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Nature, Wildlife, and Open Spaces

The Presidio is an oasis of nature where wild open spaces and places shaped by people welcome the community to explore, play, ​learn, volunteer, and find refuge. In an afternoon hike one can experience the native plant communities of pre-urban San Francisco as well as the grandeur of cypress groves planted by the Army to break the powerful ocean winds. This exceptional diversity is what attracts visitors - from hikers to migratory birds - to the park.

 

The Presidio Trust and its partners are preserving and enhancing the Presidio's cultural and natural landscapes, and also adding a 21st century chapter - including trails and recreational areas - to the park's evolving story.

 

 What's Here?

 
* 300-acre forest of eucalyptus, cypress, and pine planted at the end of the 19th century
*
relic natural areas harboring 13 native plant communities and 330 native plant species
*
two complete watersheds, Tennessee Hollow and Lobos Creek Valley
fresh water Mountain Lake
*
exceptional biodiversity, including 230 species of birds, 30 butterfly species, and 60 bee species
* rich collection of historic gardens and ornamental plantings, including rare 100-year-old hybrids
*
four parade grounds
*
one of the nation’s oldest golf courses
*
24 miles of trails, with 8 scenic overlooks and vista points
* an overnight campground at Rob Hillplaying fields, and picnic areas

Nature in the Presidio

A hummingbird hovers near El Polin Spring

Discover El Polín Spring

Spend the day exploring El Polín Spring and all this “outdoor classroom” has to offer. From rare birds and butterflies to native plants, the fresh water here gives life to some of the most ecologically rich wildlife habitat in the Presidio. Read More >>

Discover

A photo of young cypress trees growing in front of a grove of historic cypress trees, shrouded in fog.

The Presidio Forest

The 300-acre forest is a beloved historic feature and provides valuable wildlife habitat.
A close-up of Presidio clarkia, a small five petaled pink flower, among green grass.

Native Plants

The Presidio is a refuge for 13 native plant communities and 330 native plant species.
A red admiral butterfly perched on a green leaf.

Birds, Insects + Wildlife

The park features exceptional biodiversity, including 230 species of birds, 30 butterfly species, and 60 bee species.

Three children standing on the shore of Mountain Lake, where ducks and geese are swimming.

Water

Riparian habitats are being restored from Mountain Lake to Tennessee Hollow.
A photo of the Main Parade Ground looking southwest uphill with the Montgomery Street Barracks in the background.

Ceremonial Landscapes

The Presidio has a tradition of beautiful formal landscapes, including the Main Parade Ground.
A photo of dozens of sunflowers and other blossoms at the Fort Scott Organic Community Garden.

Domestic Landscapes

Historic gardens and streetscapes are a nod to the Presidio's tradition of family life.

Spaces for Recreation + Play

A photo of many young boys playing soccer at Julius Kahn Field.

So many places to play and get healthy ... the Presidio is home to playgrounds, trails, a campground, a golf course. Read More >>
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 Nature Events

 
Dec
27
Nature, Kids and Family
Join the San Francsico Amateur Astronomers for stargazing ...
Dec
30
Kids and Family, Nature
Every December, hundreds of Bay Area birders take part in ...
Jan
03
Nature
Join the Healthy Parks, Healthy People Rangers and leaders...
Jan
08
Art and Culture, History and Archaeology, Kids and Family, Nature, Talks and Lectures
This insightful and entertaining presentation brings this ...

Volunteer Opportunities

A photo of a mother and toddler daughter dressed for cold weather crouching to plant a young tree.

Serve + Support

Volunteers sustain and transform the Presidio by planting seeds, maintaining trails, leading tours, and so much more