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8 national parks to visit with your Valentine

Lover's Lane in the Presidio

Photo: Zack Sheppard/Flickr

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Lover's Lane

Location: Presidio of San Francisco

Ideal audio accompaniment: “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding

We needn’t really go into detail about what a romantic town San Francisco is. However, we should point out that the Presidio, a former military base-turned-park that’s now a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (which falls under the umbrella of the National Park Service), contains a very special place named in honor of those with sweet lovin’ on the brain. At .6 miles, Lover’s Lane is the oldest footpath within the Presidio and got its name from the fact that, once upon a time, it was the most direct route for enlisted soldiers to take out of the base and into the city proper where they were free to embark on dalliances with civilians (Lover’s Lane has a better ring to it than “Early Morning Walk of Shame Path”) and visit their families. History aside, it’s still a mighty enchanting path — great not only for leisurely, lovey-dovey strolls but for jogging, too — that passes through a dense eucalyptus grove, across a historic brick footbridge and past some beautiful homes.