The following is a guest blog post by Arnold Thompson, who recently walked the Crosstown Trail and offered to share his about the experience.
After a couple glasses of wine at a Christmas party in 2019, a friend and I talked about checking out an intriguing hike we’d read about in the newspaper – the Crosstown Trail. We knew it was 17 miles and in a moment of irrational exuberance, committed to completing the whole route in one day.
Early one morning in February 2020, when Covid was known only to a few virologists, we took a rideshare out to Candlestick point and began our march. Several hours later, tired but feeling extremely proud of ourselves for having accomplished our ambitious goal, we settled in to an ocean-view table at the late, great Louis’ restaurant and ordered what they told us were the last two Anchor Steam beers. Little did we know they would close shortly thereafter.
Like so many folks shut out of gyms and other indoor spaces, we were looking for things to do outside in a socially-distant manner. Since we enjoyed the Crosstown Trail so much, we came up with the idea of doing various hikes around the city starting from our West Portal neighborhood. This worked out really well and we discovered many more hidden staircases, stellar views and interesting architecture.
After a few months of these hikes, we asked ourselves “wouldn’t it be cool to create another cross town trail from southwest to northeast?” We talked it over with a few hiking buddies and decided that yeah, that would be pretty cool! Several months of poring over maps, pounding the pavement and note-taking ensued. We wanted to incorporate nature, architectural gems, lofty views, lunch options, transit access and of course restrooms. The route needed a name, so we cheekily called it the “Double-cross Trail”. Several revisions of the “Double-cross Trail” later, we made our 14-mile route publicly-available online via the plotaroute.com service. We enjoyed creating and hiking this trail and hope you do too!