Bernal Hill

If you decide to climb this big hill make sure you wear the right sneakers. Residents of Bernal Heights neighborhood, call it Bernal Hill, but it’s official name is Bernal Heights Park. According to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department website, this park is the second largest green area in the city.

Residents in Bernal Heights exercise and walk with their dogs during the evenings, when they get out of work and spend time on the top of the hill disconnected from the crowded and noisy parts of San Francisco.

The park doesn’t have a lot of vegetation compared to other parks in Bernal Heights, instead it looks like a prairie ecosystem, with dry grass and few threes.

Visitors and residents common activity is to climb to the top and appreciate the 360 degrees view of San Francisco.

Bryant Gehring, 27, who is a User Insights Analyst at Google,  doesn’t live in the neighborhood, but he says he likes to run from the Mission, where he lives, to Bernal Hill in the evenings. He says he enjoys looking at the view  when he is finished with his workout routine at the top. He says the shape of the hill helps him to exercise better.

On the hill, people can experience a quiet atmosphere combined with fresh air and sometimes dense fog.

Michael Zhang, 39, who is originally from China, works in a tech company at ZOMA, he says that he likes to exercise at the park because is a safe area.

The only trees surround a radio antenna on the top. Kids can be seen playing in a handmade swing  that is placed on one of the few trees surrounded by an iron fence .

Several routes are marked on the ground, but people who don’t want to climb the rocky mountain can follow a paved path from the parking lot to the top.

This year the hill became a stage for an unofficial piano concert, organized by some neighbors in Bernal Heights. More than 200 people gathered to enjoy a piano recital on the top of the hill.

The hill is also used by photographers to make fashion photo shoots.It is not uncommon to find a fashionably dressed girl with a crew of photographers taking  pictures on the hill.

Erho Raitanen, 28, who is a photographer of an European publication was taking pictures on top of the mountain and portraits of people who were visiting the hill. He said that Bernal Hill was an excellent place to take photos of the city.


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