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Secretly Awesome: The Fairy Homes Of Glen Canyon

The "Faery Lair." | Photos: Madeleine Felder/Hoodline
By Madeleine Felder - Published on March 14, 2017.

Only a few blocks from the Glen Park BART Station and the shops at Chenery and Diamond streets sits Glen Canyon Park, a 70 -acre space that's one of San Francisco’s wildest natural gems.

Plenty of flora and fauna call the park home, but legend has it that Glen Canyon also houses an especially unique set of residents: fairies.  

Previously, fairies have made their home in Golden Gate Park, but they've taken up residence in Glen Canyon as well. In fact, there are two fairy homes in the park: one on the unofficially named Banana Slug Trail, and the other near the Glen Ridge Co-op building.

“San Francisco is home to wizards, fairies, and even a few ogres. We’re not sure which fairies built these,” Joey Kahn, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department spokesman, said of Glen Park fairy homes.

As it happens, Paula Conway, a Glen Park resident, says she is responsible for the fairy home—located in the tree stump—that's filled with toys, memorabilia, and even a David Bowie CD.

Conway's fairy home. 

Says Conway of the location, “If I was a fairy, that’s where I would live.” She says she made it happen with supplies from the craft store, but it soon took on a life of its own, with hikers and children adding their own memorabilia.

Conway still tends to the home, keeping it clean and well-preserved. “I consider myself a steward of the fairies,” she explained. However, she does note that she's on the lookout for another fairy steward to help out.

The park's second fairy home is a beautifully carved piece of woodwork nestled in the trees near the Glen Canyon preschool.

Designed by Bay Area author and shipwright Tony Powell and installed in August of 2015, this "faery lair" is high enough in the brush that it remains undisturbed by preschoolers or hikers, but close enough for curious passersby to notice. Powell, who authored a book called The Faery Door, stops by his creation with his son Rio and checks for messages left by visitors; they also maintain a website where they post messages they receive, along with answers from the fairies who dwell within.

The fairy homes, while separate, are located close enough together that exploring them makes for a charming (and kid-friendly) walk through the area. So, as spring approaches and fairies notoriously become more active, be sure to stop by and pay them a visit.

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