With 100 acres of bayside open space, Crissy Field is a delight for strollers, joggers, windsurfers, bicyclists, dog walkers, and people looking to spot birds and even sea lions or dolphins. Spring is a good time to see many native wildflowers in bloom. You can mosey along the Golden Gate Promenade while admiring spectacular views of the Golden...
With 100 acres of bayside open space, Crissy Field is a delight for strollers, joggers, windsurfers, bicyclists, dog walkers, and people looking to spot birds and even sea lions or dolphins. Spring is a good time to see many native wildflowers in bloom. You can mosey along the Golden Gate Promenade while admiring spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Strait; check out the marsh, lagoon, and dune scrub; picnic; or sunbathe at the beach.
This part of the Presidio was once a coastal wetland, but was filled in for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. In 1921 the army constructed Crissy Airfield here, which served as the center for West Coast military aviation until 1936, when Hamilton Field opened in Marin. After the Presidio became part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, the tidal marsh and lagoon were restored, transforming Crissy Field into a shoreline park.
Standing on a promontory near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, the classic 19th-century Fort Point was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the harbor, and abandoned five years later when newer rifled cannons made its muzzle-loading cannons obsolete. In the courtyard, which is often extremely windy, cannons and other military equipment are on display. If you look up, you will see the intricate rust-red ironwork on the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge. The sound of cars crossing high above you mingles with the howling wind and the surf crashing against the rocks below.
The ground-floor rooms, which contain historical displays, are accessible via a designated path that winds around the edges of the central courtyard; look for a sign on the left shortly after you enter the fort. The upper floors can only be reached via stairs. Near the visitor center and gift shop is a small auditorium where videos about the fort and the construction of the bridge are shown regularly. The video about the fort gives wheelchair riders a virtual tour of the inaccessible upper floors.
Available for pickup at Fort Mason, Building 201; five days advance notice is required. To reserve, you can send email via the NPS website or call 415-561-4958; (800) 877-8339 Federal Relay Service, (877) 877-6280 VCO, (877) 877-8982 Speech to Speech, (800) 845-6136 Spanish, (866) 893-8340 TeleBraille
Crissy Field lot near the East Beach entrance off Mason St.,has the most spaces and best access. Several are in the lot behind the Warming Hut and in the lot at Fort Point.
In the East Beach parking lot near the outdoor shower and at the Fort Point parking area. The older restrooms just west of the Warming Hut are also accessible.
A somewhat sheltered picnic area with accessible tables is near the marsh boardwalk at Crissy Field, close to the East Beach parking lot. Accessible picnic tables with a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands are east of the Warming Hut.
Reviewed by Eileen Ecklund, June 20, 2012