We’re excited to share a new park-wide self-guided experience in the Presidio called “Field Notes.” Field Notes are a constellation of small, wooden-hinged blocks affixed to fence posts, benches and stumps along park trails that contain hidden messages that invite park visitors of all ages to explore and make discoveries about the Presidio’s natural world.

There are at least 10 Field Notes each season, each containing a unique observational prompt – for instance, a visitor can look for a locally rare butterfly in the spring, discover a remnant of a historic rose garden in the summer, or smell fragrant California sage in the fall. A visitor can access this page and the Field Notes map through a QR Code inside the blocks. See the below list of Field Notes, their coordinating location on the map to the right, and learn more about how QR codes work.


 Winter 2022 Field Notes

Presidio Main Post field note

​1. Main Post/Tunnel Tops

If San Francisco had an official perfume, this botanical fragrance might be it.

Crissy Field field note

2. Crissy Field

Once a parking lot, more than 130 bird species now find habitat here. Who will you see during your visit on the footbridge?

Lower Tennessee Hollow Watershed

​3. Lower Tennessee Hollow Watershed

Come catch a listen to the seasonal soundtrack of a tiny four-legged creature on the Lover’s Lane bridge.

Upper Tennessee Hollow Watershed field note

​4. Upper Tennessee Hollow Watershed

Winter rains + gravity = an unique opportunity to see, hear, and touch an ancient waterway in the city!

Mountain Lake and Lobos Creek Valley

5. Mountain Lake/Lobos Creek Valley

Did you know the Presidio is home to endangered species? Winter rains bring spring wildflowers that are just starting to grow now.

Baker Beach field note

6. Baker Beach

​Have you ever noticed small holes in the sand that appear along the surf as the waves recede? Tiny creatures have lived here for millennia.

Coastal Bluffs field note

​7. Coastal Bluffs

San Francisco and Hollywood have something special in common. Find out why at this spot on the spectacular Coastal Bluffs.

Fort Scott and Rob Hill field note

​8. Fort Scott/Rob Hill

Historic stone lined pathways will lead you to discover a charming grove of our state trees here. Other surprises also await.

Horse Stable/Park Trail/National Cemetery

​9. Horse Stable/Park Trail/National Cemetery

This is a unique spot of historic forest to see trees that are “kids” and “great-great grandparents” growing together. You’ll learn to identify the three main kinds of trees in the park here.

Fort Point and Torpedo Wharf field note

​10. Fort Point/Torpedo Wharf

Around the park there are a number of curious relics from the Presidio’s past life as an Army post. Discover two of them here!

Bonus field note

​11. Bonus Field Note

The migration of this creature is considered one of the most spectacular phenomena in the world. If you look carefully, you may see a few roosting at this secluded spot.



An essential part of this pilot is a dynamic QR code featured inside each block – this is a barcode that is a machine-readable, optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. You might have used a QR code at a restaurant to access a menu, for instance.

Access the Field Notes QR codes by using a smart phone and focusing the “photo” app – as if to take a photo – on the square code. This will trigger the code and make a link pop up linking to your phones browser where you’ll find this page (which includes a map and more information so you can explore all of the Presidio Field Notes).


Field Notes are part of our outdoor self-guided experiences provided to visitors as we gear up for the opening of Presidio Tunnel Tops. Building on the success of a prototype of a Field Note that was located near El Polín Spring in 2019, Presidio Field Notes is a park-wide pilot. Each season, Presidio Field Notes will be relocated to new sites and will contain updated, seasonal content to encourage visitors to explore their environment and learn more about the ecology of the Presidio.​​