This fall we’re continuing our park-wide self-guided experience in the Presidio called “Field Notes.” Field Notes are a seasonally-changing 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 notice the changing colors of nature 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 and their locations on the map to the right.​

 Fall 2022 Field Notes

Presidio Main Post field note

1. Main Post/Tunnel Tops

Each blade of grass in the park tells a story about the Presidio. See the world of grasses in a new way with this Field Note located on the Adventure Maps’ station.

Crissy Field field note

2. Crissy Field

Fall migration brings a greater variety of birds to the park and city. Find this Field Note and a hidden bronze bird-related panel at the overlook at the west end of Crissy Marsh.

Lower Tennessee Hollow Watershed

3. Lower Tennessee Hollow Watershed

There’s a lot of fluffy seeds of a signature native Presidio shrub (hint: it’s named after a wild mammalian resident). Check out this Field Note behind the Presidio Residences building.

Upper Tennessee Hollow Watershed field note

4. Upper Tennessee Hollow Watershed

In the heart of the El Polín Spring area (near the mini-Field Station), awaits an invitation to try a free citizen science app called Seek.

Mountain Lake and Lobos Creek Valley

5. Mountain Lake/Lobos Creek Valley

A 20-foot optical safari awaits you along the Presidio Hills dunes trail.

Baker Beach field note

6. Baker Beach

Come immerse yourself in the largest intact dune habitat in San Francisco. Find this Field Note just above the extraordinary Sand Ladder trail.

Coastal Bluffs field note

7. Coastal Bluffs

Fall is an active time of year for these small creatures (hint: there are more than 100 different species in the park). Find this Field Note along the south side of the Batteries-to-Bluffs Trail.

Fort Scott and Rob Hill field note

8. Fort Scott/Rob Hill

The Presidio is famous for its forests and this area is a kind of arboretum. Explore a unique constellation of trails as you stroll old stone paths at Fort Scott.

Horse Stable/Park Trail/National Cemetery

9. Horse Stable/Park Trail/National Cemetery

The longest living trees in the Presidio also have significant cultural histories. Check out this magnificent example on the Park Trail uphill from the horse stables.

Fort Point and Torpedo Wharf field note

10. Fort Point/Torpedo Wharf

This site is one of the most spectacular in the park. It’s also habitat for some ancient sea creatures. Come discover them at this historic wooden wharf.


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.​​ Visit the Field Station at Presidio Tunnel Tops to explore a buffet of self-guided experiences in the Presidio.​​