So You Think You Know Marin
At the Nature Friends Tourist Club of San Francisco. Founded in Vienna, Austria in 1895, it is a community of over half a million hikers, mountaineers, climbers, skiers, snowboarders, cyclists, surfers, backpackers, and environmentalists in over fifty member organizations world-wide. Its goal is to promote nature appreciation, outdoor activities, conservation, sustainability, and international friendship and understanding.
The San Francisco branch was established in 1912, when the founding group of five Austrians and Germans hiked to a spot called Redwood Canyon (now known as Muir Woods). They came across a neglected cabin with the most glorious views of the surrounding valley and decided “Dieser Berg ist für uns!”—“This mountain is for us!”
Much renovation work followed, and in 1917 the new lodge was completed. It still exists today, although it is much transformed by improvements and additions.
While it is a member’s only club, guests can visit on specific days of the year, as well as during the three annual festival days: Maifest, Sommerfest and Oktoberfest. Lederhosen encouraged.
If you’d like to visit, first check the calendar on its website for days that guests are welcome. Then, travel by foot from downtown Mill Valley on the Dipsea Trail, then the Sun Trail. Alternatively, you can drive panoramic Highway to Ridge Ave and park in the (very small) lot.