Monday, January 16, 2017

Exploring the Dragonfly Creek Trail

I have a confession to make: sometimes I get a bored with San Francisco. I thrive on novelty, and after writing Urban Trails San Francisco, I began to feel like I had seen all that the city had to offer.

Luckily, that's not quite true. While I have explored a lot of San Francisco, there's always something new to see. I just have to look a little bit harder than before.

This week, I fired up my novelty sensors by checking out new place, Dragonfly Creek, in the Presidio's Fort Scott district. While the creek has been around for quite some time, it got its name in the late 1990s when a biologist saw a dragonfly in the area.

The creek used to flow freely, but was channeled underground by the US Army. It remained hidden until 2011 when Presidio Trust began restoring it. In addition to restoring the creek, the organization also replaced non-native and invasive eucalyptus with native willows and wetland vegetation. You can read more about the restoration in this article in SF Gate.

Fence near Dragonfly Creek
If you visit the area, here's what you'll see. From Schofield Road in the Presidio, you'll know you're approaching the creek when you reach this fence lining your walkway and a fork in your path. You can either continue straight or to your right.

If you head right, you'll end up at the Presidio Nursery. Founded in 1995, the nursery grows up to 85,000 native plants each year which are replanted throughout the Presidio. The nursery welcomes drop-in volunteers on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 1-4 pm. It was closed when I visited, but I did get to enjoy this mosaic walkway on its grounds.
Mosaic walkway outside the Presidio Nursery

After checking out the nursery, I retraced my steps to the fork and went in the other direction to explore Dragonfly Creek (which was still hard to see even post restoration). After a short distance on the dirt path, I found myself in a small grove of redwood trees. There was no one else around, and I felt like I had stumbled upon a tranquil, special place.

The stone walkway
I continued on the path and found a stone-lined walkway that crossed the creek. I loved the look of this walkway and hadn't seen anything quite like it before. I walked around the area a bit more on similar walkways and headed back to Schofield Road.

While this was just a small exploration, I felt energized by seeing something new. I can't wait to find another new place to explore so I can get those novelty sensors firing again.