Veloviews for October 28th, 2022 – Cycling the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA

View of Golden Gate Bridge

If you live in the San Francisco area, then you know places to ride your bike are plentiful. If you’re not from the bay area but you’re there for a visit and you have your bike with you, then a ride to the Marin Headlands should top your list.

Golden Gate Recreation Area

The Marin Headlands is part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area. The Golden Gate Recreation Area is a part of the National Park Service (NPS) and includes Alcatraz, Muir Woods, the Presidio, and the Marin Headlands.

In order to access the Marin Headlands, cross over the Golden Gate Bridge and look for exits to Muir Woods or Sausalito. In fact, many cyclists begin their ride through Marin in Sausalito. Some riders venture out from the city. Depending on your route and how you approach this ride, chances are you’ll be able to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Military History

From the 1890’s, the Marin Headlands was used to deter potential enemy ships from entering San Francisco Bay. It also has several batteries and bunkers. These military posts were used until the end of WWII. During the Cold War, most of the gun batteries were decommissioned.

Cycling Hawk Hill and Marin

The most well-known ride to do is the Marin Headlands Loop, which is a little over 20 miles. This loop can either start in Sausalito or Mill Valley, which is a little further north.

While this ride doesn’t take you over the Golden Gate Bridge, it does allow you to climb up Hawk Hill, the almost 1000-foot viewpoint in the Marin Highlands. This is mostly a long and windy road with 1,700 feet of elevation gain. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

From there, you can ride the road that runs alongside the cliff edges, which will eventually bring you back to Sausalito/ Mill Valley.

View of San Francisco Bay from Marin Headlands

Last Thoughts

The Marin Headlands is a definite must-d0 ride if you are spending some time in the Bay Area. The great about this ride is you don’t have to go far outside the city to access it unlike rides on Highway 1 or Monterey.

Have you been to California? Have you ridden Highway 1 or the Marin Highlands? Please like, comment, and share this post. Until next week, I hope you all have a good Halloween weekend and fit in a ride or two.

Author: Doug McNamee

Freelance Content Writer, Travel Writer, Editor, and poet.

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