September events and updates

Here’s the updates from the September Crosstown Trail newsletter.

Map Updates

We recently updated the maps, app, and cue sheets. They 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:
https://crosstowntrail.org/map/

Events

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: CommunityGardens@sfgov.org

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

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; expanded text; and much more.

Map Info

“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 https://peasepress.com/sf.html. 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.
Map of trail at western portion of Candlestick Point. The Crosstown Trail just touches the NE end of the Endangered Garden. The garden continues south between the Bay and Harney Way.

See also Getting to Candlestick Point for some transit tips.

July 21 hike: Mountain Lake Park to Glen Park BART

Join us for an 8-mile hike along a particularly scenic and varied stretch of the Crosstown Trail, from Mountain Lake Park in the Richmond to Glen Park BART. Sights include the Park Presidio Greenway, Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park, tiled stairways and the Green Hairstreak Corridor ecological restoration in Golden Gate Heights, Laguna Honda Hospital’s farm and garden, and Glen Canyon’s restored riparian habitat. Meet at the Mountain Lake Park Playground (near Funston Ave. & Lake St.). Restrooms at start. Bring water and snacks; we’ll take a few bio-breaks along the route, which finishes at Glen Park BART. Both the start and finish are well-served by transit.

When: Sunday, July 21, 2019

Start: Meet at the Mountain Lake Park playground, just north of Lake St. near Funston Ave. Arrive in time for a prompt 10 a.m. departure.

Finish: Glen Park BART station, approximately 2 p.m.

Hike leader: Karen Rhodes

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2066416320320511/

Opening weekend draws more than 200 hikers and cyclists

Karen Rhodes | June 19, 2019

The Visitacion Valley Greenway | Karen Rhodes photo

“What if I hosted a hike across San Francisco and nobody came?” Such were my thoughts as I stood at Candlestick Point, at the southeast corner of the city, on the morning of Saturday, June 1. I had offered to lead a hike along the brand-new Crosstown Trail, which reaches all the way to Lands End at the northwest. Word had gone out to a remarkably large network of open-space enthusiasts. Now, would anyone show up?

First, hiking partners Debra and John strode up. Then, four women who came all the way from San Carlos. All told, more than 25 urban explorers joined me for an 8-mile hike through the verdant Visitacion Valley Greenway, McLaren Park’s redwood trees, and Glen Canyon, once slated for a freeway but now restored as a riparian habitat.

A highlight was our visit to the Virginia Leishman Farm and Garden, hidden amid a tangle of forested trails above Laguna Honda Hospital and offering animal-assisted therapy and horticulture to hospital residents. Who knew there were goats – and pigs, and sheep – in San Francisco?

Virginia Leishman Farm & Garden | Pat Koren photo

I needn’t have worried about interest in the new trail. I led a second hike the next day, covering the northern half of the trail from Lands End to Forest Hill, that drew more than 30 participants. In tandem, my colleagues in our all-volunteer Crosstown Trail Coalition were leading full-trail hikes, a bike ride, a naturalist-guided hike, and even a run.

Along the way, we came across plenty of folks doing the trail on their own, using the maps and cue sheets we have posted at https://crosstowntrail.org/map/.

“My opening-day hike on the Crosstown Trail is now one of my all-time favorite San Francisco memories.” “A picture-perfect day – we got to see parts of the city we had never seen before.” Response to our opening weekend has been tremendous. Now, all we need to do is organize more hikes and rides, so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy this new jewel in San Francisco’s crown of parklands, streetscapes, and public open space. Join us!

Here is just a sampling of Crosstown Trail opening-weekend media coverage:

SF’s new 17-mile trail offers look at rarely seen areas (San Francisco Chronicle)

The Most Scenic Spots on San Francisco’s New 17-Mile Crosstown Trail (AFAR)

New 17-Mile ‘San Francisco Crosstown Trail’ Connects City’s Parks, Hiking Trails, and Little-Known Outdoor Gems (SFist)

Trekking SF’s new Crosstown Trail this weekend? We rounded up tips from people who have done it (SFGate)

Improve the Crosstown Trail (3rd Saturday)

Two of the highlights of the Crosstown Trail are the Visitacion Valley Greenway and the Green Hairstreak Butterfly Corridor.

Have you seen them? Want to help out? This Saturday is a great time to do so:

Visitacion Valley Greenway
Visitacion Valley Greenway

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.

Rocky Outcrop in the Green Hairstreak Corridor

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 and details.