I see no good reason why a large portion of the reservation should not be used as a public park. The ground to the west and south of the barracks is very rough and irregular, entirely unfit for a military post.
- Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, 1874
In the 1870s a bill appeared in the U.S. Senate calling for the transfer of the Presidio to the City of San Francisco so it could be used as a public park. The bill did not pass, but it was agreed that the people of San Francisco should have access to the Presidio for their recreation.
Little League played baseball on the post’s diamonds, scouts camped at Rob Hill, and in the 1920s a portion of the post officially became Julius Kahn Playground, serving the city’s children. Over the last decade, the Presidio Trust and its partners have worked to realize the full potential of the park as a recreational destination. The backbone of this effort is the Presidio Trails and Overlooks system, now nearly complete, which connects every corner of the park.
Rob Hill Campground, which was completely renovated in 2010 with a generous gift from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, continues to host scouts and other community groups as well as Camping at the Presidio (CAP). Funded by the Trust and operated by the Crissy Field Center, CAP is a partnership of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Presidio Trust, National Park Service, and Bay Area Wilderness Training. Participation in CAP has increased dramatically each year, from 500 in 2007 to more than 4,500 in FY2011. Over the past five years, the program has introduced nearly 12,000 urban children and community leaders to the park.
Presidio Golf Course is another popular recreational destination that offers fun in the outdoors to park visitors.
The next few years will bring new and revitalized playing fields for soccer and softball; bike paths for the two-wheelers; eateries to grab a cup of joe or a picnic to fuel a long hike; and maps and guides that will help visitors navigate the immense fun to be had within 1,500 acres of outdoors.