Jack Early Park - Huntington Falls - Corona Heights


City Escapes

San Francisco harbors some green, serene pocket parks. Here are three of our favorite urban getaways—perfect places for your own Super Sunday touchdown.

Jack Early Park

Jack of Hearts

Once upon a time, a tiny patch of land on Telegraph Hill was deemed too steep for beautification. But in 1962 Jack Early took the responsibility of planting it himself. And plant he did, hauling shrubs and trees up the 63 steps from Grant Avenue for more than 30 years. Eventually residents and neighbors pitched in to help. Today, it’s a beautiful spot we can all check out. When you’re there, you’ll probably feel like you’re the only person who knows about it. And with views of the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge, it’s a good place to impress a date or out-of-town visitors. Secluded escapes like this are pure SF: enjoy.

Look for the entrance to Jack Early Park on Grant Ave., north of Chestnut St. near Pfeiffer St.

Falls? In San Francisco?

They may not be as grand as Yosemite’s Bridal Veil or Vernal Falls, but the artfully designed—and totally artificial—Huntington Falls in Golden Gate Park are an endearing close-to-home alternative. The falls were reportedly inspired by outdoor pioneer John Muir and were paid for in 1894 by railroad magnate Collis Huntington as a gift to the city. Plunging into Stow Lake, the rushing water is a haven for the egrets, great blue herons, and other birds that make the lake their home. For more exploration, hire a paddle boat and cruise around—or cross the bridge to get a better look at the falls. Climb up to the top and soak it all in. Mr. Muir would approve.

The falls are on the eastern side of Strawberry Hill, in Stow Lake.

Park It Here

With views that rival those from Twin Peaks and none of the tourists, Corona Heights Park is an excellent weekend chill-out. Climb the 220 feet to the rocky “crown” of the park and you’ll savor a cityscape that stretches from downtown to Mount Butano and the Bay. Even the fenced-in dog park has panoramic views—great for that loveable Lab or mangy mutt. There are plenty of paths to walk, jog, or stroll. For a Super Sunday alternative, bring some chips and guacamole and plop yourself in front of this wide-screen display.

Entrance at the corner of Roosevelt Way and Museum Way.

TIP: The San Francisco Parks Trust Web site posts a number of programs for volunteers to help spruce up our local treasures. Check out the Corona Heights native grasslands restoration project February 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. Clean your green!

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