by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved
Golden Gate - Fort Baker
Brochure of Fort Baker at Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
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Fort Baker National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Marin Headlands Golden Gate National Recreation Area Photo credit: Michal Venera Hidden Gem at the Golden Gate Fort Baker covers approximately 335 acres set in and around a cove at the north side of the Golden Gate. This beautiful historic area includes a core zone of 91 acres surrounding a parade ground, protecting a collection of over two dozen historic military buildings from the early 1900s. Partners have added new eco-friendly and architecturally compatible buildings amongst the historic buildings to create program space and lodging. The main post is fronted by Horseshoe Cove, and over a mile of rocky bay shoreline. The surrounding open space and hillsides, which contain habitat for the endangered mission blue butterfly, contribute to the site’s significance. An extensive trail system invites exploration. With less fog and warmer temperatures than other coastal sites, Fort Baker offers quiet solitude in a spectacular setting. Fort Baker’s Early History The Coast Miwok tribe inhabited this area prior to exploration and settlement by Europeans. Wetlands, marshes and streams provided the Indigenous peoples resources for daily life. The adjacent land often served as seasonal encampments or villages. The area’s recorded history began in 1775, when the Spanish vessel San Carlos, under the command of Juan Manuel de Ayala, entered San Francisco Bay. At the end of the Mexican War in 1848, this area—part of William Antonio Richardson’s vast Rancho Sausalito— began to be sold to real estate speculators. The Military Years In 1866, the United States government acquired this site and created a military reservation along the Marin Headlands to safeguard San Francisco Bay. Relatively simple earthwork gun batteries were constructed in the 1870s. One of these, Battery Cavallo, is a fine example of seacoast fortifications of that period. In the 1890’s, Fort Baker was formally established and massive concrete batteries with the latest in long range guns were built along the bluffs. By 1910, the post was essentially completed. The fort included eleven Colonial Revivalstyle officer’s homes, barracks, and community buildings for the troops, laid out in a curve around a grassy parade ground with plantings of pepper, elm and eucalyptus trees to reduce wind and dust. After World War I, most of the long-range guns were removed, and the post became inactive. But as world tensions increased in the 1930s, Fort Baker was reactivated as a underwater mine depot. Over three hundred mines guarded the bay entrance during World War II, tended by the Army’s “navy” of mine vessels berthed at Fort Baker. The guns of Battery Yates were manned against surprise raids. In the Cold War years, Fort Baker was used to train Army Reserve troops, and served as headquarters for the antiaircraft missile units that defended the Bay Area. With the end of the Cold War in the 1970s, the Army’s presence at the historic post was significantly reduced. (rev. 5/21) Fort Baker is named for Edward Dickenson Baker, a former U.S. Senator from Oregon active in California politics in the 1850s. Baker lost his life while leading a regiment of Union troops in the Civil War. He and his wife are buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. To Sausalito Hiking and Biking (use bike lane when next to paved road) Ea st Hiking Only To Marin Ro ad Tunnel to Marin Headlands Dogs on Leash Allowed Dogs on Leash or Under Voice Control (current status, October 2010) ad le r Ro Seit ra i 601 Healing Arts Center d STAY ON TRAIL Sensitive Habitat yC le Murray Circ o ad ircle er R PARADE GROUND Ro ad er nd ex a Closed Area STAY ON TRAIL Sensitive Habitat Dr ow n 615 513 557 New R d oa k un Sausalito Exit GGNRA Lands Battery Duncan rra Mu Cavallo Point— The Lodge at the Golden Gate B Alexander Avenue Exit Merril l Stree t McR eyn o ld sR oa t Eas Parking Bay Area Discovery Museum Breit ung R Accessible Parking Battery Cavallo d Food Road l rai Picnic Area U.S. Coast Guard No Public Access Cavallo Point l To San Francisco E BRID GAT Conz elma n N LDE GO y Ba T Public Fishing Pier GE To Battery Spencer and Kirby Cove This former Army site has been reborn as part of a national park; the last of the dramatic “post to park” conversions that have created the Golden Gate National Parks. Hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and spectacular vistas of the Golden Gate and the Marin Headlands await visitors to Fort Baker. Several partners also provide recreational and educational opportunities, and visitor amenities at Fort Baker. A self-guided cell phone tour and walking tours of the historic parade ground and Horseshoe Cove are available at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, and at Cavallo Point—the Lodge at the Golden Gate. They are also available online at: www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit / fort-baker.htm EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA S A N C I S F R A N North 0 0 Since 1991, the Bay Area Discovery Museum has provided outstanding educational programs and activities for children 6 months to 8 years old. Information 415-339-3900 www.badm.org Printed on recycled paper. Boat Launch Dogs on Leash MARIN HEADLANDS Fort Baker Today Battery Yates ra i as Vista Point Travis Sailing Center HORSESHOE COVE Moore Rd Co T Fishing Pier 679 lle Road mervi S om tal Restroom AREA CLOSED Sensitive Natural and Cultural Resources U.S. Coast Guard Station Employee Parking Yellow Bluff ad et 546 Al Fence Ro rS tre 1 Tr ai l Chapel Ko be 101 y STAY ON TRAIL Sensitive Habitat l Ce nte r Aven u Ro ad Paved Road n Ro ad Ba er Dro w el ap s T Chtep S Bu nk e STAY ON TRAIL Sensitive Habitat C O B A Y 600 FEET 200 METERS The Travis Sailing Center located on the east side of Horseshoe Cove, offers sailing instruction and boat rentals. Information 415-332-2319 The most dramatic recent change is evident in the historic and contemporary buildings surrounding and overlooking Murray Circle and the historic parade ground. Cavallo Point—The Lodge at the Golden Gate, the newest lodge in the National Park System, welcomes visitors for a unique overnight stay in one of 68 historic and 74 contemporary guest rooms. The Lodge also has a restaurant, bar, meeting rooms and Healing Arts Center. The Lodge was constructed to the highest standards of environmental sustainability. Information 415-339-4700 www.cavallopoint.com Download the NPS mobile app. Take a tour of Fort Baker or learn about the park. www.nps.gov/goga/gogaapp.htm www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/fort-baker.htm