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Turkey Trot

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by Transit & Trails




Wildlife Sightings

by iNaturalist


Length: 9.05 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: Day Trip
Created by Ryan Branciforte

Park: 37.83622534 -122.5028801 park Marin Headlands (GGNRA)

  • Bay Area Ridge Trail


Our trot began at the Civic Center at McAllister and Polk, where we picked up the GG 70.  This bus makes several stops in the city before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, so there are many other pick-up options.  The ride takes you through the city, and over the bridge.  Riding on the bus over the bridge gives you a great new vantage point for seeing the sights as you go.  The bus dropped off at the Spencer bus pad.  Make sure to clip off, if you are using a Clipper Card, otherwise you will be charged the maximum amount.  Walk north on Monte Mar Drive, and then turn left to go under the highway.  The trailhead will immediately be visible after walking under the highway. 

We took the Morning Sun Trail to Alta Trail, where we headed south.  Not long after hiking, we were treated to city and bay views. 

We eventually came to the SCA Trail.  The trail winds along rolling hills, and has views of the ocean.  Occasional peeks at the bay, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge, reminded us how close we were to the city, despite how remote our surroundings felt.  There was some elevation gain, but mostly the trail was flat and mellow. 

We eventually met up with the Coastal Trail, which continued to head south towards the Golden Gate Bridge until we hit McCullough Road.  Here there is a brand new pit toilet.  After hiking for about 2 hours, this was a glorious sight.

Following the trail that crosses McCullough Road we came to a roundabout.  Here McCullough turns into Conzelman Road.  There is a trail that parallels Conzelman Road, we followed that toward the GG Bridge.  About a mile down the road is a turn off with parking, more pit toilets (functional but less than desirable), and a slight detour to Hendrik Point.  This might be the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, as well as an excellent place to have a bite to eat. 

After gobbling up Thanksgiving leftovers, we continued the trot along the trail that parallels Conzelman Road for about ½ mile until you catch a single track path on the right side of the road that takes you down to the bridge.  The bridge can be quite cold and windy. We all added extra layers, gloves, and hats for this portion of the journey.  On the city side of the bridge there is the option to pick up the 70 and head back, but to work of the Thanksgiving feast, we opted to keep on going.  We weren’t walking long until we stumbled upon the Crissy Field Warming Hut.  After the chilly bridge, this was a great place to refuel with some coffee and snacks.  Be warned, the warming hut closes at 5:00 sharp. 

As the sun was setting, we meandered down the Crissy Field portion of the Bay Trail.  This offers spectacular bridge, Marin, East Bay Hills and Alcatraz views.  The trail winds up through Fort Mason Green.  If you do this hike on a Friday, Off the Grid, a food truck extravaganza, is all set up and ready to treat your taste buds. 

We continued on through Fort Mason and past the Maritime Museum.  Our journey finally ended at Ghirardelli Square.  There are several buses that go through here to return you to your home, or you can even hop on one of the cable cars. 

Although this hike is slightly is nearly 10 miles, it never felt too strenuous, and I was surprised to find out we had hiked that far.  A great hike to show off our amazing city to visitors.   

Guest writer and avid TnT hiker Kate Kernerman

  • Jul 04

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