Photo by: John Gillespie (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Self-Guided Walking Tour

San Francisco

Self-Guided Walking Tour

The Presidio has a long and rich history of military service. Its life as a military base ended in 1994. Since then, the Presidio has transformed from “post to park” through the collaborative support of The Presidio Trust, Golden Gate Conservancy and National Park Service, rehabilitating buildings, restoring habitat, and creating parks, trails and scenic overlooks.

Getting around is easy thanks to Presidio GO Downtown and Around the Park shuttles, and two SF MUNI bus stops. The loop trail described below is one of a network of trails. This self-guided walking tour presents an art-and-nature-immersion experience.

Three trails connect to create a 2.7-mile loop around the Presidio’s southern end. Mountain Lake is designed for both pedestrians and cyclists. The Upper Ecology Trail and Lovers’ Lane are pedestrian only. This loop features the artistic works of Andy Goldsworthy, one of the world’s most renowned site-specific artists. Goldsworthy creates sculptures from natural materials found on the trail. View four art installations—Spire, Wood Line, Tree Fall and Earth Wall—and some of San Francisco’s most beloved scenic views within the Presidio.

The Spire is a short walk off the main Ecology Trail. Both trails begin at the Inspiration Point parking area and overlook. Standing at Inspiration Point, take time to enjoy views of Alcatraz, Angel Island and dozens of sailboats. Spire is 15 feet wide at the base and towers 100 feet into the sky. The Ecology Trail features diverse habitats, ranging from restored native grasslands to native wildflowers, majestic redwoods, oaks, Eucalyptus, Monterey Pine and Monterey Cypress.

From the Spire, walkers may go right to join a short segment of the 2.6-mile Mountain Lake Trail or left to the Ecology Trail. The Mountain Lake Trail passes a playground to Lovers’ Lane. (The larger segment of the Mountain Lake Trail crosses the lower end of the golf course and its namesake lake west of the loop.) By continuing on the Ecology Trail, walkers will see Earth Wall or Tree Fall.

Wood Line is near the turn from Mountain Lake Trail to Lovers’ Lane at the Presidio’s Broadway Gate. It is inspired by the Presidio’s Eucalyptus grove, planted in the late 1800s. Goldsworthy set down a zigzag design on the forest floor made from fallen Eucalyptus trees. Trunks lay end to end extending more than 1,200 feet.

Lovers’ Lane is the oldest footpath through the Presidio, created by Spanish soldiers in the 18th century. Lovers’ Lane merges into Presidio Boulevard, the Main Post and Ecology Trail. Tree Fall is an indoor art installation within the historic Powder Magazine. Earth Wall is located inside the Hardie Courtyard at the Historic Presidio Officers’ Club, now a multi-faceted cultural destination.

Things to see and do in San Francisco

Spruce

3640 Sacramento St., CA, san Francisco, 94118
www.sprucesf.com

Located in Presidio Heights, Spruce's character and charm welcomes guests. Esquire magazine named it one of America's best new restaurants. The coveted Michelin Guideawarded it with one star. As...

Read More

Spruce

3640 Sacramento St., CA, san Francisco, 94118
www.sprucesf.com
Located in Presidio Heights, Spruce's character and charm welcomes guests. Esquire magazine named it one of America's best new restaurants. The coveted Michelin Guideawarded it with one star. As visitors pass through the foyer, they enter a private dining room, library and cafe. A selection of pannini and seasonal salads are among the local residents' favorites.

Sessions

1 Letterman Drive, Presidio, CA, san Francisco, 94123
www.sessionssf.com

Specializing in serving locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Meats and seafood are raised sustainably. Diners enjoy small plates designed for sharing. Sessions serves dinner, lunch, brunch,...

Read More

Sessions

1 Letterman Drive, Presidio, CA, san Francisco, 94123
www.sessionssf.com
Specializing in serving locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Meats and seafood are raised sustainably. Diners enjoy small plates designed for sharing. Sessions serves dinner, lunch, brunch, beer, cocktails, wine and Sunday chicken dinners. Beer lovers will find a perfect match for their meal from a selection of 100 different varieties of craft beers.

Presidio

, CA, san Francisco,
www.presidio.gov

This former military base is open for public use and recreation. The area is divided into four distinct sections Golden Gate, Crissy Field, Main Post and Southern Fields. More than 25 miles of...

Read More

Presidio

, CA, san Francisco,
www.presidio.gov
This former military base is open for public use and recreation. The area is divided into four distinct sections Golden Gate, Crissy Field, Main Post and Southern Fields. More than 25 miles of multi-use trails weave through the Presidiio.

Golden Gate Bridge

, CA, san Francisco,
goldengatebridge.org

This world famous bridge, opened in 1937, crosses the San Francisco Bay to connect the city of San Francisco to Sausalito and the Marin headlands. Hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists walk 1.7 miles...

Read More

Golden Gate Bridge

, CA, san Francisco,
goldengatebridge.org
This world famous bridge, opened in 1937, crosses the San Francisco Bay to connect the city of San Francisco to Sausalito and the Marin headlands. Hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists walk 1.7 miles to cross the bridge with sweeping views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the Pacific Ocean.

Golden Gate Park

, CA, san Francisco,
goldengatepark.com

Golden Gate Park stretches more than 1,000 acres in a long, narrow strip bordering on the northern edge of the city. The park features more than 100 points of interest, including world-class museums...

Read More

Golden Gate Park

, CA, san Francisco,
goldengatepark.com
Golden Gate Park stretches more than 1,000 acres in a long, narrow strip bordering on the northern edge of the city. The park features more than 100 points of interest, including world-class museums (California Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum), Japanese Tea Gardens, Conservatory of Flowers, Music Concourse, lakes, bicycle tours, vintage carousel and playground.

San Francisco Trails

Lake Merced Loop (San Francisco)

California - 4.5 miles

This 4.5-mile paved trail encircles Lake Merced in southwestern San Francisco. The western leg of the loop is also referred to as the Lake Merced...

Bay Area Ridge Trail (San Francisco Presidio)

California - 2.5 miles

This 2.5-mile trail segment through San Francisco's Presidio is part of 340-mile network of multi-use trails collectively known as the Bay Area Ridge...

Golden Gate Park Bike Path

California - 3.95 miles

The Golden Gate Park Bike Path winds through San Francisco's famous city park, providing both a retreat from urban life and an important link in the...

Accordion

San Francisco Bay Trail

California - 301.5 miles

The San Francisco Bay Trail is a colossal effort to create a 500-mile multiuse trail encircling its namesake bay. Along its course, the trail will...

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