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Marin Headlands

Headlands host beauty and history of San Francisco Bay Area
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview:  The Marin Headlands are intoxicating and sobering. The hills north of San Francisco are peppered with relics of America's wars, so in ... more »

Tips:  Check the weather forecast before going; if the forecast calls for fog or rain, it might be best to wait another day (though early... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Point Bonita Lighthouse

The short walk out to this lighthouse at the tip of the continent is unforgettable: You cross an old suspension bridge (two at a time just to be safe) high above a rocky outcrop for a quick tour of an old brick tower and huge lamp that helped guide mariners into the San Francisco Bay and away from the rocks nearby. Dress for gusty winds. Open... More

2. Battery Mendell

A large, decaying concrete structure that once held an enormous anti-ship gun now provides a platform for the most stunning vistas in the Headlands. Nearby Bird Island (painted white by their scat) attracts avians by the hundreds or thousands while waves crash at the base of sheer cliffs below. One of the best places in America to photograph a... More

3. Nike missile launch site

Tours here are fascinating and a bit terrifying. A park employee takes you down into a launch bay where disarmed examples of huge Nike anti-aircraft missiles await. These biggest of these missiles were designed to thwart an attack by exploding a nuclear warhead near a fleet of enemy bombers (it's small comfort to learn that intercontinental... More

4. Fort Cronkhite

Surfers, picnickers and hikers have replaced the soldiers who lived here in years past. An excellent four-mile hike takes in the Coastal, Wolf Ridge and Miwok trails.