Regional


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.

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

Upcoming Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area Events in February 2015

*Click on the maps to expand them. See the calendar at the bottom of the page for future events.

Healthy Nature Walk in Alviso

When: Sat, February 7, 9:00am - 11:00am

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

Important Information: 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: Questions? Call (408) 355-2240

Finding Fungi, Flora, and Fauna in Monte Bello

When: Sat, February 7, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Where: Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, Los Gatos, CA 95033, United States

Where to Meet: Meet at the Monte Bello Preserve parking lot located on Page Mill Road (across from Los Trancos Preserve), 7 miles west of I-280 or 1.5 miles east of Skyline Boulevard. Those traveling from I-280 on Page Mill Rd. should allow approximately 35 minutes travel time.

Description: Search together for fungi and other interesting winter sightings with docents Chris MacIntosh and Susan Bernhard on this 4-mile, moderately-paced walk along a route that will be determined by current weather and trail conditions. Come along with your curiosity open to discover whatever turns up along the way!

Contact: For more information, please call (650) 691-2150. For more information on parking, please visit this link: http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_monte_bello.asp#directions

Walk at the Park at Stow Lake

When: Sat, February 7, 10:00am - 12:00pm

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

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/).

Important Information: 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

Yoga in the Park

When: Sat, February 7, 10:00am - 2:00pm

Where: McNears Beach Park, 201 Cantera Way, San Rafael, CA

Directions: Park entrance is free. If interested, shuttle service will be provided from Pickleweed Park at 9:00am, otherwise meet at the snack bar in McNears Beach Park in San Rafael (201 Cantera Way). From Hwy 101 in San Rafael, take the exit for Central San Rafael east. Take 2nd St east, which merges into 3rd St, and then turns into Point San Pedro Rd. Follow Point San Pedro Rd for 3.6 miles, turn right at Cantera Way, and follow to the large parking lot at the end.

Description: This fun-filled, dynamic event offers a great way to get active while giving to a wonderful park, and giving to yourself! We will begin with service projects that will focus on beach clean-up, landscape maintenance, and habitat restoration. At noon we will switch gears and enjoy a 45-minute yoga class on a flat grassy area beside the bay. The class will be led by professional yoga teacher Daniel Rauck and will be suitable for all ages and ability levels. Free lunch provided by Whole Foods Market at 1pm. This is a Healthy Parks, Healthy People event with support from Lift Levantate through a Measure A Breathe/Respira Community Grant. We have joined forces with HPHP and Lift Levantate because we share a common goal: To increase opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities through exercise and healthy eating habits. Dress in layers you can get dirty and wear sturdy shoes for the service work. Bring comfortable clothes and a mat or towel for yoga. We will provide water, snacks, tools, and a limited number of extra yoga mats. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at McNears Beach Park. This event is limited to 100 participants so please RSVP to Volunteer Coordinator Kirk Schroeder at (415) 763-2977.  

Nature Walk for Health! – Don Edwards

When: Sat, February 7, 10:30am - 11:30am

Where: 2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont CA 94555. Meet in front of the Don Edwards Refuge 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.

Two-Become-One Yoga - Point Bonita

When: Sat, February 7, 11:00am - 12:30pm

Where: Point Bonita YMCA, 981 Fort Barry, Sausalito, CA, United States

Description: All program/event times are 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Optional lunch at 12:30 p.m. for a fee of $10 adults / $5 kids. Open up your heart and learn simple stretches & relaxation techniques done in partners. Learn to expand any relationship by connection through breath, play and touch. Two partners become one by fostering trust and support to keep the balance, focus and body alignment accurate. Bring your family member, friend, co-worker, and partner or meet someone new at Point Bonita YMCA! This yoga workshop is for all levels. Whether we are indoors or outdoors, you will also have the chance to enjoy the ocean view & peace around the Marin Headlands.

Nature Walk in Coyote Hills

When: Sat, February 7, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

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

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 on the trails along the marsh, the bay and a short walk across the hills. Get out and get moving! 12+yrs No registration required; Drop-in program only.

Contact: For more information call (510) 544-3220

Healthy Parks Healthy People - Hiking for Heartbeats

When: Sat, February 7, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

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

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.

Walk along Lake Merced

When: Sat, February 14, 10:00am – 1:30pm

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 a Trail at McLaren Park

When: Sat, February 21, 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/).

Walk a Wetland at Heron’s Head Park

When: Sat, February 28, 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/).

Important Information: 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