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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photo Recap of the Junipero Serra Park Hike from May, 2014

It was late spring when a group of us--many new faces, too--showed up at Junipero Serra Park, an easy to miss natural area west of 280 and south of Serramonte Mall, ten minutes from San Francisco. 

We walked about a mile and half in the 108-acre park, circling and rising high into the park on Quail Loop Trail, mostly walking under coast live oaks. Our picnic was at the Upper Meadow Playground, then we meandered downhill, resting at the base of the park where El Zanjon Creek flows.
Strollers on the trails -- did just fine, despite the dirt trail and me taking folks the long way
There's a phenomenal playground near the peak of Junipero Serra Park, including a 50 foot long slide
 Opportunity to sit on Dad's lap
Family togetherness

Sun kissed baby

Kids in the golden grass

The looks of knowing you've had fun after a day in the oak woods and California grasslands


Southbound on 280: Exit Crystal Springs Road, staying in the right lane. Right on Crystal Springs Road, continue half mile or so to parking lot on left side.

Northbound on 280: Exit San Bruno Ave, go under freeway, turn left to go on 280 southbound. Follow directions, above -- whew!

Address: 1801 Crystal Springs road, San Bruno, CA 94066

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Photo Recap of the Father's Day Group Hike at Fort Funston

The group of us--some regulars to these Hill Babies group hikes, others new--met up on the cliffs above Fort Funston in San Francisco, June 15, 2014.  

We took the Step Ladder Trail to Ocean Beach, passing under hang gliders and faint clouds, and picnicked on the sand. Some left after playing and eating, but a group of us continued on to complete the Low Tide Loop

The water licked at our heels, the tide coming in, kids screeching with happiness, giddy at the constant motion of water and wind. Dogs leapt through the surf, chasing birds and balls. Babies laughed, kids clambered up sand slopes, and parents just enjoyed being outside on one great day with no real agenda but wandering around. 
A great place for a hike

Kids on the scree slope
Bare footin it

Sea foam on Ocean Beach
Two dads
Two more dads
Waving arms, walking big 
The excitement of escaping the oncoming tide
The noble dog
Nature slide
Good people, all 

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 27, 2014 Hike: McLaren Park and Charity and the Jam Band!

Jerry Garcia Amphitheater
This hike begins at the Louis Sutter Roundhouse playground in McLaren Park, and ends at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. 

We are soooo lucky that there's a FREE concert, and Charity and the Jam Band are playing! It's a high energy band that plays "people's music" that kids LOVE--see their website here.

What more could you ask for? Sunshine, a walk with your loved ones, new friends, and live music! See you on the 27th!

Jessica and Marshall
(parents of Genevieve, Zoe, and Calliope)

The Details
  • Saturday, September 27, 2014
  • Meet between 10:30-11 am at the Louis Sutter Playground alongside McNab Lake (near University and Woolsey Streets in the Portola neighborhood). There are bathrooms and drinking water, and two parking lots. 
  • Hike begins at 11:30. We'll begin by circling McNab Lake, keeping an observant eye out for coots, ducks, turtles, and little fish. Maybe we'll see an egret or heron. 
    • Then we will go uphill on a single-track dirt trail, suitable for all ages of walkers, or single-size off-road strollers. 
    • At the top of the hill, we can eat a leisurely lunch and enjoy the view. Bring picnic food and water.
    • Time permitting, we'll cross Mansell Avenue to the McLaren Park Observation Tower OR we explore the single-track trails above the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, looking for hawks and scrub jays as we walk past the coyote brush and under the Monterey pines. 
  • Arrive at the Charity and the JamBand Show by 1:00. The show, located at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, is free and fun. You'll find bathrooms, water, and kiosks with snacks for sale. 
  • Leave when you want. The group part of the hike basically ends at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, as some folks will want to stay and boogie down, and some may want to wander on. 
    McLaren Park
  • Regarding dogs, if you have one -- Please consider the group's comfort level and the fact that some children are nervous around dogs, especially high energy and medium-large sized ones. Absolutely friendly dogs are welcome, but please predict your dog's behavior around a group of hyper kids before you grab that leash.  Thanks!  
Via car to the Louis Sutter Playground: From Portola Avenue in southeastern San Francisco, head west on Woolsey Street. The street ends at University. You can park here, or zig zag to the left into the McLaren Park driveway that leads to a small parking lot. A second parking lot is located around the corner, off of Yale Street (cross street is Wayland)

Via car to the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater: This amphitheater is located off of John F. Shelly Drive in McLaren Park. There is a free parking lot, but you can park along John F. Shelley Drive too.

Public Transportation: 

  • The 54 Felton will take you near Louis Sutter Playground along University. 
  • The 29 Sunset drives through McLaren Park on Mansell, a short distance above  both the Louis Sutter Playground and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater. 
  • The 52 Excelsior stops a couple blocks from the west border of the park, at Persia and Russia. 

View Louis Sutter Playground Roundhouse in a larger map