Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area


Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area is a group started by health care providers and park guides to help San Francisco Bay Area residents explore the parks near them while improving their mental and physical health.

Being outside in parks offers several benefits:

  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improves mood
  • Provides opportunities for physical activities
  • Can help reduce blood pressure in some people with hypertension
  • Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • Introduces neighbors to each other

Join Healthy Parks Healthy People for free, easy, and family-friendly nature walks every Saturday. Refer to the calendar below for information on when and where the walks meet. Click on the walk you are interested in for a more detailed description of the activity. In order to make the most of the nature walk, please be sure to dress comfortably, wear sneakers or walking shoes, bring a water bottle, and bring sun protection.

Stay up to date with Healthy Parks, Healthy People programs and news by liking us on Facebook!

For more information please contact us at health@instituteatgoldengate.org.

Upcoming Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area Events

 

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Healthy Nature Walk in Alviso

When: Sat, August 1, 9:00am - 11:00am

Where: Alviso Marina County Park, 1195 Hope St, Alviso, CA 95002

Where to Meet: Meet at the Marina parking lot.

Description: Take an easy 2-mile nature walk through the wetland marshes of this beautiful bayside park. Explore the fantastic views and unique wildlife that call this park home.

Contact: Questions? Call (408) 355-2240

Junipero Serra Park - San Bruno, San Mateo

When: Sat, August 1, 9:00am - 11:00am

Where: 1801 Crystal Springs Rd, San Bruno, CA 94066

Description: Park rangers and volunteer docents lead participants on a monthly hike, sharing information about the park’s unique features and the natural history. Take A Hike attracts individuals and families looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors while incorporating exercise and learning.

Contact: Questions? Call (650) 599-1306

Mt. Tam Nature Walk 

When: Sat, August 1, 9:00am - 10:00am

Where: Pantoll Ranger Station at Pantoll Campground - Mt. Tamalpais SP, Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, CA

Where to Meet: Please meet at the kiosk in the parking lot.

Description: A free “Healthy Parks Healthy People” stretching session and Park Ranger guided walk followed by refreshments at Mount Tamalpais State Park. The walk is designed with beginning hikers in mind. Healthy Parks Healthy People (HPHP) harnesses the power of parks and public lands in promoting the health of people and the environment. The easy, one mile, 30 minute walk starts and ends at Pantoll Ranger Station. We will pass thru lush foliage and trees along Old Mine Trail and will be met with fabulous views of the mountains and ocean looking out towards San Francisco from the veteran’s bench viewpoint. Parking is available at Pantoll Parking lot off of Panoramic Highway or you can take the bus to the park. The walk will leave just after the arrival of the Marin Transit Stage Route #61 at Pantoll at 9:04 AM. Participants should come prepared for changeable weather. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots and bring a water bottle. Restrooms and a water fountain are available at Pantoll. The walk will happen rain or shine. If you wish to embark on a longer hike afterwards, the Park Ranger can offer hike suggestions and give out free maps to those who are interested. HPHP activities will be ongoing at Mt. Tamalpais on the first Saturday of every month. A schedule will be posted online at www.parks.ca.gov/mttam. The bus schedule is available online at http://www.marintransit.org/routes/61.html. For more information, please visit: parks.ca.gov/mttam

Walk at the Park at Stow Lake

When: Sat, August 1, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Stow Lake Boathouse, Stow Lake Drive East, San Francisco, CA

Description: Our walks are free for all and require no pre-registration. Our professional RPD Guides will provide a short interpretive program designed specifically for each location. The staff will have first aid equipment and are certified in CPR. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department works in partnership with the Institute at the Golden Gate to provide the Healthy Parks, Healthy People program. HPHP Bay Area launched a coordinated effort to provide approachable, culturally relevant park programming for communities with high health needs. This event is organized by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (http://sfrecpark.org/). Please remember to bring your water and sunscreen. Check local weather forecasts – Trail Walks will be canceled due to unsafe conditions and/or rain. 

Contact: For more information email lisa.mchenry@sfgov.org

Nature Walk for Health at Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge

When: Sat, August 1, 10:00am - 11:30am

Where: 1 Marshlands Rd, Fremont, CA 94555. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Description: Take a break from your busy schedule and refresh your spirit with nature at the refuge. Take a guided nature walk on the Tidelands Trail and hear what makes this National Wildlife Refuge unique. The 1 1/3 mile walk traverses through endangered species habitat and offers great views of south San Francisco Bay. Meet in front of the Visitor Center.

Contact: (510) 792-0222

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

When: Sat, August 1, 10:00am - 11:00am

Where: Aquatic Park, 499 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Where to Meet: Meet at the Bocce Ball court near the top of the stairs located just west of the Maritime Museum and Aquatic Park beach.

Description: Join us and the San Francisco Senior Center for a ranger-guided walk exploring the history of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and Fort Mason. This one and a quarter mile loop walk will refresh your body and enliven your mind as history and health combine. Weather can be quite changeable so plan accordingly and please remember to bring water. This is a free public event. No registration required.

Contact: (415) 561-7170

Headlands Stretch & Stroll

When: Sat, August 1, 11:00am - 12:30pm

*Registration begins at 10:30am. There is lunch provided at 12:30pm - $10 for adults, $5 for kids

Where: Point Bonita YMCA, 981 Fort Barry, Sausalito, CA 94965,

Description: Step outside and enjoy the scenic views of the Marin Headlands as a naturalist leads you through a light hike and easy stretches that can help you ease the tension in your body. We’ll take stops in between to learn about the plants & animals in the Headlands! Come by for summer fun!

Nature Walk in Coyote Hills

When: Sat, August 1, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Where: Coyote Hills Regional Park, 8000 Patterson Ranch Rd, Fremont, CA 94555

Description: Combine being outdoors with a little bit of exercise and surprise yourself with how great it makes you feel. Join us for a leisurely stroll to explore and learn about the natural world around us and invigorate both the body and mind. No registration required; Drop-in program only. (12+ years)

Contact: (510) 544-3220

Hiking for Heartbeats - Presidio

When: Sat, August 1, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Where: Presidio Main Post Parking Lot, Anza Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129

Where to Meet: We will be meeting at the Main Post Parade Ground in front of the Presidio Visitor Center on 105 Montgomery St.

Description: Bring your loved ones out for a lovely hike in your national park. We’ll be making our hearts pump with stretches and light exercises before setting out to explore one of the various trails Golden Gate National Recreation Area has to offer. Wear comfortable exercise clothing you can move in and don’t mind getting dirty. Don’t forget your water bottles. All ages and fitness levels welcome. 

Contact: Please call the Presidio Visitor Center: (415) 561-4323 or visit: https://www.smore.com/bs1g, for reservations and program details.

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Walk along Lake Merced

When: Sat, August 8, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Where: Lake Merced - Meet at the Penguin Prayer Statue at Lake Merced Blvd Parking Lot

Description: This 4 mile loop trail includes beautiful views of San Francisco’s very own native wetlands providing opportunities to see bird species and impressive wild plants. Learn about the history surrounding the lake as we meet new animal and plant species alike. This event is organized by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (http://sfrecpark.org/).

Walk with a Doc in Pulgas Ridge, Redwood City

When: Sat, August 8, 10:00am – 11:00am

Where: Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, Redwood City, CA 94062. Parking on Edmonds Road.

Description: Enjoy a stroll with bilingual physician volunteer who can answer your health questions. All are invited to this free community health program. Walkers receive a free pedometer, bottled water, and a health snack. Join us and take a step towards better health! Presented by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the San Mateo County Medical Association Community Service Foundation

Sign up at smcma.org/walkwithadoc

Contact: (650) 312-1623

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Walk a Trail in McLaren Park

When: Sat, August 15, 10:00am – 12:30pm

Where: McLaren Park Trailhead - located on the parking lot southwest of Mansel St. and Visitation Ave.

Description: Join us for a walk on the Philosopher's Way trail, which meanders through McLaren Park, weaving onto vistas of the city and the Bay Area and into groves of redwoods and cypress. The 2.7 mile trail loop holds expansive views of the region. The walk starts with light stretching, followed by a guided walk along the trail, which contains 14 markers or "musing stations" that try to evoke perspectives on history and are intended to stimulate contemplation. This event is organized by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (http://sfrecpark.org/).

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Walk a Wetland at Heron’s Head Park

When: Sat, August 22, 10:00am – 12:30pm

Where: The EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park, 909 Florida, San Francisco, CA 94110-2819 (Near Jennings Street off Cargo way)

Description: You can learn all about the history and natural areas in an easy walk along San Francisco’s very own Bay Trail. Beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay are just one of the treasures you’ll observe on this walk. Our walks are free for all and require no pre-registration. Our professional RPD Guides will provide a short interpretive program designed specifically for each location. The staff will have first aid equipment and are certified in CPR. The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department works in partnership with the Institute at the Golden Gate to provide the Healthy Parks, Healthy People program. HPHP Bay Area launched a coordinated effort to provide approachable, culturally relevant park programming for communities with high health needs. This event is organized by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (http://sfrecpark.org/). Please remember to bring your water and sunscreen. Check local weather forecasts – Trail Walks will be canceled due to unsafe conditions and/or rain.

Contact: For more information email lisa.mchenry@sfgov.org

Contributing Partners

Bay Area Open Space Council
California State Parks
Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Crissy Field Center
East Bay Regional Park District
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, NPS
Greater Vallejo Recreation District
Institute at the Golden Gate

John Muir National Historic Site, NPS
Latino Outdoors
Marin County Parks
Marin Health and Human Services

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District
National Park Service, Pacific West Region
Network for a Healthy California
Point Bonita YMCA, YMCA of San Francisco

Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Point Reyes National Seashore, NPS

Rosie the Riveter / WWII Home Front National Historical Park, NPS

San Francisco Bay Trail Project
San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, NPS

San Francisco Parks Alliance
San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department
San Mateo County Parks
Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation
Santa Clara County Open Space Authority
SF State University
Solano County Department of Health and Social Services
Solano County Parks and Recreation Division
Sonoma County Parks
U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region
U.S. FWS, Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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