The Golden Gate Bridge along a trail

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Presidio of San Francisco
September 9, 2020

Five Ways to Hike the Presidio Trails

Did you know there are 24 miles of trails in the Presidio? Here are five ways to experience these trails for a memorable hiking excursion.

Start with Our Interpretive Areas

Not sure how to start off on your own? The Tennessee Hollow Watershed Walk guides you through a two-mile section of the park's watershed starting at El Polin Spring, where restoration projects over the last 15 years have brought habitats back to life. Along the way, you'll learn about significant people and moments in Presidio history. Download a guide here. And for those with kids, our Adventure Map leads the way.

Take a Walk Back in Time

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail commemorates the 1776 journey that Spanish military commander de Anza led from Sonora, Mexico to the Golden Gate, where settlers first established the Presidio as a military post. The trail follows the last 2.7 miles of de Anza's 1,200-mile journey, from where he camped at Mountain Lake to where he peered out over the coastal bluffs toward the great bay. Learn more about the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail here.

Look for the Hidden Gem

Lobos Creek Valley Trail for example, is a flat boardwalk winding through renewed dune habitat with fragrant wildflowers, reminiscent of early San Francisco. Several of California’s larger trail systems pass through the Presidio. The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a continuous 550-mile multi-use loop that circles the entire San Francisco Bay with a 2.5-mile stretch running through the Presidio. The Park Trail runs north/south right down the middle of the Presidio to Crissy Field with accesses mid-way to a short trail leading to the tranquil National Cemetery Overlook.

Fully-Accessible Trail

A three-mile loop provides access to the Presidio's trails no matter your mode of travel: foot, wheelchair, or stroller. The loop showcases the best of the Presidio and includes portions of six trails: the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, the California Coastal Trail, the Presidio Promenade, the Bay Trail, and the Park Trail. Along the way, you'll enjoy gentle slopes and firm surfaces, forest groves, historic buildings, and views of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. View the trail here.

Story Walks

In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, the Presidio Trust and the Parks Conservancy, discover the Presidio’s Story Walks. Story Walks are children’s books that are placed as a series of sign panels along a trail for a fun “seek, find and read” strolling experience. This summer there are two Story Walks in the Presidio: "I Wrote You a Note at Mountain Lake" features a little girl seeking a hidden note in a lakeside setting, and a new Story Walk, "The Hike", starts at the Visitor Center and features three children on an adventure in a park.

The Presidio is easily accessible via the free PresidiGo Shuttle or San Francisco's Muni system. For more information on hiking the trails in the Presidio, please visit the Presidio online.

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