Meet SF: Urban Hikes & Walks by Neighborhood
District 1: Northwest
District 1 is home to the Outer, Central and Inner Richmond, Sea Cliff, Lake, Lone Mountain, Jordan Park, and Laurel Heights. This part of San Francisco is two-thirds bordered by the Pacific Ocean and has some incredible trails to offer such as, seascapes, ropes courses and breathtaking vistas.
Lands End (Point Lobos, Sutro Baths, Fort Miley)
Author’s Pick: Lands End – Mile Rock Beach
Mile Rock Beach is a ‘secret beach’ located at the end of a winding trail within Lands End, just past the Legion of Honor Museum. It is a unique place to visit at any time of the day and if you’re lucky, you can experience the beach all by your lonesome self (which is a good thing). Many ships sunk near Mile Rock and remain apart of the beach today. They are sometimes visible during low tide. Once settled you’ll enjoy prime views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands.
District 2: Central West
Also known as ‘The Sunset,’ San Francisco’s District 2 covers the Inner, Central and Outer Sunset, Parkside and Outer Parkside, as well as Golden Gate Heights. It is mostly comprised of residential homes, but there are corridors of retail and small businesses, specifically on Irving, Judah, and Taraval streets.
Grand View Park / Mosaic Steps
Author’s Pick: Golden Gate Park – Conservatory of Flowers Lawn
The Conservatory of Flowers Lawn is a paramount spot in Golden Gate Park to lounge at in afternoon sunlight. The Conservatory of Flowers itself, is Golden Gate Park’s oldest structure—it even survived the 1906 earthquake! The building serves as a safe haven for some 2,000 plant species. Outside the conservatory are numerous types of flowers for one to revel in, including a Dahlia garden.
District 3: Southwest:
District 3 is a small and quiet area of San Francisco. The Southwest district incorporates Pine Lake Park, Merced Manor, Lakeshore, Lakeside, Stonestown, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights and Oceanview. This coastal district enjoys quick and convenient access to the great outdoors.
Author’s Pick: Fort Funston National Park
Fort Funston is known for three things: Dunes, Dogs, and Hang Gliders. This national park is one of the premier hang-gliding spots in the country, however non hang-gliders are welcome too. The last remnants of a sand dune ecosystem live here at Fort Funston. As a former harbor defense installation, Fort Funston is now a protected area within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Bring your dog and delight in spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
District 4: Twin Peaks West:
District 4 establishes many of San Francisco’s residential neighborhoods including, Forest Knolls, Forest Hill, Forest Hill Extension, Midtown Terrace, West Portal, Diamond Heights, Miraloma Park, St. Francis Wood, Balboa Terrace, Sherwood Forest, Westwood Highland, Westwood Park, Sunnyside, Monterey Heights, Balboa Terrace, Mount Davidson Manor and Ingleside Terrace. In this district you’ll find all sorts of peaks—perfect for an urban hike on a sunny day.
Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve / Interior Greenbelt
Author’s Pick: Mt. Davidson Park
Mt. Davidson Park is an escape from reality. It is the highest natural point in San Francisco providing astounding views of San Francisco, East Bay and San Bruno Mountain State Park. The hike up to the top is roughly 10-15 minutes. Blue gem eucalyptus are profoundly present while walking up the mountain
District 5: Central / Upper Market
San Francisco’s Central / Upper Market district is a large district with many diverse offerings. Here you’ll find everything from Haight Ashbury to The Castro. Other neighborhoods include: Buena Vista/Ashbury Heights, Cole Valley/ Parnassus Heights/ Clarendon Heights, Corona Heights, Twin Peaks, Duboce Triangle, Mission Dolores, Noe Valley, and Glen Park.
Twin Peaks/Christmas Tree Point
Author’s Pick: Corona Heights Park
Corona Heights Park offers unobstructed panoramic views of San Francisco. It is nestled between the Castro and Corona Heights neighborhoods. The Randall Museum is right behind the main entrance to the hill however it is temporarily closed until November 2016. The entire area is underlain by Franciscan chert bedrock and it takes roughly 3 minutes to walk to the top. – A perfect inner city hike.
District 6: Central North
San Francisco’s small but, rather busy, District 6 is home to some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods: Lower Pacific Heights, Western Addition, Anza Vista, North Panhandle, Alamo Square and Hayes Valley. While you won’t find hiking in this neighborhood, there are tons of parks to enjoy the great outdoors (or a bottle of rosé).
Author’s Pick: The Panhandle
The Panhandle is a narrow park that comes right off of Golden Gate park, stretched between Stanyan and Baker Streets. It is known for it’s sport courts, trails and bike lanes. It’s a great place to bike through, stop to lay and read, or enjoy a picnic.
District 7: North
Claimed to be the smallest District, District 7 only covers the Marina, Cow Hollow, Presidio Heights and Pacific Heights.
Fort Mason Great Meadow (Entire Fort Mason)
Author’s Pick: Marina Green
The Marina Green is located in San Francisco’s scenic Marina District and runs between Fort Mason and the Presidio. Prior to the 1906 earthquake, this area was a tidal marsh. Between 1920 and 1944, Marina Green served as Montgomery Airfield/Marina Airfield for the United States Post Office Department Transcontinental Air Mail Service coast to coast air mail route. Today, the greens provide areas for play and relaxation along with its remarkable views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the entire bay.
District 8: Northeast:
Largely surrounded by water, District 8: Northeast is the core of San Francisco: North Waterfront, North Beach, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Financial District/Barbary Coast, Downtown, Tenderloin, and Van Ness/Civic Center.
Author’s Pick: Ina Coolbrith Park
Ina Coolbrith was a prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area literary community. In 1911 she became California’s first Poet Laureate. The park is perched atop Russian Hill and is known for it’s “meditative setting and spectacular bay views.” The park is small but it does offer impressive views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.
District 9: Central East
San Francisco’s District 9 stretches from South Beach to Bernal Heights along with Yerba Buena, South of Market, Potrero Hill, Mission Bay, Central Waterfront / Dogpatch and the Inner Mission.
Author’s Pick: Bernal Heights Park
Bernal Heights Park is not much of a park but once atop, it offers extravagant 360 degree panoramic views of San Francisco. To get to the summit is roughly 20 minutes and totally worth it. The hill borders Bernal Heights, the Mission and the Bayview.
District 10: Southeast
San Francisco’s 10th district is heavily populated with many small neighborhoods including the Outer Mission, Mission terrace, Excelsior, Crocker amazon, Portola, Visitacion Valley, Little Hollywood, Bayview Heights, Bayview, Silber Terrace, Candlestick Point, and the famous Hunters Point.
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
Author’s Pick: John McLaren Park
John McLaren Park is one of the most underrated parks in San Francisco. It’s San Francisco’s second-largest park! There are playgrounds, picnic areas, game courts, the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre, Gleneagles Golf course, McNab Lake and Coffman Pool. The park hosts 7 miles of walking trails along with native plants and wildlife. The park is surrounded by the Excelsior, Crocker-Amazon, Visitacion Valley Portola and University Mound neighborhoods.
I’m so glad that the innertet allows free info like this!
Wow, I love your blog! This is a great, comprehensive post. I am also a blogger–an urban hiker blogger, based in San Francisco! Please check out my blog, http://www.urbanhikersf.com if you are interested in more urban hikes. I also highly recommend Adah Bakalinsky’s Stairway Walks in San Francisco.
Thanks, Alexandra! We’re so honored. ?