Bay Nature magazineOctober-December 2004

Camping and Backpacking

Book Review: Tom Stienstra’s Bay Area Recreation

October 1, 2004

Tom Stienstra’s Bay Area Recreation, by Tom Stienstra, Foghorn Outdoors, 2004, 498 pages, $19.95 (


Tom Stienstra cover

In introducing his newest guide-book, Tom Stienstra writes, “Like many people, at one time I believed there was no place left to go in the Bay Area . . . Like many others, I once thought there was no place left to find.” He’s since proved himself wrong. Stienstra tackles 159 parks, refuges, reserves, preserves, regional wilderness and recreation areas, trails, and out-of-the-way spots, all collected in this exhaustive guide for Bay Area boating, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, and even flying. Stienstra also offers a breakdown of his recommended “Bay Area’s Bests,” including “Top 25 Hikes,” “Top 10 Waterfalls,” “Top 10 Dog Walks,” and “Top 10 Low-Tide Walks.” As the San Francisco Chronicle’s outdoors columnist with 25 years of outdoor writing under his belt, Stienstra knows where to bag a lingcod and how to find the Bay Area’s highest waterfall (Murietta Falls in Ohlone Regional Wilderness). The guide canvasses Marin and the North Bay, San Francisco, the Peninsula, the East Bay, Santa Clara County, and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

About the Author

Matthew Bettelheim is a freelance writer and a wildlife biologist with URS Corporation.

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