It's a quiet weekend for happenings in the Upper Haight, but with the holidays ahead, we're taking some time out to recommend some favorite—and possibly lesser-known—walks around the neighborhood to get you out of the house. Whether it's to have a much needed break from other people, or just to stretch and put that turkey to work, here are some of our favorites.
Mount Sutro: Looming cheerily over the Upper Haight, Cole Valley and the Inner Sunset is Mt. Sutro, also known as home of the giant radio tower. Mt. Sutro is actually host to an 80 acre cloud forest, replete with miles of hiking trails. The easiest entry is at Stanyan and 17th St.; we recommend bringing a map with you.
Mount Olympus: Just to the east of Mt. Sutro is Mt. Olympus, once enshrined as the geographical center of the city. The crest is accessible through Ashbury Heights and Upper Terrace, and though the view is partially obscured by trees that have grown up around the monument over the years, you still get the better part of a 360-degree view around the city. If you take your time, it's a leisurely hour-and-a-half hike from the Upper Haight to the top and back.
Oak Woodlands: Oak Woodlands is the little-known name of the familiar nook of live oak in the northeast corner of Golden Gate Park, between the Conservatory of Flowers and Fuchsia Dell. It's best accessed through the trails north of JFK Drive and east of the Conservatory. It's an easy, mostly flat walk that you can easily curtail or extend to a stroll through the AIDS Memorial Grove a little further down. Keep an eye out for wildlife and flowers in bloom.
Buena Vista Park: Always loved, never forgotten, Buena Vista Park is one of the most accessible vistas from the Upper Haight. Parts of the trail are a strenuous walk, but with the rain we're expected to have this weekend, it'll be a great chance to enjoy the freshly washed gravestone pavers lining the gutters.
Corona Heights: And if you're making your way as far as the crest of Buena Vista Park, you may as well extend the walk another half hour to Corona Heights. If you haven't given yourself the chance to hike to the crest, you owe it to yourself. Though bare and rocky at the crest, Corona Heights affords a clear line of sight down Market Street to the Ferry Building, east to the Oakland Hills and south across the Mission and Bernal.
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