Golden Gate Park


Top-Five Lists

Especially Pretty

Nice For A Picnic

Lesser-Known Areas

Particularly Private

Easy To Drive To

Out In The Open

In The Bushes

Good For A Quickie

For Screamers



36 - Stow Lake

The walk around Stow Lake is arguably one of the prettiest in any major urban park in the country. And unlike walking around the reservoir in Central Park, you're unlikely to get assaulted here.

That said, you're also unlikely to avoid crowds here, since plenty of other people know about the beauty of the lake, as well. Fortunately, there are a couple places next to the lake where you can have quite a bit of privacy only a few feet away from the passing hordes.

From the refreshment stand and boathouse along the northwest corner of the lake, go east along the lakeside road. You'll pass one of the two bridges that cross the lake to reach Strawberry Hill island, Roman Bridge. (The one on the south side of the lake is Rustic Bridge.) Past Roman Bridge there is a tall, dense hedge that runs along the road on the opposite side from the lake.

About 75 yards to the east of Roman Bridge, there's an obvious opening in the hedge. It's directly across from the only sewer grate in the area on the lake side of the road. As you walk through this opening, there's a flat spot immediately to the left. It's covered with soft leaves and has a pleasant view. If you leave something such as a cooler at the opening in the hedge, people will probably afford you all the privacy you need.

If another reader of this book is already occupying that spot, there's a similar one another 50 yards further east. Walk along the footpath next to the lake to the spot where "No Bicycles No Skating" is painted on the path. Directly across the road is another opening in the hedge, and as you walk through this spot is to the right.

The hedge is thick enough that you won't be seen in either of these spots. But this isn't a good place to make a lot of noise...if that's a risk, you may want to skip ahead to chapter 9, "For Screamers."


35 - Archery Field

36 - Stow Lake

37 - Beach Chalet

38 - Transverse Drive - West Side

39 - Ghiradelli Rustic Shelter

40 - Senior Citizens Center

41 - Conservatory of Flowers

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