IT'S A STRANGE TRAIL NAME -- but an accurate description. This portion of the California Coastal trail is located near the Golden Gate Bridge just minutes from downtown San Francisco. It's amazingly serene with close views of the iconic bridge, the Marin headlands, and rugged coastline below. And on a clear day you can see sailboats, maritime activity, and even the Farallon Islands looming on the ocean's horizon.
So what about that strange name Batteries to Bluffs? Well, the trail meanders along the bluffs where you pass by historic gun batteries once active during wartime to protect San Francisco Bay. The trail decends steep stairways to several beaches and at the east end lies Fort Point on the waters edge. The inactive gun batteries are now part of the ecology that augments the naturally scenic trails.
From the sandy bluffs and primitive staircases you get spectacular views of the rocky coast, sea birds, and a possible sea lion or whale if you're lucky. We enjoyed a picnic at Marshall’s Beach which is uncrowded with an intimate view of the Golden Gate Bridge and headlands.
The trail leads on but it was getting late, so we turned around to retrace our steps four miles back to the Sutro Baths. The trail provides a good workout in either direction, including the walk back to our car. Just think stair-master!
The San Francisco Presidio is a great place to enjoy and explore, especially on those rare warm sunny days. I've discovered the Golden Gate National Recreation Area has so much to offer, it’s hard to recommend one spot over the others. But definitely plan a day to visit if you get a chance. All you need to do is... keep an eye on the weather forecast.