Strawberry Hill

While Blueberry Hill is quite the popular jingle, Strawberry Hill is a real location that showcases an amazing explosion of every shade of green imaginable. This Golden Gate Park attraction is a gift from nature in the form of an island that is situated in the middle of Stow Lake. A pretty engaging lot of activities and sights beckon the visitor looking for a refreshing excursion about San Francisco.

Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park

Measuring close to 430 feet into the air and serving as the highest point in the entire park, some of the best views of surrounding vicinities are captured at the Hill, including Mt. Tamalpais and the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, your journey through the island begins at either the Rustic Bridge or the Roman Bridge at Stow Lake, which are located on opposite sides of Strawberry Hill. These connections provide access to the trails reaching the top of the Hill and have been leading visitors to the inside of this paradise since 1893.

Things to Do

When paying a visit to Strawberry Hill, there are plenty of accessories to bring along that might make your stay in the area more enjoyable. A pair of binoculars, good book, digital camera, bagged lunch, or picnic spread are just some of the items that will enhance your time at Strawberry Hill, which does a pretty good job on its own entertaining the masses. Below you will find a few suggestions for activities and features to consider:

a) Visit the Waterfall: When visiting Strawberry Hill, don’t forget to bring along your camera so you may take a photo of the artificially made waterfall that is brought to life through the pumping of electrically delivered energy.

b) Meditate at the Golden Gate Pavilion: Relaxing vegetation and shimmering water surrounds the Chinese temple-like structure, which was a gift from Taipei to the city of San Francisco. Serving as an act of friendship and cultural respect, the attraction also commemorates the early Chinese settlers involvement in the growth of California. The striking sea green, red, and white shades of color make the pavilion a soothing addition to Strawberry Hill.

c) Get in Shape: Whether you hike, walk, jog, or run your way towards fitness, the encouraging foliage creates colorful motivation. Pleasant walking paths decorate the island with a few connecting bridges leading the way through dazzling presentations of trees and other green delights. For a modest challenge, runners like running to the top of the hill with the reward of a beautiful view at the end of their journey.

d) Enjoy the Water: A visit to Strawberry Hill brings you closer to enjoying the beauty and calm of Stow Lake as you settle into a water-bike or rowboat rental. The opportunity to bask in the warmth of the sun while paddling or floating above the glistening water really sets the mood for both romantic interludes or a lazy, weekend rest.

birde) Bird Watch and Observe the Wildlife: What better place to view an assortment of feathered critters than an island of green? Strawberry Hill is home to a variety of birds that hide and glide through the many varieties of trees. Colorful swallowtail butterflies and monarchs also contribute to the wildlife of the Strawberry Hill community. In the water, ducks greet visitors with eager anticipation for a few crumbs, while turtles meander about surrounding rocks and logs.

The Story Behind Strawberry Hill

The name of this centrally located piece of land in Stow Lake comes from the wild strawberries that once decorated the exterior. Throughout the years, the plentiful nature of the wood strawberry was replaced by the aggressive takeover of cape ivy and ice plant hailing from South Africa.

Strawberry Hill in its heyday delivered the sweet scent of wild berries, which are particularly pleasant and intoxicating after a downpour. Today, the presence of the strawberries is not entirely lost; vigilant examination of the sandy slopes may disclose the whereabouts of a few surviving patches. Additional blooms and other equally refreshing plants about the island include the Christmas berry, Dutchman’s pipevine, milkweed, seaside daisy, and Hooker’s evening primrose.

Contact Details

Boathouse Phone: (415) 752-0347

Boathouse Hours: Boat rentals are offered on a daily basis from 10am to 4pm, depending on how well the weather is behaving.

Boathouse Costs: Four-passenger rowboats cost $13 per hour, while the larger four-person paddleboats are rented out for $17 per hour.

Interesting Fact: Haunted-themed walking tours are led throughout the Stow Lake area, including Strawberry Hill regarding a 100-year ghost legend: The Lady of Stow Lake.

7 Responses to “Strawberry Hill”

  1. Richard Esty Peterson
    June 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    History of Strawberry Hill? That story is spin. What is the real story? Is it a rubble pile from the great quake?

  2. Anne
    July 9, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    FYI: The boat rental prices have gone up: It now costs $19 to rent a pedal-boat and $14 to rent a rowboat. There is an extra $1 refundable fee if you return the ticket when you return to the boathouse/ snack bar.

    • sanam
      July 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      somebody please send me the navigation address

  3. Joe
    August 2, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Does anyone know if the paddle boats are available for rent all year long, or just during the summer?

  4. umlaut
    August 31, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    In the 80’s Strawberry Hill was the prime partying location for the city’s miscreants…

  5. dershane
    October 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    This is a great place. I went around 2 years ago on my usa trip.

  6. Billy Boy
    August 8, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    I have been to the area a few times but never made it to Strawberry Hill. I would expect a lot of strawberries in the Spring, but as I remember from my childhood that plants tend to get a bit witheredi n the Summer. Is it a better time to go in the Spring with a camera?

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