By Fran Lowe
It’s right on our doorstep, but once you go through the tunnel (hand-dug and 50 foot long) and cross the suspension bridge (sturdy and recently reconstructed but it can get a swing on it), you’re literally standing at the edge of the world… well at least on a narrow spine of rock that while still attached to the Marin Headland’s southern-most tip, is slowly being worn away by wave action. Eventually the lighthouse and unoccupied light house keeper’s cottage may sit on a small, rocky island, just connected to the mainland by bridge.
The views are spectacular –the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and the wild blue yonder. It’s a great place for blowing out any cobwebs and for pretending you’re standing high on the bow of a ship at sea, with just a short one mile stroll there and back. For explorers who like a dose of history with their weekend “hike”, you can use your cell phone to listen to recorded information relating to various designated view points.
The Point Bonita Lighthouse was first lit on May 2, 1855 and the first fog signal used on the U.S. West Coast was at Point Bonita. Every half-hour during foggy weather, the keeper fired an eight-foot long, 24-pounder siege gun from the Benicia Arsenal. Now you just have to imagine - it’s not hard.
For those who are inspired to go, the lighthouse trail is only open Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays between 12:30 and 3:30 P.M. Happy (short) trails!