What you get: World-class views and picnic sites, easy walks and a wild-card adventure for kayaks under the Golden Gate Bridge can put Fort Baker on the map for all. Fort Baker is set along the deep cove located just inland from the northern foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin. Add it up: Landmark views, easy to reach, good parking and free.
What you see: From the bay’s shoreline, you can turn to your right toward the entrance to the bay and gaze up at the Golden Gate Bridge. You can see straight across to Fort Point and along the S.F. waterfront past Crissy Field to Fisherman’s Wharf. As you turn left, you can take in Alcatraz, Angel Island and the entrance to Raccoon Strait.
Best easy walk: Park at the large lot for the Bay Discovery Museum, then walk a short distance south to Sommerville Road. It fronts Horseshoe Cove, facing the bay. Turn right, and walk along the cove a short distance to Moore Road. Turn left and continue past the fishing pier and along the water to Lime Point, a short distance from the northern foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. On clear days, this is an amazing lookout. Walk to picnic: From parking at the Bay Discovery Museum, walk to the Fort Baker Bay Trail. It leads a short distance to East Road, parallels the road east for a short distance, and then breaks off to your right to Yellow Bluff. You arrive at a picnic bench with the best picnic view in the Bay Area.
Kayak: Experts only: With a sea kayak, experts can select an early fall day when there is no wind. With a tide and current book, define the exact right time between moderate tides when there is virtually no current. Then paddle under the Golden Gate Bridge. Electrifying. Otherwise stick to the cove and Marin shoreline.
The history: In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Fort Baker was an Army post. A series of gun emplacements are located at Battery Yates, just east of Horseshoe Cove.
Cost: Parking, access free.
Dogs: Leashed dogs permitted. No dogs on Chapel Trail.
Map/brochure: Available at visitor center.
Contacts: Marin Headlands, 415-331-1540, www.nps.gov/ goga.