For a park to succeed as an escape or even a one-hour getaway, it must have a reason to exist, a reason to draw you there. Most parks have multiple reasons. Land’s End offers exercise, mind-blowing views and superb photography. Grand View or Turtle Hill offers a vigorous trek up the most beautiful stairs in San Francisco, a rare 360 degree view of the city, and the opportunity to chase your hat after the wind blows it off your head. South Park has picnic tables, nearby restaurants with take-out menus, and a children’s playground.
Corona Heights Park has exactly one reason for its existence. Only one.
That’s it. Just one reason why you should know of Corona Heights.
I didn’t say it was a bad reason. Click on the above photo for full impact.
Corona Heights is another Significant Natural Resource Area (an official designation), but visitors have more room to roam its roughly 2.5 acres. The hillsides contain the rare plants and occasional rare bird or insect, but the humans maintain dominion over the hilltop, 550 feet above sea level. Like Grand View, walking there constitutes a tough workout, so you might want to take the 37-Corbett and disembark at the intersection of Roosevelt and Musuem. On weekends you will encounter a lot of people, but everyone behaved considerately when I visited this afternoon and no one hogged the highest points for more than a minute or two.
I know almost nothing of botany, so I don’t know how this plant has managed to survive and thrive:
Now for a little fun with photography. Check out these:
Seriously, if you didn’t already know I had taken these pictures in a small park in one of America’s most densely populated cities in one of that city’s most densely populated residential neighborhoods, where would you have guessed I had taken them? An unusually rural area in Sonoma County, perhaps? Mendocino County? Further north? Oregon, perhaps? If not for the stairs you wouldn’t know anyone had ever set foot on this land. In reality I stood at the base of the western side of the hill and pointed upward to create the illusion.
Vonn Scott Bair