Alison joined Bay Nature in November, 2011 in a new position designed to boost the institute's web presence and cover ongoing nature issues. She has worked in journalism for more than a decade as a former newspaper reporter turned radio producer turned web editor with each rendition bringing her closer to her dream of covering environmental issues. In 2009 she graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism with a masters in science journalism and moved to the Bay Area as a freelancer. She co-founded Way Out West, a site dedicated to covering Bay Area environmental news, and following a good year's run closed up shop after seeing the difficulty of monetizing online content. Alison is still dedicated to figuring out the puzzle of funding good journalism. She's an avid hiker and traveler, although her adventures have taken a tamer turn since the birth of her son, Oliver, who she's nevertheless enthusiastically introducing to the natural world, one tree and one bug at a time.
This hike will take you to the top of one of the most famous lookout spots in the Marin Headlands, and is an easy jaunt from San Francisco.
Get there by taking the twisy and scenic Conzelman Road, which offer many amazing lookout spots with ample parking. Pull over and take in the breathtaking views, and make sure your breaks are in good working order as you enter the steep and narrow one-way section.
Hawk Hill comes up rather suddenly at a large tunnel in the hillside. Park in front and then make your way through the tunnel and abandoned Nike missle site until you come out the other end, then take the trail up to the peak.
At the top you'll get 360-degree views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate, and the Headlands as it stretches out to Point Bonita. Hawk Hill gets its name from – you got it– the hawks and other raptors that use the strong sea breeze to stay bouyant and search for prey. A lot of research into migrating hawks is done on this hill.
There are some disused and closed trails, so be sure to stay on the well trodden path for safety. You can also walk down the staircase leading back to Conzelman Road, and then back west to the parking lot if you want to extend your trip.