With an endless supply of wonders, San Francisco is best experienced by foot. These local trails will make you fall in love with the city by the Bay.Less
Located in the southwest corner of San Francisco, Fort Funston was a harbor defense installation built to defend against naval attacks. Nowadays, visitors can check out the remnants of this fort which include heavy weaponry, Nike missiles, and Battery Davis's 16 inch guns. Fort Funston was also built on high sandy bluffs where the wind is quite strong. Make sure to hold onto your belongings as they may get blown away!
San Francisco's Crosstown Trail is a mixture of hiking trails, various parks, hidden paths, and more. The crosstown trail literally takes you across San Francisco allowing hikers or bikers to check out the city. As you follow the trek across the city, check out the different sights this trail has to offer including gardens, coffee shops, and bookstores.
The third most visited park in the United States, Golden Gate Park is a large urban park featuring a variety of popular attractions. This park offers many hiking trails for the whole family. Stop by the Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, or the Botanical Gardens as you make your way around the park. Other cool attractions include the de Young Museum and Japanese Tea Gardens.
The famous Lands End Trail features fantastic views of the ocean and Golden Gate Bridge, and is an absolute must for any visitor to San Francisco. This rocky corner of the city is home to the historic Sutro Baths and Lands End Beach. Shortly after the Eagle’s Point Overlook, you will turn right and head towards the Legion of Honor. If time allows, we recommend giving this incredible fine art museum a visit.
This beautiful and forested hiking trail is located right in the center of San Francisco. Located near the UCSF campus in Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve, this trail is a relaxing escape from the city. This loop can be started from several locations, we suggest beginning on the Historic Trail at the intersection of 17th and Stanyan. Look for the staircase situated between two houses that leads uphill.
If you visited San Francisco and you didn’t walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, did you even visit? Possibly the most famous attraction in San Francisco, walking (or biking) across the Golden Gate Bridge is an experience you’ll never forget. From the bridge you’ll see striking views of the city, the rocky Marin Headlands, and the Pacific Ocean. Most people start on the southern side in the city, where there is a gift shop, historical exhibits, information plaques, and a cafe.
This waterfront loop is an essential activity for any visitor to San Francisco. This walk will take you along the beach to the pier and Warming Hut, where you can stop for food and drinks before continuing your trip. Along the way you’ll have incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Marin. Keep your eyes peeled for herons and other birds in the marshes. After circling Crissy Field, the route takes you to the Palace of Fine Arts, which is a wonderful place to explore.
The Presidio is one of San Francisco’s most fascinating areas to visit. Once a US military fort (and an 18th century Spanish fort before that), the Presidio is now a beautiful and forested park where hikers, runners, and bikers can enjoy the area’s extensive network of trails. This route circles a large portion of the park, including highlights such as Lovers' Lane, the Presidio Golf Course, and an incredible viewpoint from the top of the Lyon Street Steps.
This coastal loop offers some of the best views in San Francisco. Located at the western edge of the Presidio, the Coastal and Batteries to Bluffs Trail takes visitors from the military batteries near the Golden Gate Bridge to Baker Beach. Views of the bridge are fantastic throughout the trip. About half a mile into your journey, you can take a short side trek to Marshall Beach. Be sure to keep an eye on the ocean, as marine life such as dolphins and seals are commonly spotted from the trail.
Want to see what the San Francisco landscape looked like before urban development? Look no further than Glen Canyon Park. Centered around a deep canyon to the west of Glen Park, this park offers almost 70 acres of riparian habitat, rocky outcroppings, grasslands, and the Islais Creek. Even in the middle of a major city, many animals call this park home including coyotes, skunks, red-shouldered hawks, opossums, and owls.