Free Stuff · San Francisco

Stow Lake

A bridge to Strawberry Hill in the center of Stow Lake

There are a lot of gardens to explore in Golden Gate Park, but even aside from them, the surrounding area is beautiful in its own right. Stow Lake fills part of this large urban park and features Strawberry Hill as its center. During much of the year, boats are available for afternoons on the lake, and the perimeter of the lake is optimal for morning jogs. Ducks and turtles can be seen living around this man-made lake (completed in 1893), creating a pleasing atmosphere for those who choose to pass their time in the area.

The waterfall of Strawberry Hill

Strawberry Hill is a small island in the center of Stow Lake featuring several picturesque spots ideal for photoshoots as well as quiet walks in nature without the need to pay for admission. Among the most frequented places is a red, round Chinese pagoda, which was a gift to San Francisco by its sister city of Taipei and is visible from the edge of the lake overlooking it. Additionally, a small waterfall makes the walk more interesting. On the weekends, the dirt paths encircling Strawberry Hill and leading to the top are heavily frequented by joggers, dog-walkers, and high school track teams. On off times however, the small island can take on an ethereal aesthetic. Get there early in the morning, and the San Francisco fog will enshroud the area and the sunbeams will be visible piercing through the layer of mist, reflecting off the waterfall with colorful shimmers.


One thought on “Stow Lake

  1. Way to go on your description, it makes me really want to go to Stow Lake. I wish that I could go there and jog around the park. The park sounds magical and beautiful. I have heard of a lot of pretty places in San Francisco and now I have another one to add to the list. Hopefully one day I can visit all the places on my list.


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