May 1999

Type: State Recreational Area, 170 acres.
Entrance Location: Located next to 3Com Park (formerly Candlestick Park). There is only one entrance along Gilman Av to the Hunters Point Expwy.
Facilities: Restroom. Water. Fishing piers. Paved path. Sheltered picnic tables and grills. Phone unknown.
Fee: $4 fee at entrance 'station' may be charged during some peak times (such as during an event at 3Com), otherwise free.
Day Use Open: 8am to 8pm, gated.
Dogs: Good. Long paved paths. Open space areas. Off-leash areas. Water fetch. Beach area.

Candlestick Point is greatly advantaged by the attention it has received as a State Park. It can also be said, however, that it is 'challenged' by its location. Nonetheless, the area has been the focus of major park development and distinguishes itself as the first sizeable urban wasteland to be developed as a state park. Considering the location, it seems like an almost arbitrary inspiration to take a lemon and see if lemonade can result. In that sense the park seems heroic, and is largely due to the insistence of residents that a user friendly park be created in this park-less area with all this erroneous landfill just going to waste. The problems confronting park potential here are that it exists on a rather plain foundation of navy landfill, it is adjacent to the 'Jurraisic Park' oppressiveness of 3Com Park, it is in a rather poor and run down area of the city, and it is surrounded by an industrial presence of huge maritime cranes, landfill, dumps, and general unpleasantness. Its positive qualities are that it is along the shore, a peninsula extends about 0.4 mile into the bay, and the windsurfing/sailing potential here is excellent in the gentle cupped bay of the Tide Lands. It is also quite notable for a nice sheltered beach, close to parking, and facing east which is perhaps the friendliest location for launching a kayak found in the city. Here the waters are relatively calm.

The following interesting summarial history comes from the California State Park website at "[Candlestick Point was first born during World War II as 170 acres of landfill that was going to be used as a U.S. Navy shipyard. After the war, the landfill remained, but without a purpose. Some of its neighbors found a purpose for it -- an easy place to dump their garbage. Other neighbors sought a different purpose; they wanted to turn it into a park, with grass, trees, shrubs, and flowers. In 1973, the state legislature set aside $10 million to purchase the land. In 1977, the California Legislature voted to develop the land as a State Recreation area ...]"

The park consists of totally re-landscaped area extending out to the point. There are lawns and flowers and planted trees. A paved path runs out to the peninsula and provides shoreline access at any point. The shoreline is mostly rockpile reinforced. The main park uses appear to be fishing and windsurfing. [The park has two piers and fish-cleaning facilities. There are also a number of sites along the shore for fishing.]1 The most popular fishing spot is along the pier out at the most remote point. Quality of the fishing is unknown but seasonal catches allegedly include [halibut, shark, striped bass, sturgeon, perch, and flounder.]1 Eating fish from the bay must be done with discretion and there are specific guidelines about what and how much is safe to eat (generally two meals per month). The park has an absolutely huge parking lot which ends at a shoreline that is good for sailboard launch and for which there is a narrow area of sandy beach. There is a restroom here good for changing and showers. Some special features of the park which used to exist were community vegetable gardens and windchimes at Windharp Hill. It is unfortunate that these things are now gone (April 2003), but the park does continue to support wind sheltered tables and barbeque grills which are rather nice for San Francisco. This is a nice setting for that. Recreational open space lawns are not a strong feature here.

Best Features: Paved paths bayside go out to the point and are multi-use. Excellent for sailboarding. Massive parking area (separate from the stadium parking). Important park relief for this part of the city. Good for cartop kayak launching.

Worst Features: Proximity to 3Com Park (avoid during an event). Waterline is dominated by industrial cranes. Absent of indigenous natural features and not especially pretty. Can be very cold and windy as the area seems to pick up wind off the hills.

* From:
Park Info, Telephone: 415.671.0145