Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Presidio-From Post to Park

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Presidio-From Post to Park

Article excerpt

This year, Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco celebrates its Silver Anniversary.

For its 22nd birthday, in 1994, it was given a very special gift: The Presidio. Yes, that Presidio.

In 1972, the GGNRA was created, and the Presidio, one of the nation's oldest and most beautiful military posts, was included within its boundaries. In 1989, as a direct result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act, the United States Army announced that the post would be transferred to the National Park Service.

One man's loss is truly another's gain.

On September 30,1994, the Presidio's 1,480 acres were officially added to the GGNRA. Nearly 70 percent (1,000 acres) of the new park will be devoted to open space. The former military base's 300acre historic forest will be maintained.

The GGNRA, which boasts an astounding 74,000 acres, stretches along 28 miles of coastline in San Francisco and Marin and San Mateo counties. The largest single open-space reserve in the Bay Area, it is nearly 2.5 times the size of San Francisco. Its 20 million annual visitors are more than twice the combined visitation of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone.

Along with the world-famous landmarks that the GGNRA has to offer - Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, Cliff House, Fort Point, and Marin Headlands - are a wealth of recreational opportunities. Visitors can experience world-class sailboarding at Crissy Field on San Francisco Bay; there are numerous campsites for backpackers and car campers; and a diverse network of trails (to miles) for hiking and fireroads (14 miles) for bicycling criss-cross the park. And don't pass up Presidio Golf Course, one of the oldest on the West Coast. The first nine holes of the historic course were constructed in 1895. Once a members-only facility, the Presidio Golf Course is now undergoing conversion to public use. …

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