McLaren Park, San Francisco

Tucked away in the southeast corner of San Francisco, McLaren Park is a 312 acre park with a lot of beauty and variety.  Trails abound throughout the place, and you'll wander through little groves of Redwood, Eucalyptus, and Cypress.  

Many of the trees were planted in 1927, during the dedication

None of the trails visited were marked.  This is more like a wandering park, where trails appear and disappear almost everywhere you look.  It's also a dog friendly park, so you'll see dogs everywhere.  Owners and walkers seemed to be in control of their packs, and cleaned up after their dogs.    

Time for a bath

Take my picture!

Because the trails are unmarked, you find yourself wandering through a variety of canopied trails and over rolling hills, and this exploration is interesting and enjoyable.  Add the typical morning fog, and you add an element of mystery and drama.

Benches on some of the trails give you a place for some relaxing contemplationSome of the trails are narrow, single track, while others are paved and wide

McNab Lake is a hangout for a variety of water birds and a nice place to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Because of its urban location and convenience, McLaren Park is a great place to introduce young people to nature.There were a few professional dog walkers there, and some individual hikers, but the place was quiet.  I can imagine that it would be crowded on a hot, summer weekend, but on an early weekday morning, it's a great place for a stroll.  

Peaceful little Redwood grove

You can keep to paved trails, escape on to little side trails, or just sit on a bench and relax.  Take some time out of your day to visit this little patch of nature.  You'll leave rested and refreshed.

Trailhead (One option)

Photo Map

Slideshow

Full Photo Gallery

Trail Map

San Francisco Trail Map (I picked this up at REI, but you can order from the website.)

YELP Reviews of McLaren Park

SF Parks Page