Vignette > Tourist Club
Just down the Dipsea Trail from Panoramic Highway, the Sun Trail veers off to the right. Follow it for 0.69 miles and you come to the Tourist Club, a local branch of Die Naturefreunde (Nature Friends) that has nearly 1500 clubhouses in 21 countries with over 600,000 members. Die Nauturefreunde was founded in Vienna in1895 with the goal of bringing a young group of working class hikers in contact with the joys of nature. In 1912, German and Austrian immigrants founded the Muir Woods club and bought several acres adjacent to Muir Woods. For three decades, the club with nearly 500 members was ethnically German. The clubhouse itself has a distinctly Alpine décor. Their festivals have a unique Alpine flavor that is kept alive today. In 1931, members built “Sierrahaus” on Donner Summit for those interested in skiing, mountain climbing and hiking in the Sierra. It was soon destroyed by fire. In 1947, members replaced it with a lodge within walking distance of the Sugar Bowl ski area.
In 1920, San Francisco members bought hillside property in the Oakland Hills near Joaquin Miller Park to become the second California branch. A third branch is located near Los Angeles in the hillside community of Sierra Madre.