Illustrated travel log, photographs, Google images, color, 2009
Fort Funston was part of San Francisco's military coastal defense from 1900 until its decommission in 1963. Since then it's been a city park primarily used by dog walkers. Entering the park along the coast, we first noticed the massive cement remnants of the cliffside cannon turrets. The circular tracks that were used to aim the cannons had been discarded in the surf.
From satellite you can see where the cannons used to point out at the sea.
Farther down the beach, punks and hippies had staked out their turf. Their graffiti will let future generations know that Fort Funston is a good place to do drugs.
Deeper into the punk and hippie zone, everything doubled in size. The cliffs rose into the sky and there were cement pipes as big as jetliners.
We crawled into one of the pipes.
It was like being a coal miner, but instead of coal there was spray-paint and decomposing seaweed.
No one on the beach knew where the tunnel led. One guy said that he heard from a friend that it went straight back into the cliff to an abandoned military base. He said that vagrants live back there and spend all day and night sitting on rusty metal benches drinking beer. Another guy on the beach said it was an overflow pipe that led into the San Francisco sewer system. I don't know who to believe, but either way, it seems like a fun place to hang out.
Here's the tunnel from above:
You can see one of the hang gliders via satellite:
We reached the end of the beach and hiked our way up the cliff and out of the park. The cliff path was steep, too steep for dogs.
Fort Funston was a blast. If you are looking for a city park with old military debris, graffiti, giant pipes, people on drugs, dogs off leashes, and hang gliders, then this is the place for you!