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Presidio’s Greatest Lists: Five Ways to Experience the Presidio’s Trails

Thursday, Jun 01, 2017 Category Recreation and Wellness

​Did you know the Presidio offers 24 miles of trails? Here are five ideas for experiencing the trails like you never have before.

Take a Guided Art Hike

Guided Art Hikes

Did you know the Presidio is home to the largest collection of Andy Goldsworthy sculptures on public view in North America? On the second Saturday of each month, the Presidio Trust hosts a docent-led three-mile hike that visits four installations by the world-renowned artist: Spire, Wood Line, Tree Fall, and Earth Wall. Get the story behind these creations, all made with natural materials from right here in the Presidio. It might allow you to see the park in a whole new way.

Learn more about Andy Goldsworthy’s work in the Presidio and register for the next art hike >>

​Photo by Charity Vargas.

Go Solo with a Self-Guided Hike​

Some of the best adventures are the ones where you grab a snack and a jug of water and set off on your own. But where to go? Here’s an idea. A new guide – the Tennessee Hollow Watershed Walk – reveals a true Presidio treasure. This walk traces a two-mile section of the park’s largest watershed where for the past 15 years restoration projects have brought habitats back to life. Along the way, you’ll learn about significant people and moments in Presidio history. So download and go!

Download the self-guided Tennessee Hollow Watershed Walk >>

Take a Walk Back in Time - Literally​

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail commemorates the 1776 journey Spanish military commander de Anza led from Sonora, Mexico to the Golden Gate, where colonial settlers first established the Presidio as a military post. The last 2.7 miles of this epic 1,200 mile journey trace the expedition’s final steps from where they camped at Mountain Lake to where they peered out over the coastal bluffs toward the great bay (see image). Take a hike on this trail and imagine what the members of this expedition might have seen so long ago.

Learn more about the Juan de Anza National Historic Trail in the Presidio >>

Photo Credit: National Park Service, De Anza Trail, David Rickman Illustrations of the Anza Expedition. Juan Bautista de Anza, Father Pedro Font, Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga and other members of the Anza’s exploring party reaching the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, March 27, 1776.

A Trail for Everyone ​

Accessible Trails

The Presidio is for everyone, and a new three-mile loop provides incredible access no matter your mode of travel: foot, bike, wheelchair, or stroller. The loop showcases the best of the Presidio and includes portions of six trails: the Bay Area Ridge Trail, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, California Coastal Trail, Presidio Promenade, Bay Trail, and Park Trail. Along the way you'll enjoy gentle slopes and firm surfaces, forest groves, historic buildings, and views of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Explore this loop through this PDF map >>

Volunteer to Repair – or Share – the Presidio's Trails​


One of the best ways to experience the Presidio’s trails is through stewardship. Our generous cadre of volunteers do so much to keep the trail system safe and looking great – and ready to share with visitors. Want to get involved? Drop in to the Presidio Trail Stewards volunteer day on the second Tuesday of each month from 10 am to 1 pm. Have time to make an even deeper commitment? Apply to become a Trail Ambassador, volunteers that serve as a welcoming presence along the trails and help visitors out with a map, directions, and suggestions for a great day in the Presidio.

Learn more about Presidio Trail Stewards >>

Learn more about Trail Ambassadors >>​​