How long is the trail?
The full length of trail is just under 17 miles. It is a mix of about 45% roads and sidewalks, 15% paved off-road paths, and 40% trails (dirt, improved gravel paths, boardwalks, etc). It’s about 2600′ of elevation gain heading in either direction. Each section has its own characteristics, as illustrated by the table and profiles.
Length in miles; elevation gain in feet.
What are the barriers on the trail?
The trail crosses a variety of terrain, from flat streets (by SF standards) to steep stairways, and on sidewalks, paved trails, roads, and dirt trails that range from wide service roads to narrow single track with varied terrain.
The bicycle route has far fewer stairs than the hike route. Whenever stairs are encountered, an alternate/detour route is provided. You may still cross small obstacles (e.g., curbs, trail features). No specific detour is provided for the single-track trails in the Laguna Honda Community Trail System and Golden Gate Park, but you can use nearby roads instead.
Is the trail signed?
In general, no. Be sure to bring a map, cue sheet, or use the app to find your way. You may find a few maps or signs along the way, a nice treasure.
What neighborhoods and open spaces does the Crosstown Trail connect?
Some of the places connected by the trail include:
- Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, including the new Sunrise Point Campground
- Little Hollywood neighborhood
- Visitacion Valley neighborhood and business district
- Visitacion Valley Greenway
- McLaren Park, including the Wilde Overlook Tower, Philosopher’s Way, Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, and Yosemite Marsh
- University Mound
- St. Mary’s Park and Alemany Farm
- College Hill
- Glen Park Greenway and Glen Canyon Park
- Laguna Honda Community Trail System
- Forest Hill MUNI station and neighborhood
- Green Hairstreak Corridor including Golden Gate Heights, Rocky Outcrop, and Grandview parks
- The 16th Ave. Tiled Steps and the Hidden Garden Steps
- Golden Gate Park including Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill
- The Park Presidio Greenway
- The Richmond District
- The Presidio, including Lobos Creek
- Baker Beach
- The Seacliff neighborhood
- Lincoln Park
- GGNRA, including Lands End
What other trails connect to the Crosstown Trail?
In addition to connecting many of the proposed routes of the Green Connections Plan, the Crosstown Trail connects to many local and regional trails. These include:
- San Francisco Bay Trail
- Bay Area Ridge Trail
- Blue Greenway
- California Coastal Trail
- Philosopher’s Way
- Creeks to Peaks Trail
- Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
Does the Crosstown Trail connect to public transit?
Yes! Section 1 in southeast SF connects with the Bayshore Caltrain station and MUNI’s T, 8, 9, 8, 14, 29, 44, 14, and 49 lines, plus Glen Park BART. Sections 2 and 3 in the heart of the city connect with MUNI’s 6, 23, 35, 36, 43, 44, 48, 52, and 66 lines, plus the K, L, and M light rail at Forest Hill Station. Sections 4 and 5 in northwest SF connect with MUNI’s N, 1, 5, 7, 28, 29, 38, and 44 lines. Find a complete list of transit connections by section, with a link to the official SFMTA MUNI system map.
Who is part of this?
The Crosstown Trail Coalition is a group of individuals in San Francisco who love trails. We’re part of many outdoor groups you may have heard of, including:
- Bay Area Ridge Trail Council
- Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
- Friends of Oak Woodlands
- Glen Park Greenway
- Nature in the City
- SF Parks Alliance
- SF Urban Riders
- Sutro Stewards
- Visitacion Valley Greenway
- Visitacion Valley Planning Alliance
- Walk SF
The Recreation and Open Space Element of the SF General Plan was adopted in April 2014. In the plan was the rough outline of the Crosstown Trail, which was envisioned to traverse the San Francisco diagonally from the southeast to the northwest, connecting neighborhoods, open spaces, and regional and local trails.
In 2018, a committee was formed to more clearly define the route of the Crosstown Trail. In August 2018, a proposed route was widely circulated to interested parties, government departments, and non-profits to obtain feedback. The committee adopted the current route, approximately 16.5 miles in length, based on this input. The trail opened to the public over the weekend of June 1-2, 2019, in conjunction with National Trails Day. More than 200 hikers and cyclists took part in the opening weekend.
How can I help the trail?
You can hike or bike the trail and and tell us a fun story of your trip. In addition, you can volunteer with one of the groups who work along the trail. or get some swag.
- SF Urban Riders works on the Laguna Honda Community Trail System every 2nd Saturday of the month.
- 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. (Calendar)
- The Visitacion Valley Greenway holds a monthly third Saturday garden project, 10AM – 1PM. Meet at the Community Garden (near 141 Arleta Avenue). Contact Fran Martin if interested.
Locations with T-Shirts and caps