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Sutro Strolls: Baby steps first

When I want a short walk (it takes me about 15 minutes) in a beautiful woodland near a creek, this easy stroll up Mt. Sutro is my baby. Living in Cole Valley, the Stanyan Trailhead, at Stanyan and 17th is only a 10-minute walk from my home, and it’s the easiest and most accessible hike for people on the west side of Mt. Sutro. 

After entering the trailhead, I’m almost immediately enveloped in dense forest with a view of Woodland Creek on my right. It’s a transformation from the city so abrupt I feel I’ve been teleported.

The well-marked, clear trail ascends at a moderate incline for a half mile or so, with some roots and rocks (bring your tennis shoes!), then reaches the top of the hill and a junction with a sign. This is where huge trees fell during the 2023 winter storms, resulting in open meadow with lots of small native plants which attract the insects and, hence, the birds. On a recent walk here, I identified 7 bird species, from chickadees to warblers. 

Take the first right from the sign to the Edgewood Trail, and proceed down the newly-planted hill back to civilization at the Edgewood Trailhead. You'll leave the forest behind at the Edgewood Trailhead as you walk down the old brick road on Edgewood Ave.

Come back again soon!

—Mark Alexander Posth

Mark is a Cole Valley resident often seen hiking through the forest.

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