Dec. 24 hike: Glen Park to Mountain Lake

Photo: Pat Koren

Join us for a Christmas Eve hike on an 8-mile stretch of the Crosstown Trail, through Glen Canyon, Laguna Honda’s trail network, the stairways of Forest Hill and Golden Gate Heights, and Golden Gate Park. Meet at the Glen Park BART station; finish at Mountain Lake Park. Terrain is a mix of trails, sidewalks, and stairs. Bring water, snacks, and a brown-bag lunch. We’ll take a few bio-breaks along the route. Heavy rain cancels.

When: Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Start: Meet at the Glen Park BART station entry plaza. Arrive in time for a prompt 10 a.m. departure.

Finish: Mountain Lake Park, approximately 2 p.m. Convenient to the 1 California and other transit

Hike leader: Karen Rhodes

RSVP on Facebook:

Transit Along the Crosstown Trail

Map H, version 64, updated 12/5/19

Section 1: Sunrise Point is the one Crosstown Trail start/end point that is not directly on a transit line. Learn how to get to Candlestick Point State Recreation Area from MUNI’s T, 56, and 29 and Caltrain.

Section 1: Bayshore Blvd and Arleta Station are served by MUNI T, 8, 9, and 56. Caltrain’s Bayshore Station is 2 blocks south of Blanken Ave. via Tunnel Ave.. SamTrans 292 and 397 also stop nearby on Bayshore Blvd.

Along Section 1: Near Visitation Valley Greenway the eastbound 56 runs on Leland and the wesbound 56 stops high up the hill at Wilde and Delta. The 29 runs along the top of McLaren Park on Mansell Dr., and the 44 runs along Silver St. As you cross Mission St. you can catch the 14 and 23.

Sections 1/2: Glen Park BART is served by MUNI 23, 35, 36, 44, and 52. The J stops one block south of the BART station (via an overpass and stairs off Diamond St.).

Along Section 2: MUNI 36, 44, 48, and 52 stop at Portola and Woodside Drives (near Tower Market and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts). The 36 also loops past Panorama and Cityview (1 block from the Troop 88 Trail).

Section 2/3: Forest Hill MUNI Station is served by the 36, 43, 44, and 52 buses, and K, L, and M Metro lines.

Along Section 3: MUNI 6 ends at 14th Ave. and Quinatara, which is roughly the midpoint of the trail. The 66 runs past the foot of the Moraga and 16th Ave. stairs.

Section 3/4: Judah St. and 16th Ave. is along the N Judah light rail line. The eastbound N stops right here; the westbound stop is 1 block east at 15th Ave..

Along Section 4 at the Lincoln Way/19th Ave. entrance of Golden Gate Park you can catch the 7, 28 and 29. Near the Rose Garden entrance at Fulton and Park-Presidio Blvd. you can catch the 5/5R and 28. The 44 stops inside the park in front of the DeYoung Museum and Academy of Sciences (a 12-minute walk east of Stow Lake)

Section 4/5: Geary Blvd. and Park Presidio Blvd. is where MUNI’s 38R and 28 lines cross.

Along Section 5: At California St. you can catch the 1 bus. (The 44 no longer stops here but you can catch it at 6th and Clement).

The hiking route next crosses the 29 at Lincoln Blvd. in the Presidio; the bike route on Lake St. crosses the 29 at 25th Ave..

At El Camino Del Mar and 32nd Ave. you are 2 blocks north of the 1 bus on California St.. The bike route goes past the 18 terminus opposite the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Section 5: Lands End Lookout visitor center is 1 block from the 38R Point Lobos terminus. Go east up Point Lobos Ave. 1 block to 48th Ave.; go right at the signal and board the bus at the front of the line. (Coming west, some 38s end at the VA Hospital; check the destination sign).

If you go west past the Cliff House to the Great Highway, turn left 1 block on Balboa St. and right 1 block on La Playa to the Ocean Beach terminus where you can catch the 5/5R, 18, and 31.

Notes: Most MUNI transit shelters have a MUNI system map and frequency chart. You can get a PDF of the MUNI system map at

Public Transit Tips:
MUNI busses have wheelchair ramps and room for two wheelchairs; most buses also have front-mounted racks for 2 bikes. MUNI light rail lines (J, K/T, L, M, N) do not allow bicycles, and only certain “key stops” are wheelchair-accessible. Bikes are allowed on Caltrain and BART (check for restrictions). More information at,, and Most MUNI bus shelters and stations have detailed route maps, which are also available online from SFMTA.

If you have a Clipper card, Fast Pass or Proof of Payment (POP, AKA a transfer), you can board any door; tap your card at the reader or keep your POP handy. For cash fares please board at the front (there is a small surcharge for cash fares). Transfers are good for 2 hours. See MUNI shelters or for current fares, including senior and youth discounts. Drivers cannot make change.

Groups: If you are planning a group outing using public transit, having people arrive at one of the trail’s start points will give you a lot of options. Paying fares for a large group can be time-consuming and chaotic, so I like to plan my outings so our groups board lines that runs articulated busses (like the 5R, 7, 14, and 38R), light rail lines (J, K, L, M, N) and/or at a terminus. It doesn’t delay the bus as much (good for the driver and your fellow passengers).

Sometimes drivers ask one person to count noses, pay all the fares, and then distribute the proofs of payment to your group. At the start of the line sometimes there’s time for each person to pay their fare and collect their POP. If you transfer, your group can board the next vehicle at any door.

Boarding at the start, have your group take up a block of seats towards the middle or back; mid-route you may have to disperse into available spaces. (Of course folks should give seat priority to seniors, and people with disabilities). Keep backpacks by your feet so they take up less room.

September events and updates

Here’s the latest from our September newsletter.

Map Updates

The Crosstown Trail is not signed, so our maps, cue sheets, and app are your best bet for enjoying the trail. We recently updated everything, to include a few small tweaks based on feedback. And some have asked for a GPX file, which is now available too. Get the latest versions on our website:


Here are some events along the trail this month. And some things you may want to have.

Laguna Honda Community Trails Grand Opening

Join SF Urban Riders for a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a family friendly party. Meet the trail makers, enjoy some entertainment, and more.

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Saturday September 28th.
Laguna Honda Hospital, 375 Laguna Honda Blvd
Opening Details & RSVP

Kimchi Workshop at the Visitacion Valley Greenway 9/28

Learn how to safely make kimchi at home in the Vistiacion Valley Greenway Community Garden.

Saturday 9/28, 10-11:30
FREE, but space is limited.
RSVP to:

Shaping SF Public Talk: Neighborhood Corridors—Memory & Ecology

Ever wonder how the many green spaces in the city come to life? Come to this Shaping SF Talk, which will include stories of the Visitacion Valley Greenway (along the Crosstown Trail) and more.

(Note: This talk was announced after the newsletter was released!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
518 Valencia: The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics
More details at Shaping SF

SF Bay Area Careers in the Environment

Are you young and interested in building an environmental career working in science, administration, hands-on stewardship, or education? Then this is for you! Network, share your experience and think about what path you will take toward a career you love. The event is outdoors and will be a fun combination of hands-on science, habitat restoration, conversations, and Q & A with youth speakers.

Sat, 9/21 10:00 – 2:00, 15th Ave & Quintara St
Career Event Details & RSVP

Volunteer Opportunities

Want to volunteer along the route? Some ways you can help:
* Laguna Honda Community Trail System work with SF Urban Riders, every 2nd Saturday of the month (details) .
* Nature in the City works on the Green Hairstreak Corridor every third Saturday of the month, in addition to other projects at places such as the Alemany Farm adjacent to the trail. (Calendar)
* The Visitacion Valley Greenway will hold its monthly third Saturday garden project, 10AM – 1PM. Meet at the Community Garden (near 141 Arleta Avenue). Contact Fran Martin if interested.

Get a shirt or a cap

The first batch of T-shirts was so popular, we got some more made. And some caps too.
If you’d like one for yourself, stop by

“The Walker’s Map of SF” now features Crosstown Trail

The Walker’s Map of San Francisco, by Pease Press, is a complete street map, with every trail, stairway, and park, plus neighborhood shopping areas, historic districts, MUNI routes, and scenic vistas.

The 2019 fourth edition adds the Crosstown Trail, plus new trails at Mount Sutro, Laguna Honda and Golden Gate Park. You’ll also find the regional trails the Crosstown Trails links to, including the Bay, Ridge, Anza, and Coastal Trails.

Stop by Mission Blue SF, Bird & Beckett Books, Green Apple, or Lands End Lookout. Also available online from Pease Press.

“The Walker’s Map of SF” now features Crosstown Trail

First published in 2010, The Walker’s Map of San Francisco, by Pease Press, is a complete map of the city, showing every trail, stairway, and park, plus neighborhood commercial areas, scenic vistas, and MUNI routes.

The new, fourth edition (released in July 2019), includes the Crosstown Trail; an inset map of Mount Sutro (including the Bay Area Ridge Trail reroute); new trails at Laguna Honda and Golden Gate Park; and bike routes on city streets. The expanded text briefly describes major parks throughout the city, and includes an extensive list of books, websites, park agency contacts, and dog information.

The map goes beyond the county line to include Angel Island, Alcatraz, and the Marin Headlands to the north, plus San Bruno Mountain on our southern horizon. Cartographer Ben Pease calls it “a tourist map for locals, and a local map for tourists. It won’t follow you around like an app, but you can see the whole city at once in full detail.”

Pease is also the official cartographer for the Crosstown Trail. “This is a great map for seeing all the trails that link to the Trail, both within parks and regionally, such as the Coastal, Ridge, Bay, and Anza trails,” he says. “And you can also see all the MUNI connections to and from the trailheads.”

Ordering info can be found at Suggested retail price is $7.95 plus tax. You can also find the map at many San Francisco bookstores, including:

  • Bird and Beckett (in Glen Park, 2 blocks from the Crosstown Trail) 
  • Green Apple Books (on Clement and at the Park)
  • Dog Eared Books (on Valencia and in the Castro) 
  • The Green Arcade (Market at Gough) 
  • City Lights (Columbus and Broadway)

Peace and Unity Celebration at the Greenway, Aug. 17

Our friends at the Visitacion Valley Greenway invite you to a Peace and Unity Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Live music, clowns, and artists will be stationed along the walkways of the Greenway, starting at the Children’s Play Garden and branching into the Herb Garden and the Agriculture Garden. Underpass Brass Band, Dueto Arte, Mr. Choy’s trio, classical violinist David Cheng and more! Book and Wheel’s Chispa Cart debut! Dog costume contest, activities for children, local beekeepers, community arts and crafts. Bring a picnic and a blanket to sit on, and a dish to share for our multicultural potluck!

Bike ride July 14

Join us for a bike ride on the Crosstown Trail. This time we’ll ride Southbound. Start at the Lands End Visitor Center, then pass through GGNRA, Park Presidio Greenway, Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Heights, Laguna Honda Community Trails, College Hill, McLaren Park, the Visitacion Valley Greenway, Little Hollywood, Candlestick State Recreation Area, and more.

“Mixed terrain” is the name of the game–some trails (mostly mild), roads ranging from freshly paved to not-so-freshly-paved, and paved pathways. There’s even some stairways, though there are always alternates to avoid the stairs.

Steady pace ride; be prepared to ride with minimal breaks, though we will pause at restrooms and water along the way as needed. Bring a water bottle and snacks, there will be breaks but no designated food stops.

Distance is about 17 miles and over 2500′ of elevation gained.

Meet at the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center at 10AM, Sunday July 14. RSVP and updates on Facebook.

Side trip: the Endangered Garden

The Crosstown Trail’s southern terminus is at the Sunrise Point fishing pier inside Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. This little-known park is worth exploring. If you’re willing to take a slight detour, you can visit the Endangered Garden, a concrete promenade created by public artist Patricia Johanson that pays tribute to the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake. The promenade continues along the shoreline to the Sunnydale water treatment plant. It’s worth the trip to check out the art and the view.

Following the main Crosstown Trail, you’ll safely cross Harney Way at a crosswalk. (Going north, this is how you leave the park; going south, this is how you enter the park.) But you’ll miss the Endangered Garden, a few yards west of the crosswalk. Feel free to explore it, but please do not attempt to cross Harney Way here. Return to that crosswalk to the east!

The alternative route below shows you how you can find the Endangered Garden, walking along the shoreline instead of the road, and return to the crosswalk.

Endangered Garden pathway, just west of the main Crosstown Trail.
The Endangered Garden promenade is an out-and-back side trip just southwest of where the Crosstown Trail crosses Harney Way. Map revised 11/25/19.

See also Getting to Candlestick Point for some transit tips.