Views of the bay atop Mount Livermore
21-01-2010 Submitted by: Rita Thomas
With its hilly, forested geography, Angel Island is an ideal place to escape to for hiking, biking, picnicking and camping. The island boasts 13 mi (21 km) of marked hiking trails that loop around the island, including trails that lead to the summit of Mount Livermore. At the top of this 788 ft (240 m) point, hikers find a unique 360º panoramic view of the entire Bay Area. When facing south, views of the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge are enjoyed when facing northwest, views of nearby Tiburon and Belvedere are seen. About 8 mi (13 km) of biking trails are also located on the island, and bicycle rentals are available for those who did not bring their bikes along. A number of year-round campsites are located at various points around the island, each providing picnic tables, a barbecue, running water and toilets. Visitors to the park can also indulge in volleyball, baseball, sunbathing, fishing, boating and kayaking.
Civil War ruins 4
Apart from Angel Island's bountiful recreational opportunities, the area's rich military history makes it a perfect place for visiting historic attractions. Home to Fort McDowell and the Civil War era's Camp Reynolds, visitors to the island can opt to take a guided tram tour of these military areas. Tours, offered by Angel Island TramTours & Catered Events, take visitors aboard a tram to two restored buildings at Camp Reynolds followed by tours of a World War I and World War II guardhouse and jail cells at Fort McDowell. These guided tours are available from March to October and reservations are required.
Angel Island Immigration Station
Located in China Cove, the Angel Island Immigration Station is a historically significant landmark for California and the country. Constructed in 1905 the station's purpose was to monitor and control immigration into the United States. However, the station mostly oversaw Chinese entry and thus mainly served as a detention center for these hopeful immigrants. The Immigration Station finally closed in 1940 due to a fire that completely destroyed one of the buildings. It then became open to public visit in 1983 when the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation was created to help preserve the site and educate the public. The station's most alluring attraction is poetry carved and written on the walls of the barracks, a result of the hopeful immigrants' frustrations toward poor prison-like living conditions.