park, which is also a rare grassland habitat with endangered animals, then join me on a kid-friendly hike later this month.
On Ridge Trail looking north at San Bruno Mountain

When: Sunday November 25th, 2012  10 am to 12 noon, drizzle or shine.

Letters Trail
What: This is the sixth group hike for adults and kids I'll have led this year. We'll traverse two miles in about two hours. Bring what you like, but I recommend lunch, snacks, and water. A camera and binoculars would enhance your experience as the views are incredible, and there is wildlife here, always. We'll take Ridge Trail to Letters Trail to Seubert, and end up on Ridge Trail. Most of the walk is mellow, though Seubert is uphill and with switchbacks.

I'm pleased to announce  Loretta Brooks and Chuck Heimstadt, local activists and naturalists, will join us. They're a treasure trove of information about the flora and fauna, and were instrumental in putting Sign Hill "on the map." They'll join as fellow hikers and casual conversationalists. (There's a chance a couple more local activists will join...keep posted!)
 Ridgeview/Stonegate entrance

Where: Meet at the parking lot at the end of Ridgeview Court in South San Francisco. Coming from San Francisco on the 101, exit onto 425C "South San Francisco. Turn right onto Sister Cities Boulevard, turn left at Stonegate Drive, and proceed uphill onto Ridgeview Court until you reach the parking lot at the end of the street and a sign reading "SIGN HILL PARK."

Ridge Trail
The Kid Factor: My three-year-old walked the planned route just fine. We brought a backpack to carry her, but she was fighting like a wildcat when we tried to load her. So she walked, stubborn as a teenager, and loved it. We're not racing, ever, so don't worry if you aren't much of a hiker. Come because this is an amazing series of trails to explore for adults and kids, right in the middle of the frenetic Bay Area. Though Ridge Trail is stroller-friendly, the rest of the hike is not--so use a backpack if your child is very young or a baby.

WhyWhy do these hikes instead of just doing it with the nuclear family? Simply to be around more like-minded adults while my kid can be around kids. It's about having fun the old-fashioned way. Previous group hikes this year have all been in San Francisco: McLaren Park, Bayview Hill, Visitacion Valley Greenway, Candlestick State Recreation Area, and a Heron's Head and India Basin combination hike.


jericahahn (at) hotmail.com
Hawk roosting on Sign Hill

For more information about Sign Hill Park, please visit:
 Friends of Sign Hill (friendsofsignhill.com)
San Bruno Mountain Watch (mountainwatch.org)

On Sign Hill, looking north at San Bruno Mountain