The Great Outdoors

the coastline at Fort Funston ()

the coastline at Fort Funston ()

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Built during the early 1900’s as a fort and used for defense in case of an attack by sea during World War Two, Fort Funston is now a large expanse of trails and beach where you and your dog can walk free. When you pull into the paved area that serves as a parking lot the area really doesn’t look like much – a few sand dunes to the north, some trees a little farther and the ocean a couple dozen yards ahead. Then you take one of the trails through the wooded area and you wonder how an area this quiet and full of nature can exist this close to the bustling city. One of my favorite parts of walking around the area is seeing all the buildings of the old fort encompassed by trees or having fallen down to beach. Seeing the giant stone cylinders or the old giant entranceway make it seem as if you’re heading through old ruins. It’s the equivalent of an ancient castle – but instead of heading to Europe it’s right in your own backyard.Another fantastic aspect of the fort is that there’s no leash law. Dogs are able to walk free and it’s a common sight to see a dog walker with eight, nine or even ten dogs. It’s much more relaxing to be able to walk at your own pace and just have to keep on eye on your dog instead of the usual dragging my leash method. It’s also different then the usual dog park because unlike a dog park you and your dog can walk around exploring nature and there’s none of that nasty dog poop smell that permeates every dog park. Then there’s some of the awesome wildlife you might see. There are the usual seagulls and crows hanging about, but sometimes you get really lucky and see something amazing. Just this week I was down there and saw a family of dolphins going up the coastline. Seeing the dolphins out here in the pacific in the natural was pretty cool. Other times you might see the more common seal or, if you’re lucky, even a whale.If you’re willing to take a drive and are tired of the usual walk around the block or the smelly dog park Fort Funston is for you. There’s freedom and fun for you and your dog and plenty of nature to explore.