How to Create an Instant Urban Trail

Hear the story of how a trail was created by a small group in a year-and-a-half for $600 and learn the trail components incorporated to make the trail so popular.

Presented by:

Part of the California Trails and Greenways webinar series.

July 09, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)

Register for free at https://www.americantrails.org/training/how-to-create-an-instant-urban-trail

Trail Status Update

In today’s world, getting outside is important. The current recommendation is to stay close to home. Only travel with your own household, and try to stay 6′ apart from others you may encounter. Wear a mask when you get this close to others.

Explore your neighborhood! If you visit the Crosstown Trail, here are some updates you should be aware of.

Candlestick State Recreation Area Parking Closed

Candlestick State Park is temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited. The park is open to local residents.

Laguna Honda Trails Closed

The Laguna Honda Community Trail System is closed as of March 23rd. This is to protect the safety of the staff and residents.

If you are hiking or biking Section 2 of the Crosstown trail, you can go around Laguna Honda using Woodside Boulevard to Laguna Honda Boulevard.

Northbound short detour: On reaching the Portola/Twin Peaks Blvd intersection: Continue on Portola Blvd a short distance to Woodside Boulevard. Turn right. Continue to where it merges with Laguna Honda Boulevard, and turn right at the next light to continue on Laguna Honda Boulevard. Cross Laguna Honda Boulevard at the crosswalk between the hospital pedestrian gate and Forest Hill Muni Statoin. Section 2 ends.

Southbound short detour: From the Forest Hill Muni Station, cross to the mural on the other side of Laguna Honda Boulevard. Turn right. Turn left at the next intersection to continue along Laguna Honda Boulevard, then stay to the left to continue on Woodside Boulevard. At the top of the hill, turn left on Portola Boulevard. The next intersection will be Twin Peaks Blvd and Portola Blvd, resume following the regular route from there.

Laguna Honda Closure Info

SF Rec and Park Trails Open

From SF Rec & Park: “During these unprecedented times, we would like to assure you that our parks, trails and open spaces remain open to allow people to go outside and get some fresh air. Parks provide many benefits that are essential to the wellbeing of our communities. Exercise and spending time in nature can improve both our mental and physical health. Spending just 20 minutes a day outdoors can significantly lower stress hormones while regular exercise can boost our cardiovascular health and immune system.”

Note that playgrounds and facilities are closed; Read more about SF Rec and Park status.

Forest Hill Muni Station Improvements Complete

The Forest Hill Irrigation Improvement Project is completed as of mid-August 2020. Check out the new Nature Exploration Area.

Forest Hill Info

Baker Beach Access Open

The Baker Beach Green Streets project is complete as of late July 2020.

Baker Beach Green Streets Project Info

Last updated 8/20/20

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:
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

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.

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.

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.