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Go Green in San Francisco

Many San Francisco companies offer guided tours geared to active people who want to see and touch the “green." The most popular guided walk offered by California Nature Tours is called “The Wild Side of Nature,” a four-mile stroll along a paved section of the California Coastal Trail, with stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, ending on the Pacific Ocean side of the city on the cliffs at Land’s End, and at Ocean Beach. The tour guide and company owner, David Schmidt said, “People are surprised when I tell them the walk is mostly flat or downhill. It starts at the level of the Golden Gate Bridge and finishes at sea level! They also tell me that they never expected wilderness in San Francisco.”

_8A_0007 An environmental writer with the EPA, and a fifth-generation San Franciscan and grandson of a 1906 earthquake survivor, Schmidt regales his small tour groups with a steady narration of history and wildlife. He said, “The Presidio's new Coastal Trail segment is just half a mile from the bridge. It traverses an entirely undeveloped side of the Presidio, a rocky, untamed slope covered with wild plants and shrubs, the same native landscape that greeted Spanish sailors in the 1700s and the '49ers who flocked here on their way to the Gold Rush.”

Gliding along at twelve miles an hour, riders on quiet, battery-powered, two-wheeled Segways enjoy the fresh air and the sights of the city while expending minimal physical effort. Used to first-timers, San Francisco Segway Tours conducts short training sessions to get passengers comfortable with the well-balanced, fat-tired machines, and then everyone heads off for narrated jaunts along the waterfront. The "Run for the Palace Route " runs from Fisherman’s Wharf west through the Marina District past the yacht harbors, along the Marina Green and around the lake at the Palace of Fine Arts.