This was my first real adventure since living in the Bay Area, and I was craving some exploration. Look at God. On Friday, a new friend invited me to explore the “ghost town” of Druid Heights with them, and of course, I was down.
If you haven’t heard of the stories of Druid Heights, it is a forest area/semi-ghost town located in Marin County, just past the Golden Gate Bridge coming from San Francisco, inhabited by less than 10 people and filled with abandoned and decaying homes. Why is this interesting? The story behind it is that it was once a small “hippie” commune uniquely constructed in the 60s by the architects that lived there. It was also the former dwelling of British philosopher, Alan Watts. What gives the place so much mystery and visual appeal are the antiquely-crafted abandoned homes and community spaces that offer insight into the lives of the former community members. A paradise for nosy people and history buffs.
While exploring Druid Heights, we came across two locals, which any explorer of new towns knows is the best thing for creating a more interesting adventure, right. The first person we met was very open with us and literally invited us to explore his home. The next was a bit suspicious and wary of tourism. This makes sense- while this is a well known spot that receives many visitors, it is still a home to its residents, some who accept and embrace its popularity and some who DO NOT.
While Druid Heights is a beautiful sight with a long, interesting history, its abuse by tourists and media, and current neglectful ownership by the feds and state park service have made for a precarious living situation for the residents, and unknown outcome for the land itself. Will the forest swallow the physical remembrances of the long-standing town? Or will the land be torn down and replaced with hiking trails and commemorative plaques? Time will decide.