The Nature Friends of California—with branches in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles—is part of the International Friends of Nature (IFN) organization, which is a confederation of over 600,000 hikers, climbers, mountaineers, skiers, and others who love the outdoors.
Nature Friends is a not-for-profit, mutual benefit organization, whose main purposes are:
- To acquaint its members with the natural scenery of the country and to provide an opportunity for the enjoyment thereof
- To encourage the study of nature, and to disseminate the knowledge of the natural sciences
- To support and aid in the protection, conservation, and preservation of woods, wildlife, and the natural features of this country
- To promote friendship and good relations with other organizations and individuals who are sympathetic to the aforementioned purposes
- To foster, perpetuate, and preserve the European (Austrian-German-Swiss) Alpine social activities, cultural heritage, and customs traditionally celebrated by its members
- To provide a social environment conducive to participation by families and individuals of all ages
- To acquire, build and maintain shelters, houses, and other places of recreation
- To organize hikes, camping trips, and outings
- To build and mark trails for hiking and camping
- To arrange meetings, social and cultural activities, and exhibitions
The Nature Friends was founded in Vienna, Austria in 1895 to provide members and their families with places to go and enjoy nature, and encourage the study of nature related subjects. The organization soon spread throughout Europe and then the rest of the world. Many lodges and clubhouses were built, usually in forests, ski areas, or close to wilderness areas.
Read more about the International Friends of Nature.
San Francisco Branch
The Nature Friends Tourist Club was founded in San Francisco in 1912 and is a California 501(c)(7) non-profit corporation, with three branches and five houses located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Norden (near Lake Tahoe), and Los Angeles.
Read about the history of our branch.