How is it possible that a rustic open space with sweeping views to the bay hasn't been desecrated with a McMansion yet? Billy Goat Hill still sits in all its natural splendor, plants so thick you may need a machete to make your way down the path to the rope swing (see it?). Named for the goats that roamed the dairy farms here (Right? Or did I make that up?), the hill is a designated city park in the upper reaches of Noe Valley or Glen Park or somewhere in-between. There's no better view of downtown and the East Bay than from its rocky perch, an easy walk (just kidding about the machete) from the Harry Street stairs leading from Laidley to Beacon Street, a vertical climb through banana trees and enviable cozy cottages. The winter rains bring native lupines that dot the hill with color. Soar over the city on the swing - so scary but worth the ride.
Residents of Noe Valley work with Recreation and Park's Natural Areas Program to restore and maintain the native plants on and around the hillside. Join in!