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.

Commemorative T-Shirts

We still have a few commemorative Crosstown Trail T-shirts! Buying a T-shirt is one way you can support the new trail. Please drop us a message (email crosstowntrail@gmail) if you would like a shirt — treat yourself or make it a gift .

Getting to Candlestick Point

Most sections of the 17-mile Crosstown Trail are easily accessible from public transit. The east end of Section 1 in Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is an exception. Sunrise Point is an 0.6-mile walk or ride from the park entrance, and the closest public transit stops are 1.0 to 1.7 miles away. Here are two routes of roughly equal length:

Google Maps marks the start of the Crosstown Trail by “Sunrise Point Fishing Pier.”

Via Bayshore and Arleta

Take the T-Third, 8, 8AX, 8BX, 9 or 9R to the Arleta stop on Bayshore Blvd. Walk east on Blanken Ave. and follow the instructions on the Cue Sheet for “Section 1 Hike South: Glen Park BART Station to Sunrise Point.” The total distance is about 1.7 miles.

You can shave 0.5 mile off this walk by taking the 56-Rutland bus east from Blanken Ave. and Bayshore Blvd. to the terminus on Thomas Mellon Drive in SF Executive Park. This bus runs approximately every half hour. Go downhill to Harney but don’t cross here! Turn left (east) 1 block on the north side of Harney to the 3-way stop sign and crosswalk. Cross Harney then follow the trail left 0.5 mile to the park entrance and another 0.5 mile to Sunrise Point.

Via Bayshore Caltrain

The Caltrain Bayshore stop is on Tunnel Ave. Turn left on Tunnel Ave and walk 2 blocks north to Blanken. Here turn right and follow the Section 1 Southbound Cue sheet, or if you’re lucky you can hop the 56 bus for a few stops to the east end of the line and walk from there.

Via Third and Gilman

The T-Third’s Gilman/Paul stop is also the 29 Sunset bus terminus. The walk to Sunrise Point from here is 1.6 miles. Head southeast 1.0 mile on the left side of Gilman Ave. The road turns south as Hunters Point Expressway. In about 1 block turn left at the main entrance to Candlestick SRA. Angle right on the park road, then left on a paved trail heading south. Bear left to reach the shore of South Basin, then turn right to follow the paved path 0.6 mile to Sunrise Point (keeping South Basin on your left).

To shorten the walk by 0.6 mile, wait at the 29’s Third and Fitzgerald stop (1 block north of Gilman) and catch a 29 departing “Inbound towards Baker Beach.” The bus loops east before returning west. Ride 8 blocks to the east side of Gilman Playground and disembark as the bus turns left on Gilman Ave.. Continue right (southeast) on Gilman 0.4 mile to the park entrance and follow the instructions above.

The 29 Sunset runs every 10-20 minutes from 6AM to midnight.

Returning from Candlestick Park via transit

The best route is to retrace the Crosstown Trail back toward Bayshore/Arleta via the shoreline path; cross at the 3-way stop to Executive Park Blvd. then left to join Blanken St. under 101. The 56 bus starts west from Thomas Mellon Way and Executive Park Blvd. at 1.2 miles, which may shorten your walk. To reach Bayshore Caltrain from Blanken St. turn left 2 blocks on Tunnel Road.

Alternately, exit Candlestick Park at the main entrance and turn right on Hunters Point Expressway and angle left on Gilman Ave.. You can catch the 29 at Gilman Park (1.1 miles), or walk all the way to Third to catch the T-Third (1.6 miles).

Via bicycle

Enter the park at the main entrance (500 Hunters Point Expressway). Bear right on the park road, then angle left on the paved paths to reach the water. Keep South Basin on your left and follow the path 0.6 southeast to Sunrise Point.

Alternately, follow the park road 0.2 mile to the last parking lot then turn left at the restroom to follow the southern paved trail 0.5 to Sunrise Point. The two paths join before the point.

Hike the NEW SF Crosstown Trail over two days

The Crosstown Trail is long enough that you can hike it over two days. On inaugural weekend, start each day near the water’s edge and hike to the center of the city. Or join for one of these two hikes, just some of the options June 1-2.

Hike the NEW SF Crosstown Trail, Candlestick Point to Forest Hill

Meet at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Sunrise Point in the Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. The closest MUNI stop (on the 56 Rutland or 29 Sunset lines) is about a mile away, so plan accordingly. Bring water, snacks, and lunch. The hike is one-way, ending at the Forest Hill MUNI station. We’ll walk along the Visitacion Valley Greenway, McLaren Park, Glen Canyon, and the trail network above Laguna Honda Hospital. The pace will be moderate, with a break or two. Cue sheets provided, or you can download your own. We are likely to reach Forest Hill by mid-afternoon.

RSVP By selecting #1 on our Eventbrite page.

Hike the NEW SF Crosstown Trail, Land’s End to Forest Hill (8 mi.)

Meet at 10:00 a.m. Sunday at the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center off Point Lobos Ave. The closest MUNI line is the 38 Geary. Bring water, snacks, and lunch. The hike is one-way, ending at the Forest Hill MUNI station. We’ll walk along the Land’s End Coastal Trail, Lobos Creek Valley Trail, Park Presidio Greenway, Stow Lake, and the tiled stairways of Golden Gate Heights. The pace will be moderate, with a break or two. Cue sheets provided, or you can download your own from crosstowntrail.org. We are likely to reach Forest Hill by mid-afternoon.

RSVP By selecting #4 on our Eventbrite page.

Hike from Lands End to Candlestick Point

On Sunday, June 2, I will be hiking the entire distance of the SF Crosstown Trail and I invite others to join me. Join me at the Coastal Trailhead in the Northwest corner of the Lands End visitor center’s parking lot at 8:00AM. Bring water, lunch, and snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day.

Given the length of the trail (~18 miles total!) we need to start our hike early, but the 38 runs regularly 24/7, so the early start time should be feasible!

The hike will end at Sunrise Point in Candlestick park.

My plan is to go at a moderate rate, and take a coffee/water/bathroom break break or two to make the hike fun and relaxing. 

You can start with me, but as long as you are prepared with your own digital map or paper map and cue sheet that you’ve downloaded from the maps page or Outerspatial, you can go at your own pace. Since the trail intersects with several major transit hubs, and runs exclusively through San Francisco, there is also ample opportunity to call it a day and head home whenever you feel tired via public transit (or ride hailing if you prefer).

About half way through our hike we will aim to meet and have lunch with hikers who began at Sunrise Point and are heading to Lands End. My estimate is that those who go the distance will reach Sunrise Point in the late afternoon.

Looking forward to a fun day traversing the City!

RSVP By selecting #3 on our Eventbrite page.

Ride the whole trail June 2nd!

The Crosstown Trail is a new route across San Francisco.
Be one of the first to bike across it! See parts of the city you probably have not seen before.

The Crosstown Trail at the Laguna Honda Community Trail System.

We’ll start at the southeasternmost corner of the city, in Candlestick State Recreation Area at 10AM. Then ride across San Francisco: You’l see Candlestick, Visitaction Valley (including the Vis Valley Greenway), McLaren Park, St Mary’s Park, the Glen Park neighborhood, Laguna Honda Community Trails, Golden Gate Heights, and more. Ride ends at Lands End.

This is true “mixed terrain”–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.

Distance is about 17 miles and just over 2000′ of elevation gained.

Bring a water bottle and snacks, there will be breaks but no designated food stops. We hope to meet the hiking groups for lunch. Social pace.

RSVP by selecting ticket #5 on our Eventbrite page.

Walk the entire Crosstown Trail

Walk Entire Trail from Sunset Point in Candlestick Point State Recreation to Lands End on Sunday, June 2.

On Sunday, June 2, I will be hiking the entire distance of the SF Crosstown Trail and I invite others to join me by meeting at the intersection of Harney and Executive Park Blvd. at 8 a.m. with a sack lunch. Because MUNI’s Sunday schedule is a limited one early on Sunday morning, I I recommend that you to have a friend or a ride-hailing company drop you off.

The distance of the hike will be close to 18 miles because Sunrise Point Trailhead, is 1.2 miles from Harney and Executive Blvd.

My plan is to go at a moderate rate, and take a coffee break or two to make the hike a fun and relaxing one. You can start with me, but as long as you are prepared with your own digital map, or paper map and cue sheet that you’ve downloaded from crosstown trail.com., you can go at whatever rate you want. You can also exit the hike whenever you want using public transit or a ride-hailing service.

About half way through the hike we have lunch when we meet the group hiking southeast from Land’s End and to Sunrise Point.

My estimate is that those who go the distance will reach Land’s End late afternoon.

RSVP by selecting “Full Trail” on our Eventbrite page.