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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Upcoming Group Hike: Starr King Open Space in San Francisco

I recently published a small article about Starr King Open Space in Bay Nature magazine, and was pleased to hear from the editor, Dan, that a well-known lepidopterist in the city was thrilled by it. He'd never been there before and ended up seeing plenty of flowers, including rarities, and even some wildlife.

For the group hike of April 2013, I'd like to bring folks to Starr King Open Space on Sunday April 7th from 11 to 12:30.

Starr King Open Space is on Potrero Hill in San Francisco. It's relatively close to General Hospital, the 101 and 280, 23rd Street, and it was my backyard as I grew up here in the 80s and early 90s. I used to spend hours here, sliding down the hills on pieces of cardboard with other neighborhood kids, walking my dog, or watching the fog drape over Twin Peaks. I'm glad to know the place is protected now, and furthermore that with age you can even notice a lot more than when you were a kid---like seeing all the wildflowers and understanding how rare they are, like the mariposa lily.

We'll ramble around the 3.5 acres that make up this open space, visit a stone spiral in one of the meadows, see rock outcroppings that create a special habitat called serpentine grassland, and have a picnic with an amazing view of the city spread out before us.

Special Guests
Webb Green, Vice President of the Starr King Open Space (http://starrkingopenspace.org), will point out different kinds of wildflowers, many of which are rare and native. He's been on the board for a decade, and active with the land for twenty years. I'm hoping Julie Shumate, the President of SKOS, will attend with her kid, as they're good friends of mine.

Getting There
We will meet under the eucalyptus trees across the street from Starr King Elementary School (1215 Carolina Street, 94107--cross street is Coral Road) on Potrero Hill.

Bus: You can catch the 48 Quintara from 24th Street BART, or the 19 Polk from Civic Center BART---either will take you a few blocks from our meeting spot.

Car: Exit 101 to Cesar Chavez, go north on Potrero Avenue, turn right on 23rd, turn right on Carolina Street, proceed two blocks to Starr King Elementary School, and park.

Relevant Links

Map of the Area

View Larger Map


  1. Does one have to sign up to attend or just show up?

  2. Thank you for the good hike ideas. In the spirit of favorite little neighborhood hikes, have you ever done a loop in Upper/Outer Noe by connecting Billy Goat Hill and the Henry St. steps? In the spring, Billy Goat hill is full of wildflowers and the steps have lots of birdsong, tall trees and small gardens. In late summer, there is a patch of blackberries at the bottom of Billy Goat Hill. And mid-hill is a great rope swing with a view. One of the many little pockets of nature in SF.

  3. I'm a Hill Baby too. I lived at 1212 Carolina St, in the projects. Daddy worked at Higgins Lumber to support mom, and all us kids. 5 Total. I remember Fridays we'd get a bag of m&Ms if we ate all our dinner.