Marin Headlands travel planner

Harmony in the headlands

Getting there
The headlands run north and west to Shoreline Hwy. (State 1)from Marin's southern tip under the Golden Gate Bridge. From SanFrancisco, exit U.S. 101 at Alexander Ave., continue north, thenhead west to Bunker Rd. to the Marin Headlands Visitor Center(below), where you'll find maps and books on the area.

ATTRACTIONS

Bay Area Discovery Museum. As of July, the 2 1/2-acreLookout Cove and outdoor Tot Spot will open; all other attractionscan be visited in the meantime. 9-4 Tue-Fri, 10-5 Sat-Sun; $7,under 1 free. 557 McReynolds Rd., East Fort Baker, Sausalito; www.baykidsmuseum.orgor (415) 339-3900.

Headlands Center for the Arts. Dinner and discussion ofartist David Ireland's work, Mar 7 (dinner $15, discussion $10;reservations required). Annual Dinner at the Hearth fund-raiser Mar27 ($100; reservations required). Project spaces 9-5 Mon-Fri, 12-5Sat-Sun; free. Building 944, Fort Barry, Sausalito; www.headlands.org or (415)331-2787.

Marin Headlands Visitor Center. This month the centersponsors wildflower walks, birding talks, and full-moon hikes (callfor details). 9:30-4:30 daily; free. Building 948, Field Rd. atBunker Rd., Fort Barry, Sausalito; www.nps.gov/goga/maheor (415) 331-1540.

The Marine Mammal Center. 10-4 daily; donations appreciated.Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito; www.marinemammalcenter.orgor (415) 289-7325.

Nike Missile Site. Open house Mar 7. Volunteers are welcometo assist with restoration, groundskeeping, and engineering effortsevery Sat. Guided walks Wed-Fri. Call for hours; free. Field Rd.,just up the hill from Marin Headlands Visitor Center; www.nikemissile.net or(415) 331-1540.

Point Bonita Lighthouse. Lighthouse is at end of a steep1/2-mile trail. 12:30-3:30 Sat-Mon; free. Contact the MarinHeadlands Visitor Center for more information.

The Tunnel Singer. Lee Ellen Shoemaker usually performs,weather permitting, Sundays at noon at Construction (Bunker) 129,at the top of Hawk Hill (before the one-way road descent) onConzelman Rd. To confirm performance dates and times, check www.tunnelsinger.com orcall (415) 665-4543.

HIKES

From Battery Spencer. On this 1 3/4-mile round-trip hike,the descent from the parking lot leads to Kirby Cove, a pocketbeach with a from-below view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Nearbycampsites are available ($25 per night, reservations required;800/365-2267). From San Francisco, exit U.S. 101 at Alexander Ave.,turn left at end of ramp to go under highway, then turn right onConzelman Rd. and follow it 1/4 mile to the trailhead.

From Bay Area Discovery Museum. Uphill from the east side ofthe museum, a 3/4-mile trail (1 1/2 miles round trip) climbs tolookout spots over Battery Cavallo. Trail starts at east side ofmuseum.

From Construction (Bunker) 129 tunnels. The short climb tothe top of Hawk Hill, above Construction (Bunker) 129 tunnels,offers great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the opportunity tosee hawks Aug-Nov. From gun pit beyond the tunnels, follow signs upthe hill.

From Rodeo Beach parking lot. The Coastal Trail climbs 1 1/2miles (3 miles round trip) to the top of Hill 88 for views of RodeoBeach, Bird Island, and the Farallon Islands. Take main trail fromthe fire gate in the parking area.

From Tennessee Valley Rd. The easy downhill slope alongTennessee Valley Trail (2 miles one way) is one of the niceststrolls in the headlands, with a pretty beach as its end reward.Trailhead is at the end of Tennessee Valley Rd., off State 1.

MORE READING

Produced by the Headlands Center for the Arts in 1989,Headlands: The Marin Coast at the Golden Gate (University of NewMexico Press, Albuquerque; $15 at the Headlands Center for theArts; 415/331-2787 ext. 28) is a nice history of the area,including interviews with soldiers stationed at the headlands and atimeline from Miwok occupancy through the military'swithdrawal.

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