Although it has been nearly six decades since Fort Funston—a former harbor defense installation to the southwest of San Francisco—was closed and made a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the coastal outpost still provides a great way to spend the day outside.

A view of the bluffs from the shoreline.

Just off of Skyline Boulevard, Fort Funston offers a series of trails and paths that lead up to the 200-foot high sandy bluffs that border the beach. The trails provide a view of both the ocean and the vegetation and trees that inhabit the surrounding hills. 

A few steep paths lead down to the beach at the base of the bluffs, where eroded concrete from the old coastal outpost has gathered. Other remains of the installment can be found along the beach, half-buried in the sand, and along the tops of the cliffs, that can be reached by hiking up the trails.

Remains of the coastal outpost, now partially buried in sand, at the base of the cliffs.

Generally, strong winds and currents, as well as icy cold water, mean swimming is heavily advised against, although fishermen are typically a common sight along the water. However, tightly packed—and metallic—sand makes it easy to spend a few hours walking up and down the beach. Though be sure to check the weather before leaving, because the strong winds can also make the beach quite chilly, so you might need a coat.

Dogs are also allowed off-leash at Fort Funston, making the beach a perfect place to spend the day with the whole family, including the dog. If you go during low tide, the water is far enough out to provide ample space to walk along the shoreline, either by yourself or in a group, while maintaining plenty of distance from other people, although you may have to go through a few puddles.

The view of the ocean from the beach.

To find out more about Fort Funston, visit the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy webpage here.

Katherine Welander

Katherine Welander is a senior and an Editor-in-Chief of the M-A Chronicle. During her time writing for the Chronicle and designing for The Mark, she has enjoyed writing well-researched stories about things that happen in the M-A community. In her free time, Katherine enjoys running, listening to music, and spending time with their friends. This year, Katherine is looking forward to being back in the classroom and working with other writers face-to-face.

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